Today’s hyper-competitive market has taught us two things. One, your customers have a multitude of options when choosing a service provider. Two, they are more than likely to choose and stay loyal with a business that they have a connection with.
Judging from these two things alone, it’s easy to see that now is the time to start developing strong relationships with people, most specifically your customers – both existing and future. The same goes with your business partners. It’s time to find some common ground with your customers and business associates.
Strong connections are the catalyst for success in today’s business landscape. People do business with those that they like and trust the most. It’s a pretty simple and understandable concept. The best and most effective way to build relationships is by finding common ground between you and your customers. While it may sound simple, it’s actually not that straightforward.
What is Common Ground?
Common ground is a communication technique that overlaps between the positions of both business and customer. Finding common ground is a technique that most businesses use to facilitate interpersonal relationships. It’s used to help businesses relate to people and their customers and predict any similarities and differences.
The information they can get will then be used to factor into their marketing strategy. The common ground between business and customer will then be used to create a more personalized marketing approach that will help your customers trust you. In turn, you will have more chances of turning your regular customers into loyal, returning ones.
If you find common ground, you can establish a better way to approach and communicate with your customers. If you want your customers to engage and become loyal patrons of your business, you need to make sure you understand them. You might even want to delve deep into their interests and other information about them.
The common ground meaning indicates that you need to find common things about your business and your customers. Even if you think that you’ve already made the necessary research, you need to continue finding out what your customers want. That way, you can see just how much you’re missing.
You might also want to find common ground on other aspects such as likes and dislikes, preferences, opinions, and more. People want to be valued, and you should see that concept for you to understand its importance.
The Common Experience
Personalizing channels and communication are a major way to drive value, which will attract people, specifically your target audience. However, it’s also essential to note that both internal and external audiences have more in common than what most businesses give credit for.
By considering common experiences across both these audiences, you can acquire new ideas for approaching your customers and personalizing your business according to their wants and needs. Not only does it drive advocacy, but it will also maximize overall efficiency.
Finding common ground between you and your customers can be a daunting task. But that’s the purpose of this article.
Here are tips on how to find common ground with any customer and business:
1. Make Your Customers Feel Important
Customers want to connect with businesses that are interested in them. While efficiency and professionalism are both important factors, it’s also important to take time to reach out and communicate with your customers. Ask them how they are doing, or comment on things that are happening around their area. If they have a business of their own, as about it and their respective industry’s current state.
By asking questions and being attentive, it will show interest that goes beyond the business-to-customer border. By sharing something that’s besides work, there’s a greater chance that they will turn into loyal, repeat customers. Finding this commonality through conversations and asking questions will help kickstart a long-lasting customer relationship that will benefit your business.
So, touch base with your customers. Engage with them in conversation and let them know that they are essential to you.
2. Listen and Observe Carefully
Once the conversation starts flowing, don’t forget to be attentive. Always listen closely and observe. Make it a priority to get to know your customer. By listening to hints about interests, family, and business priorities, you can connect with people in a fluid manner. You can establish commonalities between yourself and your customer that will help grow the conversation and cultivate the relationship.
While conversations are great, keep in mind that they are two-way streets. Make sure to share some of your side as well. The most your customer knows about you and your business, the greater understanding and appreciation they will have over you. It will also allow the conversation to develop naturally and turn it into something that’s beyond business.
When your customer has the option to make between patronizing your business or looking elsewhere, it’s always essential to stay attentive to them. Observe what they like and don’t like. Listen to their comments and feedback about your service and make the necessary changes.
In addition, always jot down notes about your customers. List down things about them, their likes and dislike, their hobbies, what they prefer, etc. Make sure you review your notes before you converse with them again. That way, you can start asking more personalized questions. They will feel valued and appreciated for it.
3. Communicate with Empathy
Again, customers prefer doing business with companies that show they care. That’s why you should always communicate with them with the utmost empathy and attentiveness as you can show. Always be open to suggestions and feedback. Accept what they have to say and work your way towards achieving their needs.
Listen to what they have to say to you and your services. If it’s necessary and plausible, make the change. Otherwise, explain to them why their suggestions cannot be done; but assure them that you are doing your best to provide the most value out of your services.
Always shoe compassion. Tell your customers that you are always there for them. Show them that they can reach out to and get a response from you whenever they need to. By showing that type of openness, you’re telling your customers that they can trust you with anything.
4. Always Be Honest – But Not Too Honest
If you want people to put their trust and money to your business, you need to be a hundred percent honest to them. Whatever you do, make sure the common ground between you and your customers is genuine and sincere.
Don’t be the type of business that agrees with anything your customers say. You should also offer your own suggestions and ideas that will still complement their needs. While having common ground is essential, you also need to acknowledge differences between you and your customers.
There will be many times when you and your customers disagree with certain things. You will have different opinions and thoughts about various topics. If it’s with about minor differences like a preference for color, or a sports team, a little friendly bickering is okay. However, when it comes to something big or sensitive – like politics or religion – it’s also better to practice restraint.
But despite all of the things you need to consider, always be yourself at all times. Passion, integrity, and hard work got you to where you are today. So, let it come through in your communications with people, especially your target audience. By doing so, you will be building strong relationships before you even know it.
Whether your business owners, service providers, or retailers, always bear in mind that you are human at the end of the day. You share common ground in one way or another with your customers. People want to be valued; so, treat them that way. Find it, develop it, and turn it into an advantage. Grow your business by building a genuine and trustworthy reputation among your valued customers. Long-term customer loyalty will come naturally as your target audience can relate to you.