Today is National Get to Know Your Customers Day! Being self-employed has been a wonderful experience. I not only get to work from home and have more time for my family, but I also get to work with clients and customers on meaningful projects. Like any business, my customers are a key part of making my business a success. What better time than today to share some tips to make sure you’re building and maintaining a strong relationship with your customers.
Learn More About Your Customers
Besides assignment and project-related work, how often do you talk with your customers? Communication is key if you want to get to know them better. Not only will it help you connect much easier, it will give you insights on what you need to provide better service. You can use social media channels to keep up, take on projects they’re working on and offer assistance as needed.
Develop a Rapport with Your Customers
Being self-employed, having systems has been absolutely essential for my business and sanity. Making sure there is a process to handle the administrative and more tedious tasks allows me to focus on my strengths. One thing that has helped me is that once a project is done, I make it a habit to check in and see if everything is what my customer expected (or more). If not, you can quickly adjust. It’s easier and better to be proactive than to wait for a problem or a complaint to come up. They’ll appreciate it too.
Follow Up with a Thank you Note
Even in this age of instant messages, you can make a big impression with a handwritten thank you. If appropriate, a thoughtful and personalized gift can deepen your professional relationship. I recently attended a conference last summer that I enjoyed. Beforehand, I was surprised and delighted to get a card thanking me and offering me a discount to share for any colleagues that would want to come. This is not only a smart business move, but also a way to make attendees feel special.
However you choose, please make sure your customer knows that you appreciate their business. Working together, both sides can have a productive, profitable, and happy new year. I love getting ideas and inspiration from others. How do you make your customers feel special?