3 Steps to Better Customer Relations

Boyd Metals
You probably have that one horrific customer service experience that you won't ever forget. The one that made you vow, "I will NEVER spend money there again!" But what about your best experiences? Sometimes the best customer services are not as memorable, but, you can be sure your brain has filed the experience away. Over time your brain reinforces your commitment to a brand based on the subtle things they have done to make you feel comfortable. When we feel a business has treated us well on a regular basis, we pay them back for these good experiences with our loyalty.
There are a million pieces of advice for improving customer relations, but many of us struggle to always keep them in mind. Time always seems to be knocking at our door and while we may think it is a great idea to "chat" with our customer, it can also be stressful when you are on a schedule.

We've put together a short list of just three things you can keep in mind as you go about your work today that can have a subtle, but the long-term effect on your customer's perception of you and help build loyalty. They are easy, so give them a try today:

1. Smile More

You don't have to be Buddy the Elf to make smiling your favorite. Smiling is primal. It is an instantly understood disarming communication. It can immediately put people at ease even if they were not aware they were on edge. Every business conversation can use a bit more ease and every business relationship will benefit when we are operating from a more relaxed place.

Don't feel like smiling? That's ok. Researchers know that faking a smile is just as good as the real thing. Your body (and those around you) benefit – even from your fake smile. Your brain sends out the same amount of endorphins to your body once you smile. Those endorphins make us feel good, then our bodies decide to lower our cortisol levels. That's two strikes against stress and unhappiness.

2. Ask Questions and Listen

Guess what people like to talk about? Themselves. That applies to your customer too. We get busy and have agendas and deadlines, but giving your customer breathing room to talk can make all the difference in their perception about your level of care or concern for their issues. In business, this doesn't have to be mistaken for personal questions, but consider these questions to get them talking:
- What is keeping you up at night lately?
- Who on your team helps you overcome challenges best?
- What do you wish I really understood about your business?

3. Consider Your Surroundings

Take a minute to look around your office, shop or entryway. If you invite customers into this environment consider how they feel when they are walking in and seeing your environment for the first time. We all don't work in an office and no one in the metal services industry expects the machine shop floor to be pristine, but clutter can be incredibly off-putting.

As you glance around your workplace look for remnants of yesterdays lunch, piles of folders and paperwork you're never going to tackle, pointless clutter on your desk, or an inordinate amount of Post-It notes on your computer screen. You may have gotten used to this environment, but when a customer is seeing it for the first time they may get the impression your work across the board is sloppy.

Consider enlisting your workmates and inspiring a small clean up. This can have other great impacts like increasing morale, improving efficiency or even lowering the exterminator bill (just kidding). Your customers will make a mental note of what your workplace looks like and it may have a lasting impact on the relationship.

At Boyd Metals we are totally committed to providing with the best overall service and value in the metals service center industry. But that doesn't stop us from offering our expertise in other areas and helping you run your business a bit better each day. After all, your success is our success and we are happy to serve. If you liked this article, but sure to subscribe to our blog to stay in the loop with tips and important industry knowledge.

Tags: Insider Tips