What is the difference between the few businesses that grow over time versus the ones that have huge swings before eventually falling? There can be many factors, but the biggest polarity generally lies in how they focus on building customer relationships.
Jesica Smith has been helping Spot on Solutions build customer relations since the very beginning. She goes by many titles, her favorite being “The Purveyor of Awesome.” Many of her coworkers and leaders would agree she is quite literally the glue that keeps the company together.
Drawing from her years of experience working with clients and delivering customer satisfaction, Smith shares some key tips in building and maintaining good customer relations.
Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s feelings. It is about becoming aware of what other people feel and sharing their emotions. Business relations are built when we can empathize not only with our customers’ pain points and frustrations, but also their hopes and dreams.
“When you’re interacting with your customers, listen to what they need and avoid making assumptions for them. Get an understanding of who they are and what their business needs are,” Smith said. “Relay to your customer that you’re going to take away the stress and maintain clear, consistent communication with them. Be transparent and show that you’re doing as much as you can to go above what you’re promising.”
Empathy is a key component behind the psychology of marketing, which is an area of study focused on understanding the way consumers think, feel, reason, and make decisions. Once there’s a solid understanding of the consumer, calculated decisions with emotional appeal are made to gain lifelong customers.
“It’s important to understand what drives a customer’s decision making process. Are they spontaneous? Are they the type of person that gets to the end of the checkout line and sees that row of items and is convinced there’s something they need to buy,” Smith said. “It all comes down to human behavior and how to determine what their needs are.”
Goals in building strong customer relations are achieved when your entire team is on board. Smith recommends either conducting or investing in training programs that teach employees customer communication skills.
“We’re constantly providing training for employees and have a lot of resources on the services we provide and how to build up customer relationships and strategy,” Smith said. “We’re always elevating our team just as much as we’re trying to elevate our customers.”
At SOS, clients come with a wide range of personalities and backgrounds, so the team has had to learn diverse communication skills.
“We’ve been able to really get to know our clients on a deeper level than just knowing their business. We know them as people and we have personal connections with them,” Smith said. “It makes it easier to break the ice, have longer conversations, and really get to be the expert for them and their marketing.”
“Our purpose at SOS is to elevate people and businesses. We’re very invested in the success of our customers and consider ourselves a part of their team,” Smith said. “We offer a lot of transparency with performance in the marketing that we’re doing and we work hand in hand with the customers on their strategy so we can help them achieve their goals.”
Even with the majority of their clients being scattered across the country, SOS has managed to find ways to foster strong, lasting relationships with their clients.
“There’s definitely a difference in communication when you can see someone face to face. But we maintain consistent communication through phone calls, email, monthly report meetings, and zoom calls to make sure our clients are on the same page,” Smith said.
Smith said the greatest satisfaction comes from helping clients grow their business.
“They’re able to provide for their families and their employees. Their customers are getting services that help them recover from property disasters,” Smith said. “We’re able to support our employees, grow our team, and help more people around the community and across the United States. It’s extremely rewarding.”