Customers are the backbone of any business. Without them and their loyalty, where would your business be today? Take a moment to think about that. It is easy to make a once-off sale to any John Doe, but if you really want your business to thrive, you need to know what it is that makes your customer and clients tick.
To get this knowledge, you need to dig deeper by building a relationship with your client base – one that benefits both parties.
Ultimately you want to build a strong and transparent relationship with your customers because when it comes down to the facts and taxes, it is your return customers that keep the bills paid and your business afloat. Whether you are connecting with a high profile investor, corporate venture, or professional influencer sourced from innovative platforms like Collabstr.com, these are a few ways to build long-lasting customer relationships that benefit your business and keep your clients happy.
The Value of Personalized Communication
If there is one thing that companies have gotten too comfortable with it would be the auto-responses and generic replies. There is no doubt that these quick response methods help shed the load in busy call centres, but your clients are more than just a number. They have chosen your product or service to spend their hard-earned money on and should be treated as an individual. One that is heard and valued.
Start having one on one conversations with your customers on a more personal level. Add a personalized touch to emails or when interacting with them on social media. If your industry allows, you can even go as far as offering personalized solutions or promotions to your return customers based on their likes and needs. When customers feel they are valued, they feel invested in your company and the chances are that you will be at the top of their recommendation list.
Go Above and Beyond for Customers
The core of your business should be focused on providing exceptional products and customer service. Customers hold you to a certain level of service, which is expected, but why not surprise them by going above and beyond. As the old saying goes, always “under-promise and over-deliver” to ensure you exceed their expectations. For example, try to get a product delivered to the customer sooner, or pop a free gift or free sample product into the package. These small gestures leave the customer feeling special and excited to use your services again in the future.
Always Be Transparent
There are three things that a customer expects when dealing with your company – good service, quality products, and transparency. Very few companies are aware of just how important transparency is. If delivery is delayed or other service issues have posed a challenge to your business, it is important to be upfront with the customer and keep them posted until all the hiccups have been addressed. Your customers will appreciate the honesty and in return, will trust your business. Any relationship built on trust is bound to succeed. Now is the time to stop giving your clients the run-around and offer them full transparency instead.
Ask for Feedback
A customer will generally leave a review or give your company feedback if they have had a really negative or positive experience. But you should never wait for your customer to do this on their own accord, instead, you should be asking your customer for feedback regularly. This can be done via online surveys, ratings, reviews, or comment cards that are left on the reception counter.
By asking your clients for feedback, you are showing them that you are invested in their personal opinions and thoughts about your business. When you receive negative feedback, deal with it immediately, and actually take some time to listen to what the client is saying and address these issues. Customer feedback is a valuable tool that can be used to improve staff productivity and tweak your business strategies and solutions according to what your customers want and need.
Reward Loyal Customers Often
Show some appreciation towards long-standing customers by offering them reward-based discounts or free goodies with their next purchase. This strategy can be implemented in many ways including offering loyalty reward discounts, reward cards, gift cards, or free branded merchandise and samples like a shirt, jacket, or flask with your company logo printed on it.
Small gestures like this are not only a great way to say ‘thank you for your support’ but is also an effective tool that keeps customers interested and coming back for more. The more valued and appreciated your customers feel, the more likely they are to continue purchasing and spreading the word about your wonderful customer service.