Build Better Customer Relationships

Posted on October 1, 2018 by Anthony Mortimer

Build Better Customer Relationships

If you’ve ever been on the wrong side of a persistent door-to-door salesman, you know there’s nothing more irritating than feeling pressured, coerced or harassed- especially on your own doorstep. An eager-seller like this drives a wedge into your plans, distracting you from a serious work call, or potentially interrupting you from important tasks. With this in mind, would you buy from them?

The answer is likely to be a resounding no, so why should the bonds we build with customers be any different? The truth is, customer relationships are better built from attraction, not promotion. Here’s just a few ways you can build stronger connections with consumers – without coming off as an insufferable bother.

Keep it simple

74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult. 

Complicated sales processes spell complications. If your customers have to regurgitate a password with six capital letters, two semi-colons and a pound sign in it just to get one of your sales reps on the phone, they’re probably going to buy from the brand who calls them instead. So, rather than sending your customers on a scavenger hunt across the North Pole and back every time they want to buy from your business, we recommend doing everything you can to simplify the sales process

This can be as easy as…

  • Carefully reviewing your existing customer journey
  • Automating processes where possible
  • Removing any parts of the journey that aren’t completely necessary

Be a ‘we’ business 

Once you’ve simplified the sales process for your customers, you need to ensure they feel you’re on their side. Why? Because high-quality and lasting relationships are built on trust. A customer is very unlikely to buy from your business if they get the sense that you’re more interested in snatching up their money wherever you can, instead of providing them with a genuine and quality service.

Top performing salespeople are up to 10 times more likely to use collaborative words and phrases than low-performing ones.  

With that in mind, encourage all of your employees in customer-facing positions to use terms like ‘we’, ‘our’, ‘us’, and ‘together’, instead of ‘you’, ‘I’, ‘your’, and ‘me’. 

One sale at a time 

Some businesses get caught up in the idea that trying to attain as many new customers as possible is the answer to a bigger bottom line – and this can lead to a reduction in the quality of service they provide their existing customers. We cannot emphasise just how big a mistake this is… 

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.

It really is about quality, and not quantity. Just ask yourself, would you rather have 100 fair-weather friends, or a handful of trusted and respectable fellows?

You’ve got to give it away to keep it… 

Just 17% of salespeople think they’re pushy – compared to 50% of prospects…

Don’t let your customers experience the irritation of a pushy sales process. Avoid hounding prospects with phone calls and overly-salesy content. Instead, prove yourself as a useful and valuable asset, and demonstrate that you respect your customer’s interests. How? Empower them to spend it well with an M&S gift card.

For more advice on developing your relationships with customers, check out our tip sheet today… 12 tips for building better customers relationships.