Build Better Customer Relationships

Simple tactics for distributors to expand trust, affinity and profits from your best customers. 

As someone who works for a company focused on providing incredible service, I’ve witnessed firsthand how important it is to connect with customers. Building relationships is key to learning your customers’ needs and expanding the level of trust that they have in your electrical distributor. This trust is essential to ensuring that these customers keep coming back, as well as helping to expand your business through referrals.

As a brick and mortar electrical distributor, you have an advantage when it comes to building customer rapport. The local presence of your distributor’s location allows you to reach people at a more personal level than online providers or big box stores. Here are a few simple ways that your team can leverage this advantage to help you build lasting customer relationships.

Communicate

As a key to any good relationship, communication is an essential way to build lasting customer connections. Sharing information about your business AND listening to your customers are equally important. Rather than just selling customers on your products and services, have conversations with them. Find out what your customers need, then show them that your electrical distributor is the solution to their problem. When training new hires, place an emphasis on how to effectively communicate with customers. Hold yourself and others to prioritizing timely follow-up and making sure needs are met. Prompt and thorough follow-up on phone calls and email responses can go a long way toward building trust with your customers.

Go Beyond Expectations

Your customers expect great products and services from you. Your distribution center should make a consistent effort to raise the bar on what it offers. When you truly impress customers, they keep coming back! To exceed customer expectations, aim to deliver a product or service faster than anticipated. When you deliver earlier than expected, the customer will be happy and pleasantly surprised. This simple practice serves as a solid foundation for positive relationships between your distributor and your customers.

Ask for Feedback

Regardless of whether customers have a good or bad opinion about your business, they will make their feelings known. Invite customer feedback to show you are listening. Place comment cards on your counter or conduct regular surveys to gauge how your distributor is performing in the marketplace. Customer feedback helps you zero in on your customers’ specific needs so you can deliver the best solutions to their problems. The better you position your offering to meet their needs, the more your business will grow. Good or bad, always listen carefully to customer comments and respond promptly. The worst thing you can do is ask for feedback and not address concerns. Even negative feedback is valuable and can be an honest gauge of customer satisfaction.

Connect

With technology, there are more ways to build relationships with your customers than ever before. There are many online tools and social media outlets to reach customers. When engaging with customers online, be careful to avoid having a one-way conversation. Use your customers’ communication channel of choice to ask questions and respond to their feedback and inquiries. Building customer relationships through your online presence is an effective way to establish trust and familiarity.

Show Appreciation

Reward long-time customers with a loyalty or frequent buyer discount program. You can hand out reward cards or use a loyalty program app to track customer rewards. With a loyalty program, customers earn points for doing business with your distributor, and relying on you and your team to help them succeed. These programs come in many shapes and sizes and can be a great way to build relationships and goodwill among your best customers. Programs like these, as well as perks like handing out branded apparel, pens, etc.can be a great way to say “thanks” and remind customers that your distributor is here to help them succeed!

What does your electrical distributor do to build and maintain customer relationships? Please email us your ideas and best practices to marketing@distributorwire.com.

2 thoughts on “Build Better Customer Relationships”

  1. Good information but in Go Beyond Expectations make sure the customer wants the material early. A relationship can be soured when you deliver something early that will be in the customers way on the jobsite or could potentially be damaged or stolen if delivered too early.

  2. VERY good point Dave.
    Being early isn’t always optimum.
    Good service means taking the time to understand the logistical details of a project through good communication. Focusing on precision delivery and getting it there at the “right” time are great ways for a vender to add value!

    Thanks for your comment! Your feedback is much appreciated!

Comments are closed.