DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2007
Many professionals scoff at the need to build a relationship with their clients. They believe that if they just provide good service, the rest will take care of itself – customers will view them in a positive light and will return. It is true that you are likely to get repeat business if you do a good job, but there’s a difference between customers who are simply satisfied with the service you provide and those who feel great about it. Give yourself the edge and build relationships with your clients that they are eager to tell others about.
Keep In Touch
Don’t let customers die on the vine. They like to hear from you — particularly if you’re not “selling” anything and are just calling to see how they’re doing or are providing some information that is useful to them. It’s not necessary to pitch your services because they already know what you do. But they are flattered that you take time to connect with them and are quick to tell others about this. You may feel that you’ve already built a name for yourself and don’t need to do this anymore. But that’s what makes the contact all the more flattering to your clients. Or you may be proud to be part of a large prestigious firm that has a “marketing department” and believe it’s not necessary for you to do anything to build a deeper relationship with customers. Don’t make this mistake. Regardless of the stature of your organization, your relationship with your clients is yours, and you need to take care to build them.
Host Some Fun
Summer is a great time to host an activity that says “thank you” to your customers while providing an occasion for you to showcase your business. Holiday seasons work well too. People like to feel appreciated and are not used to being thanked for their business, particularly by service professionals. Indeed, some express resentment that they need your services and feel that they are enriching you far more than they receive in return. Some of these customers will never be won over beyond the obligatory visit once a year, but others feel better about the relationship when they believe that some of your profits are coming back to them in some way. These are the folks that take a fistful of your candy from the reception room and stuff extra giveaways in their pockets. But don’t stress over this. They feel like they’re getting something back — and they may just share those extra giveaways with others.
Just Say “Thanks”
If you’re in a profession that prohibits or frowns upon socializing with clients, don’t use this as an excuse to be unappreciative of their business. They’re making a choice to work with you as opposed to your competitor so take time to say “thank you”. Some practitioners mail cards or letters, others send small tokens or giveaways. Some simply make sure that “thank you” is displayed prominently in the office and is written on their appointment cards or other client materials so that the sentiment of appreciation is expressed. It isn’t necessary to be fussy about this. Just be sure to do it.
Relationships with customers require nurturing. Don’t expect them to grow on their own. Put some time and energy into building them and you’ll be rewarded by clients who feel great about you and your business, who enjoy coming back to work with you, and who are quick to send others your way.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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