What are the best practices that help you succeed, serve your customers and keep up with changing times?
If you figure out who your customer is, what they like and need and how they prefer being communicated to, you can build a “customer centric” relationship that can be mutually beneficial long term. This should be a relationship building goal for all your connections.
The business to consumer relationship has changed dramatically. I believe the consumer has an edge now. The end user has more choices and is seeking a much higher, better experience with businesses. Businesses that don’t provide the value, experience and the service – will lose.
The opportunity we all have right now with digital and social tools to build customer centric relationships is greater than ever before. The ability to respond in real time to customer praise or complaints is transformative in building the B2B and B2C relationship.
Based on a survey  commissioned by RightNow Technologies and conducted by Harris Interactive:
- 89% of customers will pay 25% more for a better customer experience.
- 73% of consumers fall in love with a brand because of friendly employees or customer service reps.
- 89% of consumers do business with a competitor after a poor customer experience.
This should be proof enough to focus on and ramp up your customer centric tool box. Below are six best practices, tactics and experiences that should be in it.
Customer Centric Tips
Branded, Informative Landing Hubs
The saying “you get only one chance to make a good first impression” is truer today then it’s ever been. It’s expected and the only thing some people will have to make a decision about whether to move forward with you.
It’s also important to update and refresh your hubs and make sure everything is current and up to date, especially pictures and professional activity. Nothing fares worse than dated pictures, activity and branding.
Consistently stimulating what people see and read including your website, blog and all your social media platforms keeps people interested. A branded social media profile, timeline and header can make a big difference in how you are perceived and how you can clearly present what you do.
Content Marketing Using Social Media
If you don’t create it, there’s nothing to be found. Just Google yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
What are you creating, publishing and sharing that helps people and positions you?
Content marketing has become a premier tool to build credibility, reach and buzz. Are you blogging, using eMarketing, creating video or podcasting and promoting and marketing yourself on social media?
Purposeful Networking In Person and Online
Go out and meet people anytime you can. Balance your face to face and online networking. Use them in tandem and always follow up and thank people you meet that could be direct prospects or door openers to others. Go local, national and international. Amazing how we can do this today.
Be an active part of your industry and meet different people doing what you do in different geographical areas.
Volunteer and Pro-Bono Commitments
Getting involved in the community and world that supports you is just good business. Choose some causes, communities and issues you believe in and help them move forward.
Most of these organizations have boards with influential people you could meet, not to mention it’s good for business in general and the soul to “give back.” So many organizations need help and our human capital can impact that.
Professional Development, Education, Building Relevance and Value
Growing and increasing our expertise and adding more value to what we deliver is essential. With technology and trends driving change at a brisk pace, we should be committed to expanding what we know and apply that to our services and relationships.
No matter what industry you are in, staying real time with skills, technologies and applications that relate to your business only helps your customers have the best experience with you.
4 R’s: Rest, Recreate, Recharge and Relax
I have seen way too many people crash, burn and fail from not integrating balance into their lives. We must step back, get away from and allow time to rest, recreate, re-charge and relax with ourselves and our families. This can only make us better with our clients.
Plan that “staycation,” getaway, tech fast or travel vacation into your plans and work it into your business trips too. Business will be there when you return.
Below are some great resources and ideas that can help you manage your business and build those solid, long term relationships with your customers and community.
What are the best practices, tactics and experiences in your small business tool box that helps you serve customers?
Customer  Photo via Shutterstock