Guest blog written by Gabby Baglino
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Customers can buy your products and services from virtually anywhere. This makes it absolutely necessary for your business to stand out from competitors and make your customers want to come back for more. The way to do that is to build relationships with your customers that make them feel seen and heard.
Here are six proven ways to build those relationships.
1. Connect and personalize.
Making your customers feel happy and satisfied is important to keep them coming back. When you connect with them on a personal level, this helps them establish a long-lasting relationship with your business. When customers feel like they aren’t important, they are more likely to take their business elsewhere. Here are some ways you can personalize their experience.
Figure out their preferences.
Developing customer profiles is important to deliver personalized service experiences. Get with your company’s marketing team to go over customer information and demographic data, and speak with your service representatives about what type of customers they deal with daily.
This will help you create profiles on your usual customers’ needs and expectations. Don’t be afraid to open up conversations with existing customers directly, and really listen to and identify their needs.
Match their personality.
Not everyone enjoys having lengthy conversations, while others might seek out longer interactions. Pay attention to how your new customers react to conversations and similarly respond to them. This will make them more comfortable. When your customers are comfortable speaking with you, it will make it easier to establish a relationship right away.
2. Create ways for them to stay engaged.
Customers like to be knowledgeable about the companies they do business with. Setting up a social media page or a blog for your business to talk about your company’s story, products and services, events, and sales, and allowing your customers to interact with you can help keep them engaged with your business. Here are some simple tips on jump-starting your blog. Once you get your company’s blog going, here is how you can market it better.
3. Collect and use customer feedback.
Gathering feedback from your current customers is important to identify areas of your business that need to be changed for the customer experience to improve, and for you to maintain their business. Really listen to concerns they bring up, especially if multiple customers bring up the same or similar issues. Making even small changes can make a big difference in customer satisfaction.
4. Properly train your team.
Make sure your customer-centric team members have excellent listening skills, and they are knowledgeable about your services and company culture. They should also be able to provide genuine greetings, and when needed they should know how to speak to unhappy customers and potentially diffuse emotionally tense situations. Customer relationship management (CRM) is essential, and your team is often your first and only point of contact.
5. Take care of your team and yourself.
Your team members’ happiness is integral to the success of your business. They are a big part of what helps you build customer relationships and keep your business going. If you are not taking care of your team, they cannot take care of your customers. When your team is satisfied at work, they can drive up to 13% more sales compared to unhappy employees.
Receiving feedback from your team is just as important as receiving it from customers, but they might be afraid to speak up. Implementing an anonymous whistleblowing system can be integral for your team to bring up concerns without fear of retaliation. If there are issues with discrimination, harassment, or other toxic behaviors, you may need to respond with discipline or sexual harassment training.
Just as you want the best customers, you also want the best team, and good word-of-mouth about the atmosphere at your company will do wonders for recruitment marketing.
Whether you’re a small business or a massive corporation, as a leader you set the tone, so it is also a necessity to take care of yourself. If you are stressed and putting too much time into work and not balancing a social life, you might find yourself nearing burnout and losing passion for your business. This might affect your moods and how you speak to your team and customers, and it can have a lasting impact on the growth of your company.
6. Show your appreciation.
Offering gratitude can go a long way in maintaining customer loyalty. Simply saying thank you can make your customer base feel appreciated and strengthen the bond they have with your business. Other ways you can show your appreciation are to offer discounts or free products to your loyal customers, or even early access to a new product or service.
A loyalty program for repeat customers gives them incentives and a sense of exclusivity, making them more likely to stay with your company instead of choosing your competitors. This will increase retention and reduce churn.
Relationships are key.
Building strong, life-long relationships with your customers is the key to having a successful business. You have to provide reasons for your customers to engage and emotionally connect. With the tips above you should be able to strengthen the foundations and increase customer lifetime value, and in turn, improve your bottom line for many years to come.