In keeping with the theme from last week, the relationship you build with your customers and visitors depends almost equally on the quality of the content you provide and the way in which you interact. You need to build a rapport. You need your customers and visitors to first get to know you and the quality of your work. You need to make sure the quality of your work is the best it can be. Once again, you need to help people. People will get to know you as a helpful person or company and they will like you more if you provide good value. Eventually they will grow to trust you. These three terms are keys: know, like and trust.
Know: Participate in facebook groups, guest post on blogs, post on your own blogs, join your local Chamber of Commerce and participate. Get out there and get known. You don’t need to always push your products either. Help out at a fundraiser, participate in local events, go to trade shows and conventions. Meet people.
Like: Provide genuinely helpful information. Respond quickly to customer questions. Respond quickly to criticism, but never go on the offensive. Don’t make excuses. Make points. Realize that some people will never like you regardless of what you do, but also realize that they are probably not going to become customers or friends.
Trust: Make sure that you do what you say you are going to do. As noted above, respond in a timely manner. Good help desk software really helps. I use HelpSpot (commercial software – not an affiliate link), but there are many Open SOurce alternatives and hosting providers often offer help desk software in the fantastico installer.
Remember that good customer service should be the norm, but that bad customer service will quickly tarnish your reputation.