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Pinellas Park, Florida, United States
I founded Core Business Solutions with the goal of helping business owners improve operating results, add value, and recapture the energy and passion that was present when the business was new. We also have the expertise to assist start-up companies create the foundational structure needed to provide the best opportunity for the business to grow and prosper in uncertain economic times. Our goal is to help the business entrepreneur/owner, through mentoring and coaching, develop or enhance managerial skills while providing that independent and objective advice and expertise usually provided by a board of directors.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Develop Great Customer Relations

We've all heard this axiom: Information is power. This is also a key to building effective customer relations, because if you really know your customers you can give them the service and respect they deserve. But unless you have a photographic memory (or not many clients), you will not be able to discover and track everything there is to know about your clients. Here are a few ideas that will help.

A-  Gather demographic info.

Information such as gender, age, marital status, hobbies, income, business type, and even location can all be important details you use to create targeted communications and offers that wow your customers. If you don't already have this information, you can gather it using questionnaires your customers complete as you work with them or through database appending services such as Dunn & Bradstreet.

B- Track customer data and behaviors.

There is no way you can remember everything about your customers without a good system for keeping track of customer info. A good customer database or customer relationship management (CRM) system will allow you to track demographics, interests, past purchases, behaviors, and more. There are many options for CRM software such as Prophet  which can be used with MS Outlook, OnContact  which can be used either as a hosted solution on an 'on-premises' product and many others such as Goldmine, SugarCRM, Netsuite and an old favorite ACT, to name just a few. Last count there were over 20 CRM software choices and growing all the time.

C- Conduct a survey.

Send out a survey by email  to help you gather valuable data from your clients both current and past. You can discover their interests, how they feel about your service, what products they may be searching for, and much more. This information will help you address individual needs and also give you a "big picture" look of how your clientele feels about you and your company. However, be prepared, you may get some answers you are not expecting. Especially from customers who may have left you for a competitor. It's all about the questions you ask.

D- Listen to your customers.

The best way to develop better relationships with your customers is to solicit their feedback. If your clients are local, you can host a live customer appreciation event, whereas if you have a larger list of customers, you can hold a virtual event, social media gathering, or other creative avenue to interact with customers.

E- Respond to your customers needs.

When you know your clients and then provide products and services to meet their current and future needs, they will respond with loyalty. And if you're really good developing strong customer relations, you'll get referrals from your customers as well. Now, how about that? 

F- Keep in touch.

Lastly, be sure to use a method to stay in touch with your customers, both new and old. Develop a newsletter that can be posted on Facebook and other Social Media platforms or delivered by email or even "snail mail". You'd be amazed the attention and interest a well-crafted newsletter about 'what's new' in your company and other useful information can get you.

Better Customer Relations Management can help you grow your business.

I hope this blog post was useful for you. In a few weeks I'll post another item to help business owners work 'on' their business.

"Remember, to get your business to the top, you have to get off your bottom."

Walt Morey,
Core Business Solutions Inc.,
8712 40th Way North, Pinellas Park, Florida 33782
Tel: 727-647-8242
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