We all know the old adage that if you treat people well, they’ll behave in a similar manner. So be respectful. Be courteous. Be interested. But how much more does this apply when dealing with clients who are the lifeblood of your business?
Your clients are your best, or worst, ambassadors, so it makes good business sense (if not common, sense) to interact with them in as positive manner as possible.
Here are five effective approaches to positive, fruitful and long-lasting client relationships:
Market Research Software – the days of accessing the thoughts of clients via phone and door-to-door surveys are well and truly dead and buried. Market research software or CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and mobile survey applications (apps) are the (now) standard means of surveying clients: they are non-intrusive, fun, and overcome virtually every disadvantage inherent in the old, traditional forms of market survey. They provide significant benefits on a practical level: they are relatively inexpensive, easy to configure and use. And they’ll tell you what your clients want, and what they don’t want.
Live Chat – a well organized and attractive website is a good start when it comes to client interaction but these days Live Chat on its own is insufficient. Clients want and demand near-immediate service, and if you don’t provide it, they will leave. That said, a Live Chat option on your website is an expected feature that signals to clients that you are interested in providing customer service.
Great Customer Service – is an imperative. Providing prompt, friendly and effective customer service will serve your business well and enhance your reputation. Service is king and can give you a real competitive advantage, so it’s worth investing in this aspect of your business, and perhaps looking at companies both within and without your sector that do customer service well. Ask yourself, what makes good customer service? What makes bad customer service? Then ensure you do more of the good, and none of the bad.
Social Media – is the tool of choice for consumers accessing the Internet. This means that having a website and a blog is not enough for interacting with your clients. A frequently updated Facebook page, tweets about developments within your business and responding to questions and concerns show that you are in sync with the modus operandi of this brave new social-media dominated world.
Special Deals – show your clients you care by offering them special deals such as discounts or pre-sale opportunities. It makes them feel special and gives you an opportunity to always be in their inboxes or SMSs. Remember, the more value-add you provide through your interactions, the better – just don’t overdo it.
In the online world, your business is open around the clock. Your clients are everywhere, in all time zones and they must be interacted with and catered for accordingly.
Written by Sharon from Dooblo, developers of market research software called survey2go.
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