I was talking with a colleague (Maddie) of mine the other day who told me this story. After hearing her anecdote, I could see that she had a customer relationship management program with a heart. Tell me if you can see that she really cares about her fans after you finish reading the rest of this blog post.
Maddie was conducting a seminar in front of about 200 people at a huge convention center. Now, on first impression, you would never know how caring she is. She’s a very practical rather than a touchy-feely type.
After finishing her presentation, she invited any audience attendee to the back of the room for a further question and answer session. Several women showed up. Maddie answered everyone’s questions. All the women left except for one woman attendee named Helen. Helen wanted to talk with Maddie alone.
Already Maddie’s customer, Helen wanted more questions answered. As Helen described her particular situation, she then started to cry. She didn’t know how she could stay in business especially now because she had run out of money to even get home. Maddie, feeling uncomfortable about the situation, simply listened to Helen talk. She handed Helen a tissue (a practical and caring thing to do) so Helen could blow her now and wipe away her tears.
Build a Customer Relationship Being A Respectful Listener
By the way, listening without interrupting a talking customer is one of the best things you can do to maintain and build a meaningful customer relationship. Being a patient and respectful listener shows you have heart. It also shows genuine caring when you make hearing the customer more important than satisfying your agenda.
After about two minutes of Helen crying about her dire situation, Maddie pulled a twenty-dollar bill out of her blazer pocket and said, “Well, you know what, it just so happens this must be yours. I just found it when I came into the room. I’ll just give it to you.”
Helen burst into tears because now she had gas money for her trip home. She started blubbering and hugging Maddie and making what Maddie referred to as “a scene.” Maddie said, “Now, now, don’t go getting all emotionally sloppy on me. It’s just money. I’m sure you’ll be making much more of this in the near future.”
Practical Caring is Genuine Caring
Some people in business are just not touchy-feely people. But even very practical business people can develop and build a genuine customer relationship. When you listen to the feedback you get from customers and use it to benefit your customers, that’s building a customer relationship.
Customers who know you genuinely care about them are the ones who want to be in a business relationship with you. When people want to be in a relationship with your company, it may be for more than just wonderful products and service. It could be that they know you have a heart.
So, how is your company showing heart to your customers? If sales are less than stellar right now, consider improving your customer relationship management program to include more heart in it.