Customer Service. Customer Appreciation. Customer Experience. Customer Satisfaction. Customer Retention.
No matter how you refer to it, I wholeheartedly believe that success begins with a great relationship. A relationship whose core is built on honesty, trust, respect, commitment, and communication.
I communicate with many teams throughout the course of a week and strive to make every interaction a positive one. Because, let’s face it: even in the middle of the worst situation, if we approach it with a positive attitude, everyone wins! Here are five of the top go-to methods I practice in my daily communications.
One: Be Human
Be human and make personal connections a priority. I am listing this as my first tip, because to me it is the most important. I never want a customer to feel that they are only a business deal or task to me. Truth is, I spend a great deal of my time working with customers and on customer assignments. I want to be a true partner and for the appreciation to be mutual. It’s also important to remember that because we are ALL human!
No one is perfect, we all have good and bad days, we ALL make mistakes and we all have things in our personal lives that sometimes leave us needing support. If we remember that we are all human, we can work through anything together!
To me, it’s important to put a personal connection over business first. In the same token, it’s equally important to recognize when to skip the small talk and take care of business. When you have a solid relationship in place from the beginning, it’s easy to spot when this shift needs to happen.
Two: Be Extra
Being customer service driven, I always want to under-promise and over-deliver for my customers. I want to promise to take care of everything that they are asking of me, but, when I deliver, I always try to add in something extra. Whether it's an extra option for creative or a faster turnaround time than expected.
For me, I take this tip outside of things that are work-related. I enjoy making time for personal celebrations. I love a personal touch and will always try to send a birthday text or card, a new baby gift, or just words of encouragement when I know that it is needed.
Three: Communicate Often
Communication is a core function of any relationship. In my mind, there are a few types of communication. You have the “social” communication, where you ask how the new puppy is and how their son's baseball game went. This kind of communication is important to keep a connection.
Then you have — what I call — “work” communication. When you have an action item, you need to have clear and efficient communication to ensure you fully understand the task at hand. The more we can communicate about a project or expectation, the more trust, transparency, and efficiency we can build.
Four: Be A Part of the Team
When I onboard a new customer, I tell them to think of myself as an extension or a remote partner of their team. I always stay in the know of current happenings and hold myself accountable as if I am part of their team. I rally with them to overcome challenges and celebrate the wins with them!
Another part of this for me is to put myself in the mind of a customer. Why is this project important to them? Why is it super-important that they stay within budget? This also means adapting to your clients’ preferences and atmosphere. If you are working with a small family-owned business, you want to communicate as such. If your client is not a huge fan of technology, pick up the phone and call them — don’t send them a text. Learn your audience and align with them.
Five: Be Proactive
Being one step ahead of the game can build some serious trust! I always like to bring new and fresh ideas to client meetings. Not only does this provide a different perspective, it provides major value. If a customer knows that I am thinking ahead, they trust that we share goals and want the same thing. Being proactive always adds an extra layer of positivity to any meeting because we can get excited for what's to come!
At iFrog Marketing Solutions, our Accounts team is all on the same page when it comes to customer interactions. Even when issues happen, we maintain positivity and work towards our final goal of exceeding our customers’ expectations. We know that our best work is rooted in positive thinking. From that positive thinking, we know that if we are honest with each other, if we trust each other, respect everyone’s opinions, communicate openly, we can commit to incredible work. Contact us today and let’s be incredible together!