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Give Your Customers a Positive Relationship Experience

When asked to describe your relationships, what do you typically reference to describe them? We tend to define our relationships in light of our experience with them. What we experience in any relationship is a good indicator of the quality of that relationship. Jeff Bezos says, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” The Relationship Is About the Experience What does it take to establish and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship? When two people begin developing and building a relationship, certain basic rules are agreed upon and established. Who would want to continue in a relationship that’s one-sided? Yet, there are many organizations that do just that! Building long-term customer relationships involve an understanding of how your company interacts with each one as an individual. Like marriage, the relationship must be mutually beneficial. Peter Drucker said: “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”  There are creative ways to sell a onetime customer, to develop and maintain a relationship with that customer is much more involved. Business Is A Customer Relationship Whenever people make a purchase of any kind two factors are present, the thoughts about necessity and the emotional impact of the transaction. What’s involved here is the merchandise or service offered, and the way it’s presented. When you think about it, savvy customers trust their instincts and see a connection between their impression of the transaction and the quality of the desired merchandise or service. In the final analysis your customer’s initial experience can make or break the possibility of a relationship. Whether online or in person, for the consumer it’s about their experience. Like a first date, your demeanor, appearance, attentiveness, and quality of conversation will greatly determine if you’ll be seeing each other again. Are You Providing a Positive Experience? How engaging are you and your team? What do people experience when they contact you? Are you continually connecting on an intellectual and emotional level? Are you able to consistently meet and exceed their expectations? Knowing who they are and what they need are essential to adding value to them. Online presence, emails, and social media are all important tools to connect and provide value to your customers. Pop-ups, live chats, interactive websites are all geared to engage your people and provide a positive personal experience. Every Relationship Has Agreements  If you’re no longer providing value, they no longer have a reason to continue the relationship. Do your agreements clearly outline all the benefits of partnering with you? Are you providing ongoing services to leaders and their organizations? Are You: • Developing strategies to achieve the possible outcomes agreed upon? • Providing measurables such as short-term/ long-term goals? • Providing periodic assessment sessions for monitoring progress? These go a long way when it comes to maintaining meaningful relationships Credibility Up Front Would you partner with anyone before knowing whether you can trust them or not? Securing endorsements from other credible businesses and individuals will set your customers/client’s mind at ease. Zig Ziglar says, “would you continue doing business with people you don’t trust?” Of course not! Deliverables Establish Credibility Your company must give evidence of your ability to continue delivering on your agreement. A small sample of your work can show your ability to do the job, and testimonials from long-term customers/clients demonstrate your ability to continue to do so. Do You Solve or Cause Your Customers Problems? Identifying and providing solutions to your customers problems are always a win/win. Valuing their feedback and working together builds a trust that serves both parties better in the long run. Good experience equals good relationship. Accountability Maintains Security When your customers/clients are receiving desired results, a win/win relationship is achieved. Encouraging periodic feedback demonstrates accountability, which helps to maintain the agreed-upon standards and expectations. *** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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