If you can slow down enough to listen, if you can focus on something outside yourself, you will see that people are carrying immense burdens. Everyone is trying to solve some problem. Everyone has problems, whether rich or poor, struggling or successful. The problems merely change forms.
Your customer has problems. Have you ever thought what your customer is spending 40+ hours a week doing? They are thinking about the things which matter in their world. They are consumed with their problems. They are trying to sell more, be more efficient, make payroll, develop a new product, manage staff, stand out, and have a life. You are likely thinking about doing these things as well.
If you want to connect with your customer it takes an obvious, yet very difficult intention. It takes thinking about them and not you. It is asking yourself good questions like:
- How do I help Jan sell more?
- What would enable Bob to be more efficient?
- What can I do to make Steve feel important?
- What new ideas can I give Jill to improve her service?
- What would be a great gift for Tom’s children?
These are intentional questions. They are often unnatural. It is because they disrupt your normal thinking which is about you:
- How can I sell more to Jan?
- Can Bob help me?
- Does Steve see me as important?
- What ideas does Jill have that I can use?
- How can I sell Tom?
As a customer, I want to know you are creative in servicing me. I want to know you care about me, not just my pocketbook.
Many businesses (not yours, of course) say they have a relationship with their customers. Look under the hood and you will find the customers do not feel like they have a relationship. They have transactions. Transactions are not relationships. Here’s the test for a relationship – if you called your customer, are you feeling this question from them, “What do you want?” If so, you may be using the wrong word for your relationship. They know your call is about you, not them.
Your customer wants to know you care about them and their issues above your own. If you want to give more than lip service and be able to say, “I connect with and care about my customer,” you need to show them consistently. Relationships are hard work. They are not convenient interruptions when you need something. If you want to truly build relationships, take a next step by clicking here to learn the art of building and strengthening your customer relationships. You will be going from lip service to live service.