Deeply connected, trust-based and authentic client relationships are hard to come by, and clients know it. Businessman Paul G. Krasnow, author of “The Success Code: A Guide for Achieving Your Personal Best in Business and Life,” says when you know how to create these relationships with your clients, you’ll win their loyalty, earn referrals and enjoy repeat business for life.
Keep reading to learn how to foster superior client satisfaction and loyalty with these relationship-building habits that will keep them coming back again and again.
First, commit to a personal code of integrity and live it each day. Integrity should be a core value that steers all of your client interactions. This means committing to being honest and working hard with their best interests in mind.
Give them peace of mind. Develop a system that works for you to proactively give clients the highest level of service at all times. Whether it is having a perfectly tweaked project management system in place in your business or having a very clear communication system, always respond to your clients in a timely manner and provide expert answers to all of their questions.
Build trust by keeping your promises. Remember to keep your word and to deliver without fail. This approach will not only impress and delight them; it will allow them to trust you with more business in the future. Building client trust makes you a winner every time.
Be honest about what your services can deliver. Don’t oversell or overpromise the results you offer. Manage your clients’ expectations so they won’t be disappointed. Whenever possible, do put them in touch with others who can help them.
Don’t sell your customers products they don’t need. Be upfront about products that would be a waste of their hard-earned money. This tip is part of a larger philosophy of moving away from seeing a client as an immediate sale and moving toward building a long-term relationship.
Deliver consistent service. Clients come to expect what they have experienced with your services in the past. Align yourself with a clearly defined mission, set of goals and level of commitment, and ensure that clients receive the same level of care by delivering consistently high-quality service, time and time again.
Be authentic with clients. “Authenticity, by definition, can’t be faked,” says Krasnow. “Your customers will know if you are being friendly just to make a sale. Genuine interactions allow people into your life by sharing your personality and getting to know the real you. Friendliness goes a long way.”
Find thoughtful ways to show you care. “Just showing up for your clients because you genuinely care about them is a sure way to solidify your connection with them,” says Krasnow. “Send out birthday cards. Make a donation to a charity in your client’s name. Get to know each of your clients and show genuine interest in their lives.”
Check in even when you have nothing to sell them. Reach out to your clients from time to time and check in to see how they are doing. Take them to lunch, meet up for a game of golf or ask them about the outcome of an important family event. These are opportune times to find out if there is anything you could be doing even better to make them happier than they already are.
Don’t forget about your existing clients, even when your business is booming with new ones. Clients can tell when they’re on the back burner. Krasnow urges you to consciously devote time to touching base with your loyal long-term clients—especially when new customers are banging down your door.
Resist going on autopilot. Even if you have your sales technique down pat, find a way to actively engage with every client. Clients can sense if you’re phoning it in.
Apologize if you make a mistake and fix the problem immediately. In most cases, customers aren’t interested in holding grudges—they want to forgive and forget. The best way to smooth things over when you’ve messed up is to make a heartfelt apology and then make it right.
“You are far more in control of your brand’s growth than you give yourself credit for,” concludes Krasnow. “That’s why it’s so important to take true ownership of the connection you build with your clients. You’ll be amazed how much your deeper commitment to them will pay off in the long run.”