You might be asking yourself why it is so important to develop connections with your clients, customers, and patients. After all, most businesses do not put much effort in cultivating their client base and building a strong relationships with them. So, why should you?
I have had conversations recently with new clients about their businesses being down and that there just is no loyalty among customers anymore. But when I dig a bit deeper, what I typically find is that their problem is they have no real connections with their clients. There is no regular, meaningful communication to forge the bond that builds loyalty and set their business apart, and make them unique in their client’s mind.
Consider that instead of treating customers like transactions, to treat them like people first. It seems that people are so uptight and focused about generating the sales and revenue of days gone by, when the economy was humming along at warp speed that they are forgetting why they do what they do, and how it makes other’s lives better.
They are forgetting to connect and stay connected. Nothing is more important than that. If you have no connection with your customers, you are at risk of losing them. Let’s face it, It was easy to make money when the economy was going like gang busters. Most everyone was treated like a transaction and no one thought too much about it, including the customer. But those “fat and happy” days are gone, the landscape has changed. Consumers are choosier than ever about who they do business with. They want to be recognized. And sadly, fatal flaws like these are being exposed in many businesses.
It’s time to get down to basics. Basics are communication. This is true in your relationship with your spouse or significant other, it’s true in your relationships with friends, it’s true in your relationships with employees. If you have little or no communication, you can’t expect to get what you want out of the relationship. Your customers, clients and patients need deep and different connection with you now more than ever before.
Let me give you an example to illustrate the point and show why it is so imperative to set up and maintain some formalized communication system in your business.
- Your back is killing you. You spent the weekend doing some strenuous activities and you’re not sure what is causing the pain you are experiencing.
- Your friend recommends you see his chiropractor. You schedule an appointment.
- The doctor acknowledges your relationship with your friend (gives your friend a reward for the referral) and thanks you for the confidence you placed in him. He diagnoses your problem, gives you an adjustment and your back is feeling brand new again! You couldn’t be happier and more relieved.
This is where the connection ends in most businesses. Transaction complete! On to the next sale.
Now instead, consider how much more of an impact you would make if you did the following–
- Two days after the appointment you give this patient a call and ask him how his back is feeling. He tells you he is feeling fantastic. This one phone call will do some tremendous things for you.
- It shows you care about him. Really care. You took the time to see how he was feeling. He feels good about you.
- It reinforces his decision to use you. You are the consummate professional. He couldn’t have gone to a better chiropractor. He feels good about you.
- You create a deep and different connection. If he should feel back pain again, he is going to remember how you treated him. He is going to call you.
- He feels you are more like a trusted friend, not just a doctor seeing patients every 10 minutes.
- Fast forward one month after the visit and take it one step further. You follow up again to be sure your new patient is still feeling fantastic. He still feels great.
How does this patient feel about you now?
Is he amazed that he is hearing from you long after you saw him?
Is he going to refer you to anyone who complains of back pain?
Does he think you appreciate him?
Has he further deepened his connection to you and been made to feel important to you?
Of course, the answer to each question is YES.
Now, add in your monthly printed newsletter where he gets to know more about you, your weekly email tips that keeps him from further back pain, your monthly offer where he can save money or refer people to you, the St. Patrick’s Day card just for fun, and you are now building that relationship and keeping your new patient loyal to you.
When he throws his back out next weekend playing football with his son, who is he going to call??? YOU. You just brought your sales levels back to where they were before and possibly beyond. Congratulations!