I think it's starting to sound cliche, but building a relationship is probably the single most important thing you can do with your customer or really, anyone.
The relationship takes time and dedication. It takes listening and understanding and compasion.
Good relationships don't happen instantaneously and they don't happen because you have a Facebook page, or blog or tweet or whatever the latest social media/web 2.0 thing is.
Good relationships happen because you invest yourself and you truely care about your customer as an individual.
Today, I am thinking about our veterinarians. We love them. All of them. Our dogs' vets and our alpacas' vet. The techs and office manager at our dogs' vet office.
The gratitude that I have for these people and the time and energy that they have all put into having a relationship with us... All of us... Hubba, me, three dogs and thirteen alpacas... The gratitude is overwhelming.
The people at our vet clinic saved our dog's life yesterday. They saved her life because we all knew something wasn't right.
I'm not sure I'm ready to put it entirely out there. So, if we're friends on Facebook, then you can see there essentially what happened.
What you do and who you do it with may not be a life or death situation, but it's important to those you do it with and for. I urge you to slow down and spend some time. Get to know your customers and the other important people in your life. Get to know them in a real and meaningful way.
I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am that we spent the time.