As a business owner, you know how much effort goes into attracting new customers. So once you've found a new customer, you want to keep that customer as long as possible. Good communication can help. Make your customer feel known, understood, and appreciated at every stage of the relationship – before the sale, while you're reaching a deal, and after you've concluded the sale.
• Before the sale. Get to know your customer's needs. In a retail setting good communication means greeting customers by name and learning their preferences. Train your employees to offer help, answer questions readily, and suggest new or alternative products. In other businesses, make regular calls or visits to a prospective customer, even if no sale is imminent. Use the opportunity to build relationships.
• Making the sale. Honest communication while you're making a sale can be key to keeping a customer loyal and happy. Be forthright about terms and conditions. Avoid over-promising, as that leads to disappointment down the road.
• After the sale. Contact customers after the sale. Follow up with a call to ask if they're satisfied with the purchase. Communication at this point shows customers they're appreciated, and is a great opportunity to deal with complaints. If there is a problem, communicating well can help resolve dissatisfaction and create a loyal and appreciative customer.
Remember, your customers are buying an experience as well as your product or service. Good communication can make them want to repeat that experience.