Yesterday, while doing your errands, you had two completely opposite experiences. At your bank, the teller greeted you with a warm smile, asked about your plans for the weekend and helped you with a minor issue with your account, assuring you it was no trouble to assist you. Afterward, when you headed to a local sandwich shop to pick up lunch, you had to wait for the employees to finish talking to each other before they made your sandwich, all while barely looking at you and offering a cool “thanks” when you paid for the food.
Now, which place are you more likely to frequent again, and which one will you avoid? Clearly, the bank teller provided you with a personal connection that left you feeling good while the sandwich shop employees left you feeling as cold as the turkey on your roll.
These two experiences illustrate why personal connections are so important in business. As for additional reasons why this is the case, as well as how to create that personal relationship with clients and customers, please consider the following:
A Connected Customer is a Loyal Customer
Forging a personal connection between a business and a customer will encourage the consumer to be loyal to that business. Businesses that go the extra mile to be sure a shopper is satisfied and are truly happy to help them get what they need are typically rewarded with life-long customers who also praise the company to their friends and family. In other words, the seemingly simple act of following the Golden Rule and treating every client like you would like to be treated will not only encourage that person to stick with your business; it may also help get you additional clients and sales from their positive referrals.
How to Achieve those Personal Connections
Being friendly and helpful will go a long way to helping to make personal connections in business. According to Forbes, being humble and focusing on the relationship first is also a great way to connect to others, especially when there is a problem to be solved. Remember how the bank teller asked you about your weekend prior to tackling the issue with your account? She remained kind and humble rather than confrontational, and sought to connect with you on a personal level prior to fixing the problem.
At the same time, it is important to not overdo it and be too enthusiastic or insincere when working with clients; most people can see right through this fake type of interest and will be turned off by the company. Strive to be friendly but not over the top and avoid using corny expressions like “to be totally honest with you…” which will make the customer wonder if everything else that comes out of your mouth will be a lie.
Companies that Get it Right
Clearly, your bank has a solid handle on making personal connections with its clients. Other companies are also quite adept at reaching out to customers and making them feel like they matter. For example, Starbucks has always stressed the importance of having a good relationship between the baristas and the customers; the coffee giant has even automated some of its inventory tracking and other tasks to give its employees more time to serve their customers.
Amway is another company that knows how to make personal connections with its many Independent Business Owners. When faced with accusations that Amway is a pyramid scheme, the company debunked the rumor and instead explained how it provides a support system to help new business owners establish their brand and learn how to make personal connections with clients.
Connections are Key
Clearly, being able to connect with each and every client or customer is a key to a company’s success. You have experienced it first-hand, and so have many other people. By understanding why it is so important to connect as well as how it can be accomplished, you will go a long way in emulating companies like your bank, Amway and Starbucks—and not that sad little sandwich shop.