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Sales professionals have a natural impulse to focus attention on developing new customer relationships in order to land new accounts. It’s a good impulse, but it’s one that you need to manage in order to maintain existing customer relationships.
At Cydcor, we’re interested in pursuing new opportunities, but we also understand that you can’t forget current customers in the pursuit of new possibilities. Customer relationships aren’t over once you close the sale. It’s the start of a long-term partnership that will benefit your company and your customer.
Here are some strategies for building—and maintaining—great customer relationships.
Remember Their Names
Whether you’re working with a small company or a large corporation you’ll be working with an individual—a person. He or she has a family, a birthday, a new child, or a feisty puppy. Get to know your customer. Include a few notes in your contact management system to help you remember personal details that distinguish them. Personal knowledge provides a way to start a sales conversation. Reach out on your customers’ special days and they’ll remember that you made an extra effort when they have to make purchasing decision.
Become a Solution Center
Offer your customers the resources they need to stay informed about changes, improvements, and up-dates in the service you provide. If your company offers a newsletter make sure that your customer knows about it. When you find articles, books, or webinars that might be useful to your customer remember to share them. Call out the information that will be valuable to them and their particular problems. They’ll appreciate that you personalized the information for them.
Monitor Customer Relationships with Social Media
Research by Zendesk says that 45% of customers shared bad customer experiences and only 30% shared good customer experiences on social media. This information is an important tool for building customer relationships. Follow your customers’ social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Listen to what they’re saying and you’ll be able to fix any issues if they happen.
Customers Are Team Members
Include your customers in events that matter to them, to your company, and his or her company. If your department is hosting a networking event or is launching a new service make certain that your customer hears about it. When you’re working on improving your team’s internal processes get your customers’ feedback. Show them that you value their business and their professional expertise.
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