Getting to Know Our Customers
Getting to know your customer is one of the most important parts of the sales process, that’s why “Get to Know Your Customer Day” is one to celebrate! We’re excited to commemorate this day recognizing all the ways and reasons why we think getting to know our customers is so important.
Getting to know the customer is an exciting piece of the puzzle, it may show what the customer likes, what they need help with, how they heard about the company, and so much more. It’s also the beginning of creating a relationship with the customer. Getting to know your customer and creating a solid relationship is essential to a successful business relationship and successful partnership. When the salesperson creates a relationship, the customer will feel that the relationship is cherished and will return or refer the business to a colleague or friend.
Getting to know the customer doesn’t just require us to find out who the customer is, but what they do in the organization, how the organization operates, what they’ll be using the ornament for, and how we can help them. Beacon Design has grown through the past 45 years by getting to know our customers. Combining our world-class customer service with the ability to give our customers something to be proud of has assisted us in creating long-lasting relationships with our customers based on getting to know who they are and ultimately, what they’re looking for.
Getting started with our customers
Beacon Design has helped many organizations and companies create unique ways to connect to their cause. We offer a wide variety of items such as keepsakes, ornaments, bookmarks, wall art, lapel pins, and more! Our salespeople take on the ability to walk the customer through each step of the way by answering questions; deciphering the customer’s idea, vague or elaborate, for our graphic designers to create something fantastic; keeping up with communication; keeping the project in motion. They also check in after the project is complete to see how they can help the organization. The salespeople help the organization with what’s needed, like sales or marketing advice or to set up a reorder.
Building the Relationship
It’s essential to ask important questions when first talking with the customer; it all adds up and ends with one great end goal – to learn about and connect with the customer. The first question our salespeople may ask is how did you hear about us? Not only is that an important question for us, but it’s important to see how the customer operates. It also may tell a lot about a customer; which allows us to help them with ideas on how to market via postcards, social media, or other ways.
While that’s the first question we generally ask, there are more specific first questions related to project planning, such as what do you plan on using the keepsakes for? Some of our customers may use them to raise funds for their organizations, while others may be giving them away as gifts to their donors. Either way, this is an important question for us to ask to get to know the customer. It helps to find out how the organization operates and what the event or purpose is for the keepsake, which assists our salespeople with more information through the sales process.
How we get to know our customers
Getting to know our customers is extremely important, but some of our first-time customers are getting to know us too. Some of the frequently asked questions are: what will this cost? How long does this take? How do we get started? Do we need to create the design or do you do that? While these are frequently asked questions, the answers may depend on the customer and the project. The budget may be an essential piece to the project’s success for the customer, so the salespeople talk further about what the budget looks like to be sure there aren’t any surprises through the process. The timeframe may be based on the customers’ needs or on the time of year that the order is placed, the timeframe is best talked about with the salesperson at the beginning of the project.
We design the keepsakes; however, some customers give us rough drafts, images to reference or give us a concise vision that they’re looking for. Other customers may provide minimal information and let our salespeople and designers decide where to go based on what the salespeople have learned about the customer, event or theme for their custom keepsake. All of these questions, and most other questions, are generally based on getting to know the customer and what they need.
How We Help
Getting to know the customer not only enables a more seamless transaction and creates a relationship, but it also helps the salesperson help the customer. Since some of our customers may be first-time buyers, explaining the buying process to the customer is extremely important so that they know what to expect.
The sales process may be daunting at first for first-time buyers, they may not know what the next step is, so our salespeople walk them through the process. Connecting the pieces for the customer is essential to help set proper expectations throughout each stage of the process. Being transparent about price, availability, and expectations through each stage will assist in creating and maintaining the relationship with the customer and business/salesperson. We value the relationship that we have and build with each customer, so we help the customers through each stage of the process and after the project!
Finding what resonates with the customer is part of getting to know them. What’s the main focus or event? What are the well-known features or symbols of the organization? What are the goals of the keepsake? The answers to these questions will assist the salesperson in translating to the designers and will help the salesperson get a better idea of who the customer is and what they’re trying to accomplish. Our relationship is not over once the project is complete, we are there for our customers after the sale too. Our salespeople check in to see how things are going and how they liked the product, and communicate about reorders. They ask about resources needed and what’s available to them and ask how we can help them further, if needed, all building and maintaining the relationship.
Working through the process together
Getting to know the customer requires asking questions of the customer to gain a sense of the customer and organization. Asking how the customer will use their collectibles will help to find somewhere along the road if someone had collected or gifted handed ornaments to start the spark. It’s great for us to see where they found the spark to better get to know them and to relate as well. Relating not only helps us to feel more connected to the customer but assists in building the relationship along the way. Seeing the repeat customer’s success of the ornaments from previous years assists the sale, but also helps the relationship. Sharing the success between the salesperson and the customer allows the customer to share the success and excitement.
Learning more about the event or special date is a fun question to ask because our salespeople get excited learning more about the background if it’s a historical location, town, landmark, or date. Discovering more about the special features of the exciting event or organization is a fun way to learn more about the customer and discover the great things that make that customer and the organization unique. Overall, sharing in the success is a critical part of any relationship, we view your success as our success and it’s exciting when we can work through the stages together. One of the great parts of the process is the excitement of each stage. One of the most exciting stages is when our customers receive their final product and we get to see how happy they are with it.
Maintaining the relationship with the customer after getting to know them is an important piece to what we do and how we do it, but it’s all about creating a partnership. Rhonda, an account manager with Beacon Design, explains, “The relationships are a true partnership. There is nothing I love more than having a customer come back expressing how successful the project was, the following that they developed, and their excitement for the next. We have had a hand in something that is important to them and they are passionate about. Years down the road, they can look back and know we helped build that legacy, and that is pretty awesome.”
Helping organizations build their legacy and create a community within their organization is essential to us. However, partnering is not all about sales; it’s about connecting with the customer, getting to know them, and maintaining the relationship with them. We celebrate “Get to Know Your Customer Day” by celebrating every one of our customers and continuing to maintain the relationships we’ve built with them!