Forget the whole fantastic customer service thing; we all know that that’s vitally important. But beyond that the thing that most people I know complain about is the lack of communication from their suppliers. It’s one of the fundamental rules of any relationship to keep the lines of communication open. Just think of all those great friends you had in your school days that just drifted away, if they were still in your life today, chances are some of them at least you would still see on a regular basis.
We take communication for granted and often if we are doing a good job for our customers we forget that just touching base now and again can make the world of difference when that contract renewal date comes round. When I first started out in the world of work I got to travel around quite a bit with a Sales person, they would just call up their contacts in the car for a natter and I never really understood why. But I get it now completely, everyone has heard the saying that we do business with people and it’s so true, so then why do we not work as hard at building relationships as we do at providing a great product or service?
Technology can certainly help you do this in a more formal and consistent way, tools like email marketing can ensure you are always in contact with your customers and through social media you can continue to build relationships on a more personal level. Let’s face it we all want to feel special; we all want to think that we are important to someone else. This is why if you say you’re going to call on a certain day and you don’t, you are creating more damage than if you hadn’t mentioned a phone call at all.
The key again is planning, yes it’s a boring concept, but it really is the difference between success and failure. Making sure you have a strategy in place using all of the tools available to you to keep in contact with your customers has got to be MORE important that seeking out new ones. And remember that technology is a fantastic thing, we can automate, control and communicate with people in so many different ways and even though I’m an internet geek there are times when nothing beats a good old fashioned phone call.