If there is one thing farmers value above all else, it is the knowledge that the people they do business with are trustworthy and understand the challenges they face. If a farmer believes that he or she is not valued and appreciated by a business, chances are great that they will find another business that will.
Savvy Ag business owners understand the importance of connecting with their clients and do all they can to keep lines of communication open. Unfortunately, this can be difficult with so many demands on their time, including marketing their business so they can secure new customers.
So what’s a business to do? If you want to sustain and grow your client relationships but feel as if there is never enough time to do it all, we have some suggestions that may help to make things a little easier on you. In other words, some steps you can take to strengthen your client relationships while acknowledging the ever-increasing demands on your time.
- Know thy customers. While it may take a little more time at the beginning of a relationship, getting to know your customers well will allow you to interact with them in a more meaningful way down the road. It also will ensure that you aren’t wasting your time guessing what they need all of the time. You will already know.
- Spend more time connecting. While this may seem like the wrong way to save time, the opposite is true. When you check in on a regular basis—even if only for a few minutes—you will be aware of any issues that may come up. This prevents a minor issue from ballooning into a major one that takes a great deal of time to manage.
- Focus on trust. Good customer service always involves doing what you say you will do. This also builds trust. Customers that don’t trust you will inevitably call you more often to make sure you are on top of their order, for example. When they trust you, however, they won’t feel the need to micromanage and you won’t have to spend time reassuring them that everything is on track.
All customers, especially farmers, need to know that they are a priority. Making sure they do will allow you to do the best job possible without wasting time.