Why do customers stay loyal to business relationships with suppliers? Is it price? Customer service? Maybe a regular discount? While all of these are important attributes, a recent survey shows that over 50% of consumers say they expect businesses to anticipate their needs and provide meaningful suggestions before, during, and after contact. Are your needs being accurately anticipated? Do you feel your relationship with your supplier is less than stellar? Are your events smooth sailing, or are problems popping up that should have been addressed pre-show? Developing strong business relationships is the key to client loyalty.
Client loyalty comes from anticipating your clients’ needs. It is the anticipation of the what-ifs and responding quickly and appropriately. It is knowing your clients and gaining their unique perspectives.
Below are six strategies to anticipate behavior and develop a meaningful relationship that demonstrates your confidence in knowing what your client is looking for.
1. Get to know your clients on a personal level. From the moment you meet and your relationship is developing. Your goal is to find out your clients’ needs and who they are as a person, and how that will impact their event requirements.
2. Be open to communication. Asking questions and actively listening will allow you to engage and understand what matters most. Active communication leads all stakeholders to be on the same page.
3. Spot potential problems and provide solutions. Setting expectations upfront and anticipating potential problems with ready to implement solutions is an essential part of your event business relationships. You are the expert, and you and the team oversee the outcomes.
4. Find ways to exceed expectations. Looking outside the box and lending a voice or hand to items outside your scope shows that you care about the outcome. Events have a million moving parts, and assisting helps free your client to concentrate on other matters.
5. Hire the right people for the right job. Carefully thinking about the core value of the job and the task at hand needs to be matched with the people best able to fulfill that objective.
6. Take in feedback. A good supplier/consumer relationship is always looking at ways to improve. Knowing what is working and what needs improvement always contributes to a lasting, honest relationship.
The key to creating lasting business relationships is based on trust, helpfulness, and creating a great experience for your client. By anticipating your client’s needs and relying on your professionalism and expertise, you display insight and confidence for a successful event.