Working from home has brought a list of challenges to employees all over the world. One of the largest challenges has been maintaining customer relationships. Many used to travel in order to help maintain their customer relationships, but how do you deepen your connections when digital communication has become the form of communication? While many are back working in an office, many companies are still not permitting travel for their employees. Below are a few tips to maintain customer relationships and keep them strong while working from home.
Listen to your team
Your team members aren’t able to think about how they can help their customers when they’re worried about what’s happening at home. You should focus on helping build an inclusive and empathetic culture with your team. Show them that you care. You can open up a team call or one-on-one to offer up any help and make sure that they are doing okay. You should organize a schedule where your team can all get together on a call and just talk. This does not need to be anything formal. It can be a regular call or even a virtual happy hour. Regardless of the length of the call, it can be refreshing to your team. If you show your team that you truly care, it can encourage them to reach out to other members of your team. This will help you all be connected and willing to help each other when needed.
Listen to your customers
Now more than ever, you need to be listening to your customers. Remind your teams to really hear what their customers are concerned about and to show that they’re really there for them. The best way to do this? Set up a virtual coffee break. Talk with them about what they’re going through. Brainstorm ways that you can work together, and propose ideas that could solve their problems now. Your customers will remember these conversations. These times haven’t been easy on anyone, but your customers will remember you being there for them. While many things have felt uncertain for a while, people still need to do business. There is nothing stopping contracts from being written. There are also pain points that still need to be solved. Listen to your customers with empathy, and you’ll end up creating true value for them.
Be mindful of their time
Building relationships is a fundamental part of sales and customer success. During times like these, the best way to show respect is to be mindful of your customer’s time. Don’t let small talk overstay its welcome. Keep your agenda tight and focused. All of this will allow your clients to be able to get back to their work and home priorities. If a customer made the time to meet with you, be mindful of their time. Take careful notes, send follow-ups, and focus on how you can help them.
No one has all of the answers. However, there’s one thing that is true regardless of the situation: we are stronger when we work together. When you’re transparent with your customers, you will receive support in return. Being able to maintain customer relationships in this day and time has been a new process for everyone and we are all in this together.