Is This How You Communicate With Long-Time Clients?
So I was cleaning up some mail the other day; going through the vortex that is my kitchen counter. Suddenly, I came across this piece of correspondence from my Automobile Dealership. It’s worth noting that this was my long-time auto dealership.
I thought I’d better look at it because sometimes it could be something important. Boy, was I right , but not in the way you might think.
What greeted me was a reminder that I now owned my current vehicle for the last four years… was I thinking about an upgrade, and asking me to call or e-mail to talk about my options.
Why Are You Acting Like You Don’t Know Me Then?
Now that bit in itself is not unusual. However, I thought something important was missing. As a long-time customer of that particular dealership (since 2003 in fact), and having purchased 4 vehicles between my husband and myself, I was looking for more.
I expected some kind of acknowledgement of our long-standing relationship and loyalty to this dealership. Where was the warmth? Where was the familiarity?
What’s more, the letter’s lead paragraph, with its introductory phrase read like this:
“According to our records, you have owned your vehicle for four full years.”
Where’s The Warm and Fuzzy?
Brrr! Sounds chilly to me. I certainly wasn’t feeling the warm and fuzzy here. How about you? It was the “According to our records” part that really got me. No acknowledgement of our long-standing relationship. And what about the 3 other purchases we made there before this particular one?
Surely they could have gleaned some information from their CRM that could have been useful in creating the letter. And even if there was not a super abundance of personal details about my husband and I, there is enough data in our client files to let them know we’ve been doing business with them for the past 10 years.
Why not create a warmer and more personal message that speaks to me specifically?
Don’t You Know Who You’re Talking To?
It all comes down to this: Know thy prospect/client. If you’re going to take the time do some client outreach, at least take the time to research, do some homework, and get to know who you’re communicating with.
When you’ve accomplished that, try to write on a more personal level. You need to do this to nurture, cultivate and grow that relationship. This is a very basic element in client communications and it’s worth reminding businesses of it every now and then.
Oh… one other thing…
In the letter, my sales guy asked me to either call, or e-mail him. However, no e-mail address was provided in his signature block, nor on the letterhead. No worries though. Being the resourceful little creature that I am, I had no problem finding it.
Well, what’s the point here, you might ask? The point is: I should not have had to go looking for it. But, that’s all about convenience, which is another subject that I covered in an earlier blog posting.
If you ask for an action in your correspondence, provide the means to follow through on it. Make sure you cover all the bases in your correspondence.
What Does It All Mean?
All that to say, client service, and care and nurturing of those clients are of utmost importance to all businesses. It can make or break your growth, referrals and future sales.
It’s all about how you communicate with long-time clients.
Find a way to be friendly, empathetic in your tone, and to convey your understanding of the needs of your client, then pour that into your communications.
I hope you found this article useful or thought-provoking. Let me know your thoughts or experiences related to Client Service, in the comment box. And thank you for your interest.