How far does your business go in building relationships with your customers?
Today, many companies have realized that they need to do more than hang a “We’re Open” sign on the door to get customers to buy from them. They may even have heard that “People don’t buy from companies, people buy from people.” As a result, they schmooze, they cajole, they inform, they educate, they interact.
To use the current parlance: They engage.
If it all goes according to plan, then perhaps the customer makes the purchase. At which time, more often than not, they’re shown the door and we’re off playing the game all over again with someone else.
But couldn’t – or shouldn’t – the customer relationship be more than just a way to get the sale?
In some cases there is a relationship after the sale: Perhaps the customer has to pay for some kind of assistance or service following the purchase. Or maybe there’s some ongoing training/induction type sessions that last an amount of time, that maintains the client/supplier relationship.
But if a business – any business – sincerely exists to offer some kind of help or solution to their customers, then shouldn’t they view every single purchase as the beginning of a long-term relationship? A relationship where they are committed to offering the best customer service that they can – just because they want to?
Supposing that you knew, with absolute 100% certainty, that the customer that just bought something from you today was never ever going to buy anything from you ever again. Now suppose that the very same customer came back to you to ask you for help with something or another – something that you knew would never result in a sale.
Be honest for a second: How much help would you give them?
Some companies get it. Unfortunately it’s often the same names that we hear about again and again – such as Apple with their “Genius Bar.” The Genius Bar is an area within every Apple Store staffed by trained employees to answer questions, to give advice, to offer technical and application assistance, to perform on-the-spot repairs, and so on. The Genius Bar is an opportunity for Apple to say that they want are happy customers, even if those customers never buy anything from Apple ever again.
Your relationship with your customer should not end at the point of you securing the sale. In fact, perhaps the relationship you have with your customer should never end at all.