If you didn’t know, I majored in Communication Studies at UNLV, and a large part of what I fell in love with was interpersonal communication and how it relays over to business relationships.
When working with clients in any industry, I’ve found there to be three steps to improving any relationship. Especially if you find yourself in a career where interpersonal communication is a key aspect to your work, this is going to be worth the read.
Let's get into it!
Step 1: Establish Trust
While it may seem obvious, trust in any relationship is absolutely vital. So, how do you establish this trust? There are a number of ways that you can go about this, but I’m going to talk about the one that has always worked for me…
You need to make it about them. 100% of the time.
As someone who works as a real estate agent, a good part of my job is trying to make sure my client has the best experience buying or selling a home as they possibly can. For me, this means giving them the tools, resources, and support that they need to be successful.
This same mentality applies to any client relationship. You want to establish, from the beginning, that your sole purpose in the relationship is to aid them with what they need.
Trust develops after you continuously follow through with your promises, so if you mention you’re going to do something for them, always do it.
Step 2: Focus on Empathizing and not Sympathizing
In any industry, there are going to be difficult interactions – it’s practically a given. But the important part of this is how you, as a service-based individual, help them through the experience.
Empathizing is different from sympathizing, and there’s a big reason why I stress one over the other.
When you empathize with another person, you are expressing feelings of understanding. Sympathizing, on the other hand, has an element to pity behind it.
You don’t want to pity your client, you want to understand them and help them get through the obstacles.
Step 3: Never Avoid, Always Address
No matter what, if your client or customer asks you a question, you give them an answer. It doesn’t always have to be the direct answer that they are looking for; a simple, "You know, I’m not sure, but I’ll get back to you soon!” will suffice as well.
The point is, you cannot ignore your customers. I’ve seen people (far too often at that) ignore people they’re working with because the customer was upset, annoyed, or so forth.
If you want to improve customer relations, you have to focus on addressing problems and working to solve them to the best of your ability.
Hopefully, this gave you some helpful tidbits on gaining customer relationship credibility and overall experience!
As always, I’ll see you all next Monday for my weekly blog post. Have a great week everyone!