As a company that delivers service – establishing customer relationships is key. Loyal customers keep the business going and even better – they might refer you as a trusted freight provider.
The focus here is to enable both parties to achieve their goals by working together along with every point. Building strong customer relationships is not easy – it requires mutual trust and commitment. This is why it is important to invest in the interactions.
We asked our Teamleader Operational Account Manager – Kim Heurkens ‘How to build your relationships with clients?‘ In the next section, we outline the fundamentals of successful client communication which we have learned over the years.
How we build relationships?
- Know your customers
The first step is to understand your customers on a deeper level. Without understanding your customers and where they come from, you cannot work towards building successful relationships. Try to answer a few simple questions, such as:
– What are the needs of their product?
– What does success mean for them?
– What are their gains and pains?
– Who is the contact person and what is their role in organization?
– What is the structure of the organization?
- It’s all about your clients
Understanding why your customers choose your services is key. It is often hard to understand unless you can have truthful conversations with each other. Most of our customers choose 2WIN because of the strong value proposition – improved capacity, sustainability and efficiency while reducing the cost and CO2 emissions. This can also provide useful input on how to optimize your marketing and sales strategy for different customer segments.
- Just listen. What do they really, but really want to hear?
Understanding what customers want to know is critical to ensure the relevancy of the information that is being shared. Using this knowledge, the information must be optimized to meet their operational, tactical, and strategic requirements. Working with your data team can go a long way in ensuring the quality of information – accuracy, completeness, consistency, validity, timeliness, uniqueness.
- Be consistent
Timeliness and frequency of communication is also an important dimension that needs to be considered. You do not want to annoy your customers by flooding them with all sorts of reporting and data visualization. Communicating relevant information in a timely manner is extremely important. It goes a long way in improving the responsiveness of the supply chain for example: incidents, delays, new ETAs etc. Timely communication also helps to improve the planning process by identifying requirements/opportunities such as capture new leads, improve capacity planning, optimize solutions for the future etc.
- Be authentic
Being straightforward and clear is one of our foundational principles. Being able to discuss truthfully and openly goes a long way in guiding customer relationships and success. Opening lines of truth with your customer can help you both understand each other’s pains and gains. It becomes easier to identify opportunities and understand the potential of the business case. This will help improve the authenticity and relevancy of information shared, communications and support.
Strong communication allows you to build a great relationship with your clients. At Emons Cargo, our clients can get always in touch with our Operational Account Management team, who are experts in what they do. For us, it is all about making partnerships for the years to come!