3 real ways to help you stand out and build better relations with your customers

Readers of this blog and my own across at www.adrianswinscoe.com know that I write about building better and more valuable relations with your customers and your people as a way of growing your business.

Over the festive break I spent quite a lot of time ‘unplugged’ from the digital world thinking about how we can help ourselves stand out in front of our customers and, at the same time, help ourselves build better relations with past and present customers.

Here’s a few ideas that I would encourage you to think about doing more of:

  1. Automation, particularly marketing automation, is becoming really popular and there is a lot of talk about how we can automate this and that, specifically, when referring to online transactions, communication, customer service etc. Whilst I understand the rationale and efficiency of these type of efforts, I often stop and think about what this would mean to me if I were the customer on the receiving end of automation and how would it make me feel. Obviously, it will depend on the type of business you are in and the volume and size of transactions you have but do take the opportunity to stop and ask yourself what is the cost to your customer relations of trying to automate as much as you can. Try to resist the temptation to dehumanise everything. Put the time and effort in and do it yourself. In doing so, you will automatically personalise it and it will make you stand out.
  2. If you want to make people feel good about your business, make it less about the business and more about them. Here’s a simple idea: Pick up the phone/meet more customers even just to say ‘Hi’. You never know what will happen.
  3. We live in a digital age but don’t you get the feeling that you get a little overloaded from time to time with all the emails and web-based stuff that you see? How about winding back the clock a few years and try to do less by email and more by letter or postcard. We all love getting postcards and letters, right? Excited, I came across a great web-based service and set of applications for Android, iPhones and iPads called Touchnote that can help with that. What they do is allow you to upload pictures and images, write a personal message and they will post a postcard to a single or number of participants. Obviously, you have to pay for this service but what a great way to stay in touch with some of your customers and make you stand out at the same time.

What do you think? What would you add that has helped you stand out and build better relations with your customers?

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