In the business world, change happens so fast that only the most adaptable can survive and succeed. While no one sets out to start a business so that it can fail, many actions (or lack thereof) of entrepreneurs put their businesses on a slippery road that leads to stagnation and eventual failure. One of those pivotal things is neglecting to adopt a coach mindset when handling customers. A coach mindset is crucial if customer retention and loyalty as well as sustained business growth are to be realized.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, what is a coach mindset in relation to your dealings with customers? In this regard, a coach mindset refers to an outlook which seeks to empower customers (particularly regarding the products and services they obtain from your business) so that lasting partnerships that are mutually beneficial are created.
Just as you can coach your employees to think creatively and resolve issues connected to projects without waiting for managers to direct them on what to do, so can you coach clients and nurture a deep relationship of trust and connection with your brand.
Think long term
Several measures can be taken in order to entrench a coach mindset aimed at growing your business. The first step is to think long term in all your dealings with customers. Most businesses focus on closing the sale rather than on cultivating a relationship that will last a long time.
Long term thinking in your dealings with customers ensures that you put their needs first, just as in any coaching relationship. This may even require sacrificing short term gains in order to secure long term benefits. For example, online infopreneurs who give away a large fraction of their knowledge freely create a relationship of trust with their audiences, and when they put up something on sale, it is quickly gobbled up because the audience is sure that it is valuable. This is because what they have been getting for free has lots of value for them.
In the same way, you should give priority to the needs of your customers even if it means foregoing a short term benefit, like an immediate sale. They will know you genuinely care, and will refer clients your way and buy your products or services every time a need arises.
Put together an educational library
You are the expert on your products and services. In contrast, your typical client hardly knows anything about those products and services. This can make the customer vulnerable to manipulation, and some unscrupulous salespeople take advantage of this to rush customers into buying what may not be the best fit for their needs. That is a classic example of transactional thinking, and it doesn’t set the foundation for sustained business growth.
Businesses with a coaching mindset go an extra mile to create a library aimed at reducing the knowledge imbalance between the company and its clients. Such a library can help customers to keep their expectations realistic, instead of setting them unreasonably high and then complaining when the results they get don’t match those unrealistic expectations.
With a client-facing knowledge bank or library, you have resources that can educate your clients about what you do, and such information builds trust in addition to making customers willing to share with you how else your products or services can better serve the evolving needs of current and future clients.
A quick illustration of this concept will make this a little clearer. Imagine that you own a store that sells fashionwear to ladies. If your curated library has information detailing which body size and/or shape is best served by horizontal or vertical striped clothes, your clients will appreciate you for pointing out which style is likely to showcase them at their best. They will trust your store more, and they will become loyal customers of your brand. That is how coaching can trigger sustained business growth.
Make coaching integral in all you do
The third strategy in adopting a coach mindset for business growth is to make coaching an integral component of everything you do at the company. For example, you need to coach rather than direct/manage employees so that they can grow in competence and confidence.
Such coaching ensures that any staffing needs higher in the company are filled by promoting those in the lower ranks. After all, you have been coaching them and it is only natural that as they expand their skill sets, they become a natural fit for management roles.
Coaching helps to overcome limitations, and as it becomes a culture at the company, it will inevitable permeate every aspect of the firm’s interactions with customers. You can only give what you have, so making coaching part of your company’s DNA makes it automatic for customer relations to be handled through a coach’s lenses.
Adopting a coach mindset in all your interactions with clients can be hard work at first, but once you get the hang of it things become effortless. As you make it a culture to regard clients as vested partners, the magic begins to happen and your business will be on a firm path to lasting success. Each customer becomes an ambassador of your business and the relationship they have with your company grows into a self-fulfilling cycle of mutually beneficial interactions. Don’t commoditize what you do; stand out by implementing coaching principles. In this way, you will avoid being dragged into price wars with competitors (of commodities), something that inevitably leads all parties to the bottom.
To Your Success,