Paging Dr. Ruby episode 9: setting yourself apart with personal connections.

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Customers have many options when choosing a product or service so why not set yourself apart with personal connections? Ruby client Pete recently asked:

“I loved your advice for creating the best experience for first time callers. I’m wondering what advice you have for helping customers after the initial call?”

That’s a superb question! Once you’ve spoken with your new customer, and the ball is rolling, you have an excellent opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. Keeping it personal inn the virtual world is the crucial first step. In a world of text messages, emails, and quick phone conversations, a note card goes a long way. Taking the time to welcome a new customer with a handwritten note shows them you care by taking some time out of your day just to thank them. Keeping it personal also means not getting stuck in verbal ruts. It’s easy to use the same “How are you?” type phrase with every caller, but what is that saying to your caller? Do you really care? Of course you do! So why not show it? Try mixing things up! Try something like…

Employee

“Hey Steve! What’s new in your world?”

Steve

“Still recovering from Gold State’s championship loss. But I’m hanging in there. That LeBron though man…”

Mixing up your phrasing in a world of monotonous phone speak is unexpected and will garner a real answer from your customers. It’s a great way to make connections and foster real conversations.

Speaking of real connections—consider subscribing to your customer’s blogs, social networks, or stop by their websites from time to time. Acknowledging your customers successes, new hires, or struggles gives you the opportunity to really WOW them. They are investing in your company, so why not take some time to invest in theirs?

Employee

“Janet! Wonderful to finally have a chance to catch up. I saw that you scored a new Paralegal, congratulations!”

The bottom line is be sincere. If you genuinely care about your customers, they will notice and reciprocate. Every interaction is an opportunity to make your customers day. It’s the small things that count and these are the interactions that will set your business apart.

There are millions of ways to accomplish these types of connections, so to make it easy we recommend you keep these three tips in mind.

Tip #1: Share Your Passion

Share why you got into your industry on your website, and use real photos of your office. Be open and honest about your company’s mission and values. Giving customers the opportunity to get to know you, whether it’s via your website or social media, starts creating loyal fans before your first communication with them.

Tip #2: Focus on Relationships

Unlike large corporations, small businesses are better able to build one-on-one relationships with their customers. Word of mouth referrals are a huge source of growth for small businesses. When a customer feels cared for, they will tell their friends about your product or service, and this type of brand loyalty is invaluable. The easiest way to achieve this is to keep a section of your customer’s account reserved just for special information such as their birthday, or their favorite sport.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to the Details

Everything from your website, to your business cards, and even the layout of your business entrance offers a chance to set a great impression and provides a unique experience for your customers.

Well, that wraps it up for this episode of Paging Dr. Ruby. Huge thanks to Pete for his excellent question! If you’re looking for communication advice, or tips about the Ruby Service we’re here to help. Dr. Ruby is always on the case! Send us your questions on Twitter @callruby, Facebook, or put them in the comments below! And, of course, check out other episodes of Paging Dr. Ruby on our YouTube channel!

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