There are many ways to ensure your customers have a positive interaction with your business, such as training great employees, promoting excellent customer service and providing competitive rates. However, there’s one simple step you can take to build a lasting relationship with a customer – visit them in person. Perform customer reviews. Too often we underestimate the power of connecting with customers. Those with a seasoned background in sales and account management will tell you this is one of the best investments you can make.
One valuable practice to implement is having account managers visit tenured customers that they have established a relationship with via phone or email. These meetings allow the two parties to connect face-to-face while reviewing the customer’s business strategies and required services.
There’s something magical that happens when meeting your customer in person for the first time.
That may seem a little dramatic, but we’ve experienced enough to know its true. In-person visits create huge positive impacts because account managers have built a solid foundation with their contacts and this visit solidifies that rapport.
Now, you’re wondering how to approach an in-person visit and customer reviews. We have you covered with five key elements to a great business review that will enhance and strengthen your relationship with your customer.
Preparation before a visit is key. Always do your homework before scheduling customer reviews. Start by taking a snapshot of their business year-over-year. Discuss current trends and goals for the future to ensure you’re both on the same page. If appropriate, share a presentation and educate them on market conditions.
Make it personal
Get to know your contacts. Learn about their families and what they love to do. Most importantly CONNECT. Solidifying your relationship is important and is often one of the main reasons behind why they do business with you versus someone else.
Ask questions and listen
Get your customer talking. This is where you can uncover opportunities, learn about future growth and cross-sell other services. Understanding the dynamics of a customer’s business and uncovering pain points will give you a chance to offer solutions and serve more as a consultant.
Recognize that they have several options and yet chose you. Sincerely thank them for their business and the opportunity you have to work with them. This is a simple gesture, but an important one.
Ask for feedback
Never be afraid to ask for open and honest feedback. You can’t fix something unless you know it’s broken. This is where you can grow and learn the most. Understand your customer’s needs. If there’s a problem, go the extra mile to solve it for them. Respect your customer by acknowledging the problem, apologize for your imperfections and resolve to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Always say what you mean and mean what you say. Following through on commitments will, in turn, gain their respect and trust.
If you’re still not sure investing time into business relationships will make a difference in your return on value, check out “Reviewing Your Strategy.” This article features the seven reasons we swear by connecting with our customers. There is no substitute for establishing a connection with customers in person.
Remember, if you’re not in front of them, maybe your competition is.
– Lisa Hjorth, Senior Director National Sales
The England Logistics Freight Agent Program provides companies with information and tools to expand and allow them to manage their business. Backed by the England Logistics brand, participating agents enjoy increased market visibility and established business connections. Our dedicated team also delivers consistent support for day-to-day operations. This allows freight agents to expand their portfolio while reinforced by a reliable team.