One of the strongest traits that small businesses have is their customer service. Unlike many major corporations, small businesses have the time and man power to go above and beyond with their client relationships. Finding ways to tune these relationships can make a significant difference in the client references you may receive and also boost the happiness of your clients.
The following tips will help strengthen your small businesses’ relationships with clients.
Research is everything and thanks to the internet your clients’ interests are just a few clicks away. Ask any college graduate getting ready to do an interview, research is their top priority. The same should go for small businesses. Go on your client's website. Learn their numbers and how they’ve been doing the last three years. When a client comes in they will want to talk little about background and more about taking their next step. Your background information should be up to date and by doing prior research you will be ready to help plan those steps.
2. Create an Environment for Questions
Businesses have a habit of creating an atmosphere where you need to “know it all” right away. It is important to have information ready at hand but it is equally as important that you make your client feel comfortable enough to ask questions. One of the ways you can create this environment is by asking the first few questions. They can be little questions about their business for clarification. This shows the client that not knowing or clarification is welcomed.
Neither one of you should leave the room with uncertainty due to the fear of admitting of confusion.
3. Discover Their Interests
Its easy to forget that business relationships are simply that, a relationship. And the relationship you make with clients needs you to not only pay attention to their businesses but to the client personally. Learn their interests and hobbies. If they enjoy basketball, talk about the upcoming college draft. If they enjoy Middle Eastern foods, recommend a good Mediterranean restaurant near their city. Your client needs to feel remembered and important. And though it may not be in the description of your business, it is your job to make them feel so.
4. Keep in Contact
Make sure you send emails and make phone calls to your client. It is important that they feel looked after. Simply setting up monthly meetings will help make them feel that they are well cared for at your establishment.
5. Meet Face to Face
Due to advancements in technology its easy to "meet" with clients without having to physically meet with them. FaceTime, phone calls, and emails make it simple to keep in contact but the personal touch is taken away from these meetings when you are contacting through a screen. So set up face to face meetings. As a small business, your personal touch is your strongest suit so make sure to use it at your advantage.