When did you last talk with your customers to see how they are doing and what they need? Their priorities may have shifted as they adapted to the changes brought on by the pandemic. Touching base regularly with customers to assess their pain points and share how your business may help is key to retaining their business and growing it.

There are many ways to reach out and get feedback including surveys, phone calls, and emails. At The Barter Company, we conduct an annual survey asking clients how satisfied they are with our service (93% in our most recent survey!), how we can improve, and if they would recommend us. We receive insightful information from the responses and use it to guide our business planning. However, you reach out to customers, consider these four tips for success.

 

Set a regular schedule to connect.
Determine a schedule to connect with customers – and stick to it. Plan monthly or quarterly calls or meetings and who at your company will connect with them. These can be with you, your leadership team, or your sales or customer service representatives. If you have too many customers to reach individually, consider an online update or email and provide a feedback form.

Do your homework.
Prior to connecting with customers, do your homework. Check their social media and websites to learn what they have been doing since you last talked or met. Have they launched new products or services? Have they changed or closed parts of their business? Researching in advance will help you be prepared for productive conversations and connections.

Assess their pain points and how your business can help.
When you talk with customers, seek to understand their successes and problems. Find out the following information in your conversation:

  • What are their biggest successes and challenges?
  • What contributed to the successes and challenges?
  • If they could change anything in their business, what would it be?
  • What kind of information, service, or product would make their jobs easier?
  • What can you do to help them in addition to what you are doing now?

Show customers you care.
When customers share feedback, reward that candor by following up with them about what you did to address the questions or issues they identified. Also be sure to show you care about them throughout the year. Take note of their organization’s key events or anniversaries. Send a congratulatory hand-written note or gift when they hit a big milestone and congratulate them publicly on your business’ social media.

Following these four steps to connect regularly and successfully with customers can make a big impact on your business relationships and help them grow.