One of my favorite takeaways from my conversation with Lintz was the idea that you should treat your customers, potential clients and your team as you would someone with whom you hope to build a lasting, lifelong relationship.
Lintz put it like this: “If you have a good product and strong relationships with your customers, they will be your customers for life. And if you are a service-based business, then you will constantly be able to give more value to your clients as you expand your services in the future.”
I love this concept, because I truly believe that putting people first is the best way you can invest in your business. Strong relationships are like Miracle-Gro for a small business. To quote the legendary American auto executive Lee Iacocca: “Business, after all, is nothing more than a bunch of human relationships.”
One reason why it’s so vital to invest in real, meaningful relationships with customers/clients is that consumer trust is at an all-time low. Data shows that 55% of customers trust the companies they buy from less than they used to, and 69% of customers state that they don’t trust advertisements.
Add this to the fact that the cost of customer acquisition has risen more than 50% over the last five years. The bottom line is that there is more competition than ever, and more ads and products competing for our attention.
But you can use this to your advantage. If 81% of customers trust family and friends over advice from a business, then at least try to treat your customers like family. One company that does this brilliantly is Raj Jana’s JavaPresse coffee brand. His investment in going above and beyond in customer service is responsible for his business growth skyrocketing. Find ways to make your customers feel valued, and demonstrate that you are interested in their experience beyond the “order confirmation” page.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as making sure a customer feels heard. 2020 was a tough year for everyone; investing in relationships can look like basic listening and empathy. Indeed, studies have highlighted the vital importance of listening as a sales tool.
When it comes to your staff, you should be thinking in the same terms. Studies show that employees who build a meaningful relationship at work have 50% increased job satisfaction, as well as greater commitment to their jobs and a stronger sense of social impact. When an employee feels valued, as if they are worth more to a company than just the revenue they bring, they will feel more invested, and this will translate significantly for your customer relationships.