A good musician knows how to play to the audience; he lifts his instrument, begins to play, and from the first beautiful strains of melody, the audience is captivated by the sound and connected through emotion that resonates deeply in the souls of all who listen.
Similarly, a good customer relationship is one about connection, collaboration, and trust. These things don’t happen overnight, however. Starting, growing and maintaining a business is one of the most challenging things to do, yet it is most rewarding when you see efforts pay off and build strength and longevity one customer relationship at a time.
Many business owners have difficulty finding out what customers truly want. As customers are the lifeblood of your business, it is essential that you take the time to get to know your audience---their likes, dislikes, wants and desires, needs, and preferences. Knowing them intimately will allow you to cater to their needs and even design products in anticipation of what they might want in the future. If you are struggling as a business owner to understand what your customers truly want, here are some things that might be helpful in getting to know them better.
Customers want fresh perspectives and ideas.
If a person could diagnose their own problem, there would seldom be a need for your product or service. Quite often the reason they begin a search for a product or service is that they’ve become stuck, and they need help. Providing a fresh perspective and new ideas that might help solve their problem will give them a solid reason to give you their business.
Customers want collaboration.
Customers can smell a “slick Willy” a mile away---they do NOT want to be sold to, and they do not want to be talked down to as you describe how great you are. They want you to be a powerful collaborator that helps them to solve problems, and they can pick up on your intentions and the level of genuine concern you bring to the relationship. Be real, be honest, and do good work. You’ll develop solid relationships that last.
Customers want confidence.
Knowing that you have solutions, and being able to communicate that to your potential customers is key to closing sales and building profitable relationships. Your passion for your product, your excitement about what you are bringing to the market, and your confidence in your ability to provide solutions are infectious. Customers will gravitate toward this energy.
Customers want you to listen.
Customers just want to be validated. Taking the information you hear and turning that into a solution sends a powerful message that you are there to serve them, not to be served. In serving your customers in this manner, you’ll create lasting loyalty as satisfied clients return to you time and again, often with friends and family in tow.
Customers want to be understood.
In listening to your customer, it is essential that you understand what they are trying to communicate to be able to craft solutions for them. Knowing what product or service they need and being able to give it to them is a win-win situation; you are communicating through your actions that you truly understand needs that exist, and they feel validated. A solid customer relationship is born.
Customers want easy transactions.
Websites that are hard to navigate, problems with shipping and payment, and other hassles are not ideal for any customer relationship. There is enough competition in the world that does provide seamless business transactions and follow up satisfaction surveys to ensure that customers’ needs have been fulfilled; if you don’t offer it, someone else will. Ensure that from beginning to end, your customer has the highest quality experience when interacting with you, your technologies, and your physical products. Good customer experiences will build trust in you and your business.
Practice makes perfect!
Knowing what to do is one thing, putting theory into practice over and over again transforms an apprentice into a master. The only way to build solid customer relationships that form the foundation of your business is to focus on building trust, providing solutions and support, and continuing to deepen your knowledge of your audience. This will come with time and persistence; keep your passion at the forefront of your mind and deal with your growing business one customer at a time. You’ll soon have a thriving empire!