Creating Customer Relationships Without Technology

By Heather Baldwin

It has been said by experts in the CRM field that customer relationship management is all about people, process and technology. And whenever you find those pieces of the CRM puzzle mentioned, you’ll always find people mentioned first. That’s because people are the key ingredient in building relationships. No matter how much you spend on the latest CRM technology, it will all be for naught if your people aren’t doing everything they can to wow your customers. So says Debra Schmidt, a professional speaker, nationally recognized customer retention specialist and president of Spectrum Consulting Group. Schmidt works with people who want to grow their business by helping them build customer loyalty, boost sales and increase employee retention. Here are 10 things Schmidt suggests you do on the people side of the equation to build customer loyalty.

1. Take ownership of your customer’s problem, even if you are not the cause of it. This means acting like you were the cause of the problem by apologizing, empathizing and putting in 100% effort to get it fixed.

2. Follow up with every customer who was upset or had a difficult problem. Make sure the problem was resolved to their satisfaction.

3. With every customer interaction, ask yourself: If this were me, what would I want? In other words, are you following the Golden Rule and treating your customers the way you would want to be treated in a similar situation?

4. Thank your customers and co-workers every chance you get. Why your co-workers? Because it will make them feel appreciated and help give them a sense of well being, which in turn will trickle down to your customers.

5. Fax, mail or email articles or other materials to your customers if you think they can benefit from the information.

6. Remember personal details about your customers such as birthdays, children’s names and accomplishments. This is where CRM technology helps, but is certainly not essential.

7. Smile every time you talk on the telephone. It will come through in your voice.

8. Look for ways to bend the rules and remove service obstacles.

9. Never forget that time is a person’s most precious commodity. Respect your customers’ time and schedule. This means being on time – or early – to appointments, wrapping up your presentation in the allotted time and leaving succinct voice mail messages.

10. Provide your customers with respect, friendliness, knowledge and concern for their needs first, and with the products and services you sell second.

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