We’ve learned a thing or two about customer love over the 115 years Belden has been in business. Without customers, we’re nothing. Our success depends on the success of our customers. You have to show customers love to get any love in return. And we’re sure that the same holds true for you: Without your customers, your business or organization wouldn’t be where it is today.
Inspired by the time of year, we thought we’d share a few of our “customer-love” secrets – lessons we’ve learned through real-world and experiences and trial and error. We invite you to put these to the test, and show your own customers how much you care.
Back when Belden first debuted its Bonded-Pair cable, Kroger – the largest grocery chain in the United States – showed an interest in using it. So we let the grocery retailer do whatever it needed to do to ensure that the product would work for it applications.
Kroger brought the product into its labs, testing it over and over, bringing in our technical teams to ask questions. Yes, it took some time – but that was okay. It gave the company the time it needed to learn to love the product. As a result, Belden’s Bonded-Pair cable was eventually added to the list of Kroger standards of excellence.
No matter how solid your business relationship is, it’s not uncommon – or unreasonable – for even the most loyal customers to re-evaluate existing products or investigate other options to make sure they’re still receiving the most value for their dollar.
Showing them customer love in this situation means letting them do the research and investigating they need to do. You should be around to answer questions and present potential solutions, but don’t get in the way of letting them do the exploration they need (and want) to do.
Monthly phone calls, standing lunch meetings, or regular emails to customers can offer several benefits. Even when there are no projects on the table, this type of customer love helps them know you care about more than just taking their money.
By keeping in touch, you may also be one of the first to know about new projects coming up or hear about potential problems where you may be able to offer a solution.
Once you start working with a customer, pay attention: It won’t take long before you can pinpoint certain areas where you may be able to offer suggestions or solutions to help them save time, reduce costs or streamline processes. Anything you can do to help them get things right the first time will reduce headaches and frustration – a true offering of customer love.
For example, if a Belden customer continues to order the same enclosures and components, and then spends lots of time assembling them all onsite before deployment, we can step in to design, build and deliver customized enclosures. They ship from the factory with copper, fiber and accessories pre-installed to specific requirements. When they want to order it again, they only need to reference one part number.
Most organizations want to work with all types and sizes of partners – and that’s okay. Of course they want the cream of the crop, but they shouldn’t be so extreme that they never evaluate other products or options.
When working as one of many in a mixed bag of vendors, learn to work together, communicate and be nice. It will improve the overall experience for the customer and open doors for potential opportunities in the future. For example, if another customer asks for a product or service that you can’t offer, having relationships with other vendors can help you point them to another manufacturer you’ve grown to know. This is a true example of customer love – giving the customer a possible solution, even if it’s not you.
Customers don’t just want to be heard. They want to know what you’re doing with the information they share with you. If a client takes the time to tell you what they think, you need to show them some customer love, even if the feedback wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Let customers know how you plan to use the feedback, how it was helpful and what changes it may inspire.
If you listen closely enough, you may realize that what they’re asking for is already offered in a different way. If what the customer wants isn’t possible, you can still show them some customer love – ask them what they hope to achieve, or what their goals are, and you may be able to find a workaround or an alternative.
Taking customers out to a nice dinner to thank them for their business is always a nice gesture – but going above and beyond to express customer love can mean even more.
For example, we recently created awards plaques and presented them to two loyal Belden customers for their ongoing dedication and loyalty. We truly believe that customers define our success, and wanted to do something unexpected to show them our gratitude.
Belden offers the engineering support, knowledge and resources to make your data center and LAN deployments successful. We follow a three-step process to make sure we truly understand what you need:
Learn more about Belden’s enterprise solutions and three-step process for success.
In his role, Wayne Anderson develops and implements product solutions for enterprise strategic accounts in the Belden portfolio on a national and global scale. He focuses on developing and nurturing business relationships with customers by providing uncompromised service, technical product assistance and product development to help them meet their needs and exceed their expectations.