Build better customer relationships.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, but how much do you invest in keeping them? Once a name is in your database or added to your marketing lists, if you simply automate communications and hope for results, you’re missing valuable opportunities to get to know your customers and understand their unique needs. And this connection is key to building your business!
If you’ve been taking a “set it and forget it” approach to your contacts, then Get to Know Your Customers Day on October 19 is a great time to get your marketing back on track. This observance is held on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, and October), which gives you four times a year to really connect with your customers and become a trusted advisor to them.
But how do you forge and nurture those connections? Here are some ideas to help you get going!
When it comes to understanding your customer’s journey, this is your roadmap. Invest some time in getting to know all its features and learning new features as they roll out. CRMs in particular offer robust functionality and the ability to target communications to each contact’s needs, but only if the information is accurate and up to date. Get to Know Your Customers Day is a great time to learn how to build and optimize your CRM or database, and you can use future days to check in and make sure you’re sticking with best practices.
Contests, polls, and open-ended questions are a great way to build dialog with customers … to talk with them rather than at them. Ask them to weigh in on what they love about their neighborhood, what features make a perfect house, or how they like to welcome new neighbors to the block. Set up a regular “Ask me anything” feature to solicit questions about the market and provide feedback. And respond to posts, so your customers know you’re reading their comments and are interested in what they have to say.
Find out what you’re doing right, so you can build on that skill when creating new customer relationships. And if you find out you’ve left a bad impression, try to make things right with that customer, or at least learn what not to do in the future. Personally respond to reviews, good or bad, to show that you received the message, even if it’s just to say, “Thanks for your feedback.”
If your client hasn’t finished speaking yet, but you’re already formulating a response, you may be missing a key part of their message. Wait for them to finish, then summarize what they’ve said to confirm your understanding. (“So, what I’m hearing is that you’re more concerned about the quality of the neighborhood schools than square footage.”) This gives them a chance to add more information (“Yes, but we have to have four bedrooms”) or confirm that you’re on the right track. Ask open-ended questions, and use short, positive affirmations to show you’re engaged (like “I understand” or “That makes sense”).
Put together a presentation to a community group or host a webinar on homebuying and selling, the real estate market in general, or different types of home loans. Encourage attendees to ask questions, and then be sure to hang around afterward (either in person or online) to provide more information, thank someone for a great question, or offer to connect someone with one of your referral partners.
Community involvement is one of the best ways to show your customers that you care about them and the things that affect them. Sponsoring youth athletic teams or local fundraisers, donating to libraries and community programs, or advocating for fair housing and community infrastructure are all ways to show that you are invested in where you live and work. And as a bonus, outreach activities help you meet new people and forge more professional and customer connections!