Focus on three of your customers. Sit and think for a moment about each one. What do you know about them – their likes, preferences and expectations?
April 20 is “National Get to Know Your Customers Day.” We find it interesting that according to nationaldaycalendar.com, this national holiday is celebrated four times a year! It’s the third Thursday of every quarter – in January, April, July and October. What does that tell you? That getting to know your customers is important, a never-ending process, and that it needs to be revisited on a regular basis.
Getting to know your customers can help you tailor your research and property solutions to their needs, and create customer loyalty. What’s the best way to do it? Remember, communication is key, and will help you get to know your customers’ likes and dislikes. Here are some tried and true tips that can be applied to any industry.
1 – Visit their website. Read their blogs, read about their closed transactions, their history, clients and about their staff. It will help you to have information about the company and the owners and to know their accomplishments.
2 – Visit them. Can you visit your customer’s office or operations center? By immersing yourself in their world, you will get a much better feel for the flow of information and processes. You can see how your product or service – or commercial real estate offerings – fit into the current situation to improve it.
3 – Ask a lot of questions. Everybody wants to talk about themselves. Ask questions – and listen. It keeps them talking so you can gather more information, and makes them realize that you really care about helping their business and that you want to find the right fit between what they need and what you can supply.
4 – Follow up. Find out how your prospect or customer likes to be contacted. Emails? Phone calls? Stay in touch to follow up. Have a purpose each time you follow up so you do not become a pest. One of the best ways to get to know your customer is a followup questionnaire. “Hey John, would you mind filling out this quick survey? I’m always trying to improve my customer service.” Then send a SurveyMonkey link that asks some questions about their contact with you that day – perhaps after a site tour, meeting, or after every closed deal. If they respond, you’ll know more about their likes and dislikes and can improve for next time. If they don’t respond, at least you showed them you are conscious of trying to be your best.
5 – Take a customer to lunch. Last week was “Make Lunch Count” Day...which you can do all year. Take your customer or prospect to lunch and enjoy their company. Thank them for spending time with you, for their business and for their trust. Get personal! Find out about their family, their hobbies, their goals, the history of how they ended up where they are in business today. Don’t transact business, just enjoy the time. Believe it or not, people like to relate to others, especially if they are working together.
When you take the time to understand the point of view of your customer, you’ll get some new ideas on how to improve, how to gain their confidence, and how to gain their loyalty. Due to technology that makes contact so easy – be sure the personal attention factor is not missing from your customer service. That’s why the in-person contact of lunch and visits is so important, so that you aren’t just a name at the end of an email.
Get to know your customers. And guess what - we think it is a pretty good to have this on the calendar four times a year – for a steady reminder.
What are some techniques YOU use to get to know your customers? Let us know.