Healthy relationships with clients and customers are at the core of every successful business and are the most vital part of determining whether your organisation will thrive or stagnate. The experience between the client and the organisation can be seen as a metaphoric dance where, naturally, both parts require trust from one another.
While these things are often seen as B2C and B2B, ultimately we are interacting as people and as such we are required to engage with empathy and compassion. Articles and seminars on attracting customers through multiple channels, technologies and methods of achieving high success and sales rates are abundant, they may be thoroughly researched, hypothesized and practiced with data to support conversion rates, however, what really ensures repeat business?
People trust those who treat them with respect, decency and as individuals as opposed to a number. Data may work theoretically but at one point or another we grow tired of being seen as a statistic and it drives us to want to try alternatives.
Consider this, you are looking for a used car. You find what you are looking for online from a seller with good ratings, at the same time your friend is also selling the exact same car. Which would you purchase the car from? Instinctively, purchasing from your friend, who you have extensive rapport with, seems like the most viable, easy and safe option as you would trust your friend to provide you with something of quality and to look after you. This is due to the strength in relationships. When looking at businesses with the highest level of customer retention, you would look at the hospitality industry. Majority of cafes and restaurants (if not all) have at least a handful of regulars. These customers have built rapport and often times a friendship with the cafe staff or owners, due to repeat visits and engagement. In many cases, the staff or owner will have their ‘usual’ orders memorised as a result of consistent engagement and patterns in needs/wants. This is where compassion comes in.
There are several elements that will determine a successful connection;
- First impressions
- Understanding and then managing expectations and needs
- Communication, clarity and accessibility
- Empathy, patience, consistency
If you are able to recite personal information about a customer that you were told in passing, such as the names of their loved ones or their favourite beverage, it will create a delight unlike any other and result in a naturally built relationship.
Of course, this isn’t always easy, particularly in the business of selling products. However, for service based businesses such as Flexiana, it is vital that we retain these sorts of connections and relationships as we collaborate with our customers and form a unified team with shared visions and goals. Understanding each other’s needs and businesses while desiring to help each other grow is the guiding principle that facilitates a strong bond developing.