How many of your new clients chose your company because their friend raved about you? As a business owner, you know the importance of connecting with your customers; word-of-mouth is a powerful tool and simply by getting to know your clients and fostering a little happiness, you can actually improve your bottom line. Plus, it makes work feel a lot less like work!
There was a fantastic article on Forbes the other day entitled “The 7 Pillars of Connecting with Absolutely Anyone.” It’s spot on and shows how being helpful and genuine can help you make friends with anyone. But what can you do, in the moment, when you’re talking to a customer? How can you get the ball rolling?
You don’t need to be a social butterfly; here are five simple, actionable ways you can connect with your customers in a personal, meaningful way:
1. Send a notecard. Whether it’s for a big life event like a birthday or a wedding or is “just because,” a handwritten notecard shows that you’ve taken time out of your day and thought about them in a meaningful way.
2. Ask how their day is going. “How are you?” is a great question, but “How is your day going?” or “How are you enjoying this sunshine?” are more unusual questions and less likely to get kneejerk responses (“Fine, and you?”). Even if your customer responds generally, use enthusiastic words like “Fantastic” and “Wonderful” and share a little about yourself to spark a conversation.
3. Email them after your phone call. A follow up email after your phone call can add another touch of thoughtfulness to the exchange. Send them a summary of what you discussed or just a simple, “It was great speaking with you!”
4. Compliment them. Who doesn’t love a compliment? A compliment can instantly make you smile and turn your day around. “What a lovely name; my niece is also a Kaden!” or remarking on their order instantly shows you’re paying attention and that you care.
5. Listen. Genuinely listening is rare in business these days. When a customer makes a comment, reply matching their tone. It doesn’t have to be life-alteringly poetic; just acknowledging them is a great start. For example, if a caller stumbles when giving you their phone number and gets embarrassed, share a chuckle with them: “That’s ok! I get marble-mouthed, too, sometimes!” By honing your listening skills, you’ll be able to relate to your customers and can become better at detecting unexpressed needs. Offering your customer what they need even before they ask definitely shows you’re listening!
Even if you’re separated by 3,000 miles of telephone wire, being open and genuinely looking for ways to help can create meaningful connections and set your business apart!