Top 7 Steps to Better Customer Interaction
By Tom Koziol
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Those of us who actively sell or market should understand that without a customer we don't exist. That's in both the online and offline worlds. Money doesn't make the world go round, customers do. Money just keeps it spinning.
Here are my 7 steps to better customer interaction.
- Always make confirmation contact before a scheduled sales call. A phone call usually does the trick but in some cases you may wish to send a letter. It is far better to have the customer cancel in advance than to arrive and be greeted with the secretary saying: "Oops, so and so isn't interested. But he thanks you for your time." This kind of thank you doesn't feed the bull dog, to borrow a phrase.
- Send a thank you letter, note or card after the sales call. Just because the client didn't buy doesn't mean he never will. And if a client did sign on the dotted line, isn't an after sale thank you warranted? Internet marketers seem to be acutely aware of this customer relations gem. I always receive two or three emails telling me thank you.
- Always update your customer. They have already made a commitment to you once. They probably will do it again if you tell them about your new product, service, catalog, etc. Remember, each and every customer has a future value. Learn what it is for your particular specialty.
- When something special happens in your customer's world, let him/her know you know. Things like birthdays, promotions, and new product introductions keeps your name in their space. And, it tells them you have, at least, some interest in them.
- This is an offshoot of #4. When you learn of something happening in their field or a related field, clip the newspaper or magazine article and send it. Or maybe a catalog or a new book by a big name in the industry. Send it or the book review. Maybe a program in their area of interest will be broadcast on TV or radio. Give them the time and date.
- Problems can be good or bad. Good if you know about them bad if you do absolutely nothing to help solve the problem. Before you rush out the door yelling "fire", try to understand the exact nature of the beast. Maybe all (s)he wanted to do was vent in the form of a verbal complaint and there is no real problem. A good listener resolves many a complaint.
- However, if the problem is a problem and not a "venting" the picture changes. Enter attempt to solve. Attempt precedes solution because you don't know what the exact problem is at this point. Research the problem and then solve it. It could be as easy as a missing part or something as daunting as an environmental boo-boo. Regardless, be on the scene with your attempt to solve hat on and go to it.
There are dozens of ways to better interact with your customers but these 7 cover many of the bases you will encounter. Good luck.
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Article Submitted On: September 02, 1999