Running a business is all about building strong and genuine relationships with your customers. Whether you work with individuals, other businesses, government departments or anyone else, there are a number of strategies you can use to help keep your clients happy and build a reputation for your business.
Miscommunication causes all sorts of problems, and not just in business. It’s crucial that you understand the needs of clients while being open and frank about what you can provide. Knowing what your customer wants and expects is achieved through effective communication and allows you to provide them with the best possible result. In turn, this helps build trust and can potentially lead to an ongoing professional relationship that benefits both parties.
Put yourself on the other side of the coin for a moment. You’re looking for a contractor and need to make some enquiries, so you find a business that might be able to help. When you send an enquiry, do they get back to you right away or does it take days? Their response time leaves a strong impression before you have even read their response, and you aren’t likely to feel overly impressed if you’re made to wait for quite some time. Staying on top of enquiries and responding to clients as quickly as possible is a way of demonstrating that you do care about their needs. For them to respect your business, you need to respect their time!
It’s easy to get defensive when a client has a problem with your work, but how you deal with a complaint will ultimately decide the outcome. This process is similar in almost any industry, and could really come under the category of effective communication: remain calm, resolve the issue quickly and record all complaints and interactions. A lot of the time, a client simply wants to know their voice is being heard and will typically feel much more satisfied if you demonstrate that you understand their position. On top of that, don’t be afraid to make improvements based on feedback!
Good customer service is a pretty general concept, but can hold a lot of weight in an industrial context. In transport, mining, construction and similar industries, ongoing relationships are an integral source of income and require a foundation of trust, respect and loyalty. Scratch their back, and they’ll scratch yours!Published 7 June, 2016