Are you really valuing your customer?

When it comes to building strong, long-lasting relationships with clients, customer service is the name of the game. That's just business 101. And most hard-working, successful people – be they in the property industry or otherwise – will tell you they understand this and know how to build and maintain a good relationship with a client.

But guess what – I'm willing to bet that most of you are actually taking your customers for granted in ways you don't realise. While a simple mistake or oversight here or there doesn't sound like a big deal right now, over time, these amateurish errors will cost you customers, business and, of course, money.

The good news is that it's easy to correct these mistakes now. By tackling the root cause of the problem early, you can go a long way towards ensuring your customers remain loyal. With that in mind, here are a few tips for really valuing your customer and proving to them that you are a figure they can trust.

Make communication your number one priority

In our increasingly fast-paced world, customers don't have time to be waiting around for you to respond to their communications. So, if a client is currently waiting for you to respond to them and you are putting it off for no reason, what are you waiting for?! Bookmark this article and come back to it later!

Don't be afraid of annoying your clients, either. According to a recent survey from communications software company Varolii, three quarters of consumers today say they find calls, texts and emails regarding their business relationships "extremely helpful".

Keep in mind, also, that there are multiple communication tools at your disposal, and don't overestimate the value of non-personalised communications. One thing many agents do not realise is that while they may not be receiving many email unsubscribe requests, this does not necessarily mean their email communication strategies are proving successful. The fact of the matter is that most people – through the use of mobile – simply swipe their thumb across the screen and delete the email.

Here's a simple test you can do to gauge the strength of your relationships: Make a list of all the people you have a relationship with that you’ve never actually spoken to. How many are there? The answer, most likely, is none. It's therefore a mistake to think that email, SMS and marketing materials alone can make a relationship. In many cases, all these tools do is create awareness. 

A better way to build strong relationships is through providing a service that’s not attached to your outcome, and being actively involved in your client's community and the way they live their life.

Be there before they know they need you

So now that you've taken active steps to ensure you're available to help your clients at all times, the next step is to start being truly proactive. This means not waiting for clients and customers to come to you with a problem, but instead, reaching out to them whenever you think your services might be in need.

This isn't as hard as it sounds. Setting up reminders and alerts for important dates such as contract renewals and the like will ensure that you are getting ahead of the play and being there for your clients before they even need you. With that sort of relationship, why would they ever go elsewhere?

Be a part of the customer's community

Both of the aforementioned tips focus on the importance of always being there for your client, and being their first point of contact. We can take that even further by ensuring that you are an active part of their community, a visible presence that they feel connected to and familiar with.

Get out there and get involved with the region you are looking to target. Community offers such as vouchers are a great first step, and you can even sponsor local events or groups to ensure you are really in the public eye.

At the end of the day, it's all about understanding what your customers want and working towards delivering that to them. Aim to be a part of your customer's life and let them know that you are here to help. Succeed, and you'll begin to build a relationship of depth that will last you for years to come.

By Mark McLeod