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In the logistics space, networking is uber-important. In all honesty, it probably makes up almost half of what we do in this industry.
From the customers that we serve to the partners that we choose to work with, building up long-lasting relationships is crucial in this line of work.
And while we certainly don't want to downplay the importance of networking on the backend of your business, today we will be discussing how to network with your customers.
In this article, I am going to give you 3 simple steps that you can start doing immediately to improve relations with your existing customers and in turn, build a fanatically loyal customer base.
Ready to get started?
Have you ever noticed that sometimes when a larger company makes a move in a different direction, is weird but innovative, or otherwise does something that none of their competition is doing that others begin to follow their lead in some way?
When companies make large changes to the way they are carrying out their day-to-day operations, it is usually because of one of two reasons.
Either they have done their research and found a different way to go about things to better optimize their efforts.
Or, they are taking a gigantic risk by experimenting.
Either way, this can signal that they know they need to change some area of business. We are talking big changes here, so whether they succeed or fail in their attempts… the very fact that they are even trying should tell you something.
Pay attention to what your competition is doing, especially in how they deal directly with their customers. If they are making large changes in how they operate, they are more than likely doing it for a reason.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of companies out there that do not keep a very open line of communication with their customers.
It is 2018. We live in an age of social technologies and instant communication. Your customers rightfully expect you to be able to make the most use of these basic tools that everyone has at their disposal.
They should be able to communicate their wants, needs, and expectations to you and feel reassured that you are giving them your full attention.
When people feel valued and as if they have a voice, they will be more likely to do repeat business with your company. They want to know that if something doesn't go according to plan that you will quickly and efficiently help them to resolve the matter.
Furthermore, stay on top of following up with them after they have used your service. You should get in the habit of sending out emails and making phone calls to make sure that they were satisfied with the service they received.
This is also the perfect way to get feedback that may help you optimize your operations even further.
If you had to decide to do business with a new partner, who would you choose? What do you base your decision on?
Most people want to do business with companies that have a positive track record for doing an excellent job all around. This means they need to be the absolute best at what they do and are more knowledgeable about the process than the competition.
This is what is known as authority.
Providing stellar customer service, timely and undamaged deliveries, and showing that your company is the most knowledgeable in the field are ways that you build authority around your company.
Doing this is actually harder than it sounds, but it is not impossible. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:
If you have a blog or a website, you need to post to it regularly on topics dealing with your service in some way. The bigger your online presence, the further your company can reach.
With the power to share links to their friends, family, and others, your customers can significantly boost your authority in this way and provide you with somewhat free marketing.
Not all companies are in a position to create referral programs but those who are would definitely benefit from leveraging this type of service.
Basically, a referral program is where a customer can refer someone else and if the person they referred spends money with you, the referrer gets some kind of benefit.
This could be price cuts for specific services, gift cards, or something simple like free company swag like a t-shirt or pen (which also acts as a free advertisement, by the way).
When your customers, who have no stake in your company start referring to others, this is usually a sign to most people that your company is in good standing in the industry.
With the right amount of authority, your company can climb to the top of the list of every potential customer and stand out as the most reliable option around.
Building a loyal customer base is hard work and it may take a little bit of tossing ideas back and forth to come up with the best way of doing it.
We hope this list provides some good food for thought that might lead you to acquire more clients while also turning the ones you already have into die-hard fans.
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and there are numerous ways to go about this. Do what feels most natural and sticks to the theme of your company the best.