Jottings from a CEO Note Book: How to Get (and Stay) in Touch with Your Customers

For a CEO to lose touch with what his customers want, need and feel is a surefire route to failure. So do you want to stay in touch with customers without seeming obvious or gratuitous? It’s easy. The key is to stay in touch in a meaningful and memorable way.

What is memorable? Having a purpose that benefits the other person–not you. Here are some ways to pull that off:

Set up an alert on each customer.

One of the tool that will help you keep track of customers (or competitors). Google Alerts.

Pick a tool and set up an alert on the person’s name, company name, her industry, maybe topics of personal interest … and then you can reconnect with something to offer: congratulations, information about new competitors, trends in the industry, etc.

The key is to turn a generic “Thinking of you” into a much more meaningful, “I immediately thought of you when I saw this.”

Offer to recommend.

Many people feel uncomfortable asking others to complete LinkedIn Recommendations. Instead of waiting for a customer to ask, jump in and write one. You will not only strengthen a connection but also get the chance to (subtly) describe your business and services when you discuss how you and your customer did business in the past.

Or go further. Be a matchmaker and recommend a customer’s services to another customer. If you pick the right people, both will be grateful for the introduction.

Never forget: People tend to like, and remember, the people who like them.

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