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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Setting the Right Tone With Customers

Written By: Catherine Morgan | No Comments

How close should you be to your customers? In “Do Your Customers See You as a Personal Friend?”, a recent post on the Nextiva blog, Carol makes the case that you should be quite chummy. She begins:

How do customers perceive friendship? If you’ve ever visited a restaurant that leads you to your favorite booth by the window before asking if you want the usual, then you know. And, what do friends do? They stay in touch, forgive the occasional mishap — and keep coming back.

Your company can find ways to extend the hand of friendship to customers by thinking about what you value from your own besties. The following friendship tips apply equally well to personal relationships and commercial associations.

1. Be trustworthy

Trustworthiness is part of friendship (and the Scout motto), and you have to earn it. Friends know that they can count on each other; customers who trust you see your business as valuable and they spread the word to others who need your goods or services.

Naturally, customers trust you if you meet deadlines and provide high-quality products and services. And, if a blooper happens, customers expect their friend to happily correct it.

The unfortunate reputation of used car sales tactics has cast a shadow over all sales people, so establishing trust in your sales force is almost an art form. Even as you make sure that they purchase items that they really need, customers can learn to trust you when you stop them from buying unneeded items. So, don’t push them to buy blue shoes after they bought the red ones, but make sure that they have the batteries needed to run their new marching bunny.

2. Anticipate their needs

Get to know customers as well as you know your friends and make sure that you retain what you learn. The right data and software allows you to predict when it might be time for customers to reorder certain products or other related items.

If they ordered a three-month supply of widgets on March 1st, send out a reorder reminder well before June 1st. But, anticipating needs does not just apply to orders. If someone discovers a new use for widgets, safety tips or any other useful information, send that information to pertinent customers, along with a link to the article that explains the details – this truly boosts the customer experience

You can read the rest of the post here.

Article written by
Catherine Morgan is the editor of Business Unplugged ™, an engaging speaker, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant and former employee of three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine combines strategy development with accountability coaching. Her productivity tips and career transition advice have been featured on WGN AM 720 and WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, and on WCHE AM 1520 in the Philadelphia area. Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to productivity, career transition, small business, and entrepreneurship. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.