The Personal Touch
In this digital age, when emailing, texting, tweeting and posting on a friend's Facebook wall are the primary ways of communicating for most people, a personal touch can go a long way. This especially holds true for companies that offer a high ticket product or service. When you're making a sales call, actually make a phone call. Even better, set up an in-person meeting or take your prospect out for lunch. That doesn't mean you shouldn't leverage more technological means of communication; a periodic email to check in with your current customers or to follow up on a recent meeting is always a good idea, and if you can connect with them via social media, go for it. But it's important not to forget the power of actual human contact.
It is critical to build rapport and a personal connection with your customers if you want to secure a long-term relationship. At Harbortouch, I work with many different vendors and the level of customer service varies considerably from company to company. We have some vendors that are always available via phone or email and even visit our office periodically to bring the important points of contact out for lunch. On the other hand, there are some vendors that we rarely hear from and don't respond to inquiries even when we try to reach out to them. We are often approached by competitors of our current vendors who try to persuade us to switch allegiances. I can tell you that our vendors who provide a personal touch are much more likely to withstand the test of time, while the vendors who are unreachable are hanging on to our business very tenuously. We all know that it is significantly more expensive to obtain a new customer than to keep an existing one, so why not put in a little extra effort to build and nurture the relationships with your current clients?