Building valued relationships
How do you build valued relationships through business communications?
By listening. What do your customers or prospects need? What are their pain points and how can you help solve those? What are their aspirations and how can you help them achieve those? Talk to customers individually. Set up focus groups, do market research, conduct surveys. And provide ample means for customers to get in touch with you. Remember them and they will remember you.
By reflecting. Address your customers in a manner that reflects and respects their interests, time, values, uniqueness, and preferences (including their choice of communication channels). Companies that treat customers as individuals of worth and dignity, rather than as units of profit, will enjoy a better response.
By demonstrating. Show customers the value of dealing with your company. Provide them with benefits and uses of your product or service. Share case studies, endorsements, and independent testing. Provide fair pricing, fast response, great customer service. Stand behind the quality of your offerings.
By being. Be a company worth dealing with. Stress ethics and customer focus in the way you run your business. Strive to be the best rather than the biggest. Care about the value your business brings to the world at large. Customers will notice and reward you with their loyalty.
A closer look at this concept
This is a process that takes work, in which you must add your ideas, labor, consistency, and equity.
What value do you put upon your customers – do you go straight for the wallet? (So do pick-pockets!) Or do you care about customers as human beings? Your attitude will show through in your dealings. Just remember the Golden Rule applies in business, too.
Commerce is based on the exchange of money for goods and services, but communications are based on sharing mutual goals, finding common ground, and showing respect. Exchange is a form of relationship, but communications add depth, color, and dimension to the relationship. This fosters loyalty, trust, repeat visits, and word-of-mouth advertising.