Many CEOs find it hard to spare some time to know their customers and communicate with them personally. When it comes to customer relationships, direct involvement of the CEO can prove really useful in building trust with customers. Keeping a track of your customers’ preferences, expectations and satisfaction levels can help you improve service and enhance the image of your brand. For a CEO, establishing personal connections with customers would result in more sales, customer loyalty and word of mouth advertising. Getting in touch with your customers would make them feel valued. Instead of being the man/woman behind the scene step out and get closer to your customers. Even if your customer relationship managers are doing their jobs really well, you can win the hearts of your customers by being easily accessible to them. Here are some simple tips to start off with!
The best way to know your customers better is to work closely with your sales team. Talk to some of your customers so that you can analyze not only the customers’ preferences and expectations but also know how your product/service is being perceived. Thus, you can improve your business based on first hand feedback. Moreover, enlightening the customers personally about your product/service would give them a better insight of your business and would leave a really positive impression on them. If a prospective customer wants to discuss the product/service in detail before making a purchase, make yourself available. Address the concerns of your prospective clients’ personally to make them feel how important they are for your business.
Customers would feel really special and happy if they receive the handwritten seasons’ greeting and thank you cards from the CEO. Instead of mass producing the thank you and greeting notes, add a personal touch to them. Create a short yet impactful thank you message and send it out to your clients, it will serve as a memorable reminder of your business. Invite your loyal and repeat customers to coffee or lunch and appreciate them for doing business with you. If you have clients in different parts of the world, plan up meeting with them whenever you visit your regional offices. A CEO personally taking on the task of appreciating and remembering the customers is likely to retain them for long.
Customers’ complaints and issues often result in damaging their relationship with the company, one of the many reasons is that customers feel that they are being ignored and there are delays to the resolution of a complaint/issue. A CEO taking personal notice of a damaged product, a service issue, delayed delivery or wrong order can rectify a negative customer experience. Many angry customers want to talk to the manager, imagine if the CEO talks to them, they would really feel heard and taken care of. Even if being CEO doesn’t allow you to take care of all complaints and issues you can start off with the ones that you feel need the most attention.
Arranging a corporate event for your clients would provide you with an opportunity to know them better and to get their feedback. You can invite your clients to your company’s anniversary celebrations. Throwing a party for thanking your loyal customers is also a good option. Being a CEO you can make the most out of such events. In addition to relationship building with clients you can discuss market trends and business news. It would give you an insight to what your competitors are doing and how you should be devising an effective future customer relationship strategy.
Though for CEOs it is hard to take time out to check social media updates but connecting with your customers through twitter, linkedIn and other social media portals can go a long way in building strong customer relationships. You can also share the latest updates and news of your upcoming ventures with the clients via social media. Reaching out to customers informally is likely to develop your perception as a business owner who likes staying connected with his/her clients and shares every news with them. You can also take opinions and suggestions from your clients over social media since conversing in an informal way would yield honest feedback than traditional surveys and polls.
Although sending gifts is old school but it is still one of the best strategies for relationship building. You can have signature gifts designed for your customers along with a handwritten card to make them feel even more valued. Instead of sending the promotional products to your clients think about gift items that are exclusive, personalized and intellectually useful. The gift sent by a CEO should remind the customers that he/she wants to give away a part of his/her wisdom to the customers. If you are a good speaker or blogger, compiling your lectures/articles in the form of a book and sending them to your special clients with a thoughtful note would make them your ardent fans.
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