When you build relationships with customers, it makes it much easier to ask for referrals and feedback.
As a small business owner, solopreneur, or entrepreneur are you always looking for new customers or clients? If your answer is yes, do you have current clients or customers? If you do, you may be overlooking a valuable resource you already have; one that you can readily tap into: your existing customers.
For this strategy to work effectively, however, you must have an ongoing relationship with your clients and customers. You must consciously build relationships with customers so that they become emotionally connected to you. When your customers are emotionally connected to you, they are more likely to refer their friends, relatives, and associates to you.
Build Relationships with Customers: Feedback
When you ask for feedback from the type of customers described above, you’re more likely to receive honest feedback and gain insight into the workings of your business. You may be unaware of certain problems, because you aren’t your own customer. You may not always like what you hear, but it is important to take action and rectify any major problems.
The sad reality is that businesses often think that they are doing an excellent all-round job in ensuring that the customer has an excellent experience. According to research supported by RightNow, ‘Only 1% of customers felt that their expectations for a good customer experience are always met.’ So receiving feedback from customers who care about you and the success of your business is priceless.
Pay attention to the feedback and follow up by asking further questions, if necessary. You may notice a common theme which can help you identify any weak areas in your business. When you show that you appreciate the feedback and take action to make adjustments, you are taking the time to build relationships with customer who will appreciate you even more and be motivated to refer others to you.
There are various ways to ask for feedback, including creating a survey for this purpose. You could even offer a discount or coupon to those who take the time to complete the survey.
Build Relationships with Customers: Referrals
Let’s discuss how referrals can help you build your business. How many times have you found yourself recommending a product or service to someone? Word of mouth referral is a great weapon to have in your business arsenal.
Most people have some type of network and it only takes one person to recommend a product to another person for your network to grow. You don’t think twice about sharing something with all of your friends, when it is something you really like. This is the type of concept you want to have in place for your business.
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it takes 6 – 7 times more to attract a new customer that it does to retain them. In view of that statistic, would it not make sense to use this avenue of referrals to get more customers into your business?
If you can build relationships with customers, one at a time , you can gain access to their network of friends. Of course, all of these people are not necessarily going to become customers or clients. But you might find one or two, and really that is all you need. You simply work on building a relationship with these new customers, then rinse and repeat the process.
So after this discussion on the benefits of asking for feedback and referrals from existing customers, what are you committed to doing? Now would be a good time to start implementing these strategies in your business as they do work. They also save you time and money.