Three Moments That Shape Customer Relationships

Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150Three decisive moments determine your future relationship with a customer.

1. Your “First Contact” Moment:

Customers don’t care about your product or service – they care only about the amount of value your product or service can produce for them.  Be customer-centric.  Focus on learning their story, needs and goals.  How do they plan to achieve their goals?  Explore how your competencies can help them.

If you work in isolation to solve only a customer’s immediate problem or need, without learning why this is important to the customer, then you waste the leverage of your expertise and lose the opportunity to be distinctive from competitors.

But if you can discover the goal behind the need, and learn their strategy for achieving it, then you can specify how your product or service strengthens their strategy, helping them achieve their goal.  Resolving one problem or need may be worth doing, but it’s more compelling when your solution supports their longer-term plan.  Then, working together on your proposed solution is an obvious thing for them to do because they recognize your commitment to their success.

Prospects become customers once they confirm that you have heard them, can meet their goals as well as their needs, and could actually exceed their expectations.

2. Your “Promises Kept” Moment:

People don’t buy products or services – they buy promises.  Keep your promises…deliver the value you promised to produce.  Doing so reduces your customer’s vulnerability, builds trust and strengthens your customer’s perception of you.

Ensure that your customer is receiving the expected benefits and performance you promised.  Keep them advised about the value you are producing and the promises you are keeping.  And, consistently deliver more than expected, enabling your customer to continue relying on you.

3. Your “Advocacy” Moment:

One-time customers become recurring customers when they realize that you genuinely care about their business.  They want to believe this but have too often been disappointed.  Gaining a comprehensive strategic understanding about their business, and continuously seeking new ways to produce value for them, makes you an irreplaceable partner in their success.

How can your team improve their performance during these 3 decisive moments?

Is it time to revisit how you are contributing to a key customer’s goals and strategies?

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