Too often we see mistakes made by many start up and established businesses when it comes to customer service. A lot of people end up using one of two models, the first being the retail model and the second being the sales model.
1. The retail model: This is when you treat the customer like a god, regardless of how they treat you. You place yourself in an undermined position in order to give the illusion to the customer that they have more power. The rationale behind this is that the customer feels good and positive about themselves, and in that state, they choose to make purchases. Occasionally though, it can go the wrong way, and you get a situation where they “want to speak to the Manager”.
2. The sales model: This has come to rise recently, especially with the plethora of internet sales gurus out there today. For example, if you watch a Grant Cardone video, you’ll see that a lot of his videos focus on him being in the position of authority, trying to convince someone to purchase his services. This is done through having great social proof which means having a track record of providing results to clients. When you have an aura of respect and your customer succumbs to that, you are in a fantastic position to make money.
Now you’re probably thinking in your head, obviously I’d choose the sales model, right? If you thought that, you’ve already been hooked! The thing you don’t see is that they have developed a huge client base through their networks, they have had to do a lot of hard work to get to the point of being able to make those calls. Unfortunately, it would take years and years of selling products and services before you even come close to that level of social proof and that level of confidence and bravado in sales calls. Believe me, you WILL get found out.
So what is the best way? Well…There is no “secret” to selling a product. I know that’s frustrating to hear, especially considering the title of this article. The secret is actually not a secret, but can seem like one in the current industry – all it is being kind and courteous to your customer. What does that actually mean though? It doesn’t mean just speaking to them nicely! Here are some examples of what you can do to connect better with your audience:
3. Personalize ALL your messages to them: While I was running a very successful business and had many clients, every single one of my messages were still customized. None of the reports I made were templated reports. Maybe some of my reports looked the same, but the content was always different and tailored to whatever work I was doing for my client. This makes a HUGE impact, and makes the client feel special. As well, I realized overtime, that talking less about me, and talking more about my client is what makes them more satisfied. Also, ensuring the angle in which you present yourself or your business stays unique can be a huge game changer. Learn more about that at Marketing Isn’t About You.
4. Be aware of the client’s current personal situation: I’ve seen so many people make mistakes in this space. Sometimes a client will need to cancel an order, or need a refund, or something due to some problem they have in their personal life that they need to free up funds for. Yes, it’s frustrating for you too, but you have to always remain respectful. It may be a little different when you’ve already provided 90% of the service, but if you have just barely got started, the best thing to do is to just go ahead with it. When I’ve done this, I alleviate the stress for the client, and I’d say at least 80% of the time they come back to me and order again.
5. Focus on retaining your clients, not getting new customers: The clients you already have a relationship with are the most valuable. I’m not saying you should be putting zero effort into new customers, but it’s a much better use of your time to try and retain the clients you already have. Focus on their lives, their businesses, and put the best effort that you can in all your work with them. Having retained clients means you have a sustainable cash flow, happy clients and better results – that’s assuming that the longer you can work for them, the better the results. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
I hope you’ve learnt something new from this article – the only thing I hope you take away from this is that you should treat your customers and clients like human beings. They aren’t your masters, and they aren’t your slaves – they are just normal people!