What do the most powerful and most profitable companies in the world have in common? They are good at building emotional connections with their customers! No matter what industry you’re in, whether you’re in B2C or B2B sales, it’s more important than ever before to build strong relationships with your customers. No matter what you sell, even if it’s a technical product or complex solution, you need to build emotional bonds with your customers — because people like to buy from people that they like!
Tips on Building Emotional Connections with Customers
Here are a few tips on how to build better emotional connections with customers:
1. Give them a sense of comfort and order. Customers need to know that they are in capable hands. Is your sales process well organized and consistent? You need to help guide the customer through the process and answer their questions with confidence along the way. Even if customers are already well informed about your product and have done their research — even if they seem to already have a strong opinion about what they want to buy and what is the right fit for their needs — they will still respect you more if they see that your sales process is professionally handled at every step of the way. This makes your customers more likely to buy from you again in the future, and makes them more likely to refer you to friends.
2. Give them a delightful customer experience. One of the biggest competitive advantages in today’s economic climate is to have an amazing, memorable, thoughtful customer experience. Look for ways to be creative in delivering moments of delight, where you pleasantly surprise your customers by over-delivering above and beyond their expectations. Could you send flowers to your best customers on their birthdays? Could you have a special dedicated phone line for your best customers where they never have to go to voice mail or wait for a call back? Set up a special loyalty rewards program or “anniversary celebration” where you celebrate your long-time customer relationships. Your customer experience is often your most effective form of “marketing.” When people see what it’s like to work with you and buy from you, they will hopefully want to keep coming back.
3. Don’t be afraid to get personal and use humor. Of course, in the business world we need to be professional and respectful and use appropriate language and decorum. However — that doesn’t mean you have to totally leave your authentic human self at home. Don’t be afraid to open up a bit with customers — talk about your favorite music or movies or sports teams; learn more about what your customers like to do in their spare time. This can open up a new level of understanding and connection between you and your customers. You’ll soon find you can have more fun conversations and build a deeper rapport. Don’t be afraid to be “real” and be human! Does your company have a sense of humor? It should! Not in a way that offends people, of course — but it’s totally possible to use humor in a business setting in a way that shows your authentic human warmth and personality. People will often respond well to this, even in highly “technical” industries. It doesn’t hurt to have fun while we’re making money, and the best customers tend to appreciate this more than ever.
4. Keep your promises. Part of building a great customer relationship involves establishing trust. This means keeping your promises at every stage of the customer’s journey. Call back when you say you will. Be responsive. Be available at the times that you promise. Don’t nickel and dime them. Honor your price quotes. Put it in writing. You need to show your customers that you and your company will keep your word and honor your commitments. Over time, you will build trust and your customers will be more likely to relax and give you more of their business.
So much of the business world is based on simple trust and on the timeless idea of human relationships. People need each other, and people like to buy from people that they like and trust and can count on. You might find that building stronger emotional connections is not just about having a well written website or a well-designed product. It’s about simple things like getting people to trust you by keeping your promises and giving people a well-organized experience of working with you.
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