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People like to talk about great experiences. After all, when you really like something, it’s human nature to want to tell others about it! As a business owner, your goal should always be to provide your customers with such a great experience that they become walking, talking billboards for the service you provide. You need to do everything in your power to turn your clients into enthusiastic advocates who will send you referral after referral, helping you build a solid business as well as a fortune.
Here’s how you can start building lasting relationships with your customers today so they become passionate champions for your business tomorrow.
1. Stay ahead
If you want your customers to automatically associate you with a great experience and first-class service, you need to stay in constant touch, provide exemplary care, and create a strong sense of community. A really effective way to do this is to provide valuable items that they might find useful, such as informative market updates, educational e-reports, or just helpful tips for living the good life. When you are consistent with the high quality service and value you provide, you will stay ahead, be seen as an expert in your field, and become your clients’ trusted advisor.
Related: 7 Tactics That Show You’re Getting Customer Service Right
2. Surprise and delight
Even in this technologically advanced world, there is a human element to business that can never be underestimated. People are looking for real connection more than ever, and in our fast-paced and often impersonal society, a powerful way to truly connect with someone is to surprise and delight them. A personal note is a nice and effective way to reach out and brighten someone’s day – after all, who doesn’t love getting a personalized message in the mail instead of an invoice? You can forward a handwritten note as you call to say hello or drop by to give a small gift. All of these gestures are designed to show your best customers that you’re thinking of them, but they should never be bulky or fake. Keep it simple; keep it fast. And be sure to be absolutely authentic in every communication.
3. Celebrate your customers
Your database isn’t just a list of names, phone numbers, and addresses: it’s a treasure trove of relationships that need to be nurtured. A fun way to make your customers feel valued and part of a larger community is to bring them together to celebrate at a party. It doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive affair; the simple act of bringing your best customers together to say thank you and enjoy each other’s company will go a long way to strengthening the bonds and deepening the relationship between you. Even if you can’t meet in person, there are lots of fun ways to connect online and build a community of like-minded people.
Related: 7 Essentials of Great Customer Service
4. Ask for references
If you serve your customers at the highest level, they will eagerly tell others around them. The news will spread, referrals will flow and you will become the go-to person to do business with! However, it’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t be afraid to remind your clients that you’re never too busy for their referrals. When you exceed customer expectations, you earn the right to ask that they consider recommending you to others. Working by referral this way not only means you’ll always have a steady stream of high-quality leads and a business that lasts, but you’ll also be able to work with quality clients you love. It’s a win-win!
The more you consistently demonstrate the high level of care you provide, the more your customers will associate your name with exceptional service. When you prove that you are reliable, trustworthy and excellent at what you do, your customers become megaphones for you in the market, eager to tell others about the positive experiences they have had with you. As a result, they will enthusiastically and happily recommend you, which means your brand reach will increase, your business will grow, and you’ll be well on your way to living the good life.
Related: Treat Them Right: 5 Keys to Lasting Customer Service