The primary key to the success of any business is building customer relationships. Excellent support and ongoing contact must be a top priority when your goal is a healthy business and continuous growth. Most business owners understand the importance of this relationship, but not everyone knows how to build relationships with customers.
First, let’s look at how and why negative relationships evolve. Negative relationships develop when customers feel dissatisfied. And many times the reason they’re dissatisfied is that they don’t feel connected to your company. A more intimate business relationship can mean more long-term, quality clients that are happier overall with your product or service. And remember, you’re not just looking to keep the customers you have. You want every customer to feel confident recommending you to others.
Do you know your customers? If you do, great! Because many customers prefer working with businesses where they can connect with an individual rather than a faceless corporation. When you get the chance to interact directly with customers, take the time to ask about their interests and concerns as well as for feedback on your work. And don’t be afraid to take notes! You want to make sure you take action on the information the customer is providing and that you have a clear understanding of their experience. Moreover, recalling that personal information the next time you speak with them goes a long way toward creating a positive relationship.
The more you know about your customers, the better understanding you have of how to meet their expectations and needs. Create a customer database that includes not only names, addresses, emails and phone numbers, but also their preferences, order history and ongoing requirements. Armed with this information, you’ll be well-positioned to give your customers exactly what they want .
Communication is the foundation for developing strong relationships with customers. Establishing regular communication channels helps you avoid many customer service issues and solve them faster should they arise. Your goal is to develop two-way communication with your customers, so make sure you start the process early in the relationship, whether you keep in touch through emails, newsletters or check-in phone calls.
Questionnaires, polls and surveys are vital to communicating with your customers. Using these tools, you’ll gather more information about what your customers like about your business as well as what can be improved to serve them better. And your customers will be encouraged to buy your products or services if they feel their feedback is being taken seriously. That’s why checking in regularly is an important step to increasing your clients’ engagement with both your business and you.
Social media marketing plays an important role in growing your target audience. Engaging on social media is an efficient way to interact with current customers and to gain new customers. Determine which social media platforms are used most by your target audience, and set up accounts for your business. Then use those social media platforms to keep your customers informed about new products, upcoming sales and general updates that add value to your relationship.
Delighting your customers is simple! Simply give them more than what they expect.That means going above and beyond what you promised. For example, try surprising clients with a gift on their birthday. Or sending a small token of appreciation to a repeat customer. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive. A Starbucks gift card, a discount code for their next purchase or even a free sample of your product says thank you without going overboard.
Everyone enjoys knowing they’re appreciated. Special events, parties and contests give you the opportunity to meet your customers face-to-face, demonstrate your appreciation for their loyalty and show them how important they are to you.
A reputation for reliability, honesty and integrity are crucial to building strong relationships with customers. A customer’s trust is as important as the products you sell or the services you offer. Be honest, open and sincere with your clients. If you’re not able to follow through on something that was promised, let them know right away. Long-term, successful customer relationships thrive on trust and transparency.
Interacting with customers in person is a great way to demonstrate how important they are to you. Access to you—or other high-level managers in your business—is essential to building a long-lasting relationship.
The foundation of any relationship, but especially customer relationships, is one-to-one connection. Common interests, understanding, constant contact and support are the key factors to building relationships with customers.