By Jamillah Warner
Your clients love you—well, not you, but the solutions that you offer. At the very least, they cared enough to pay for your service or product. But what happens after the sale? Once connected to your company, how are they treated?
As business owners, sometimes we forget to put on our customers' hats and feel what they feel. Below are five things some business do that frustrate their clients. Does your company do any of these?
1. Sending Out Too Many Emails
This simple adjustment can save your email relationship. If a customer purchased something from you, then she probably doesn’t mind staying in touch. But you have to do it without driving her overworked inbox crazy. If you’re a small business, chances are your email list doesn’t need to hear from you twice a day—more like twice a month.
2. Sending Out Too Few Emails
Good news can become great news if it gets to the right person. You had an in-store or online sale. You were speaking at an event in the area. You had some time-sensitive advice that could have helped your client improve his business. So you told everyone that you ran into that week. But what about your email list? Did you write to them? That’s the kind of information they want to receive. Even if your business is in a great location and the traffic just pours in, build your list anyway. Things can change. Storms happen. And having direct access to your people can save your business and help your fans follow you to the next location.
3. Being Unavailable by Phone
When clients call, they want to talk to a person. Edward Poll, in an article for Law Practice Today says, “The loss of human contact equals a loss of power, and a loss of power is an irritant for the client.” You may not catch every phone call — especially if you’re a one-man show — but make it your business to follow up quickly.
4. Not Changing Anything
Whether they ask for it or not, your clients want to see innovation. It’s the digital age, and they are used to updates. They expect your service and your products to improve constantly. If you don’t upgrade your services or products, eventually your clients will create their own updates by changing companies.
5. Being a Salesperson First, a Problem-Solver Second
Your salesmanship may get you in the door, but it's the solution that keeps you there. Your product or service has to do what it promised. And your communication has to be solution-driven first. In an article for BusinessWeek, Jeff Schmitt says, “don't make every contact about selling more. Instead, focus on gathering intelligence and building goodwill until the right time comes along.” Build a relationship by continuously solving the problem that you promised to solve. Then the sell will come naturally.