By: Alan Harder
Building excellent customer relationships allows you and your business to maintain and foster satisfied customers who then go on to become loyal customers. The power of loyal customers is second to none, as this will help promote your business via methods such as word of mouth, which is known for being one of the most effective forms of marketing for you and your business. Coincidentally – it’s also free, which is a huge bonus!
As any business person will know, loyal customers are more likely to undertake repeat purchases which increases the customer lifetime value, therefore decreasing the need to attract new customers and cutting total marketing costs.
My Top 5 Tips on How to Build Better Customer Relationships
1.Communicate With Your Customers
Effective communication is the foundation of relationship building in any aspect of life, especially business. If a customer understands you and your message, they’re much more likely to purchase your product or service. These forms of communication can take place effectively through multiple avenues, including (but not limited to): email, telephone, social media and in-person conversation. Whatever this may be for your business, both you and your employees should be trained in your chosen methods of communication and learn how to effectively engage with your customer.
As well as this, communication works both ways, so it’s important to make avenues available for your customer to reach out to you and to address any concerns they may have. Good, two-way communication such as this helps build trust, generating the building blocks for long-standing relationships and cementing a solid, positive perception of your company.
2.Provide Value and Exceed Customer Expectations
When you exceed expectations with your business, customers are of course much more likely to return, as they were pleasantly surprised previously. This builds repertoire and trust, creating a strong relationship if you continue to raise the bar and improve your product or service.
Another method to exceed expectations is to deliver a product or service faster than expected which is always a pleasant and welcomed surprise for the customer. This again brings us back to the notion of instilling trust in the customer. If you make a ‘promise’ that the product or service will be delivered by a certain date or time, and you keep, or even better exceed this promise, then the customer will be much more likely to trust your brand in the future.
Feedback is a great tool for helping you and your business to build better relationships with customers and thrive. Positive reviews provide an effective communication channel and can attract new prospective customers who’ve never engaged with your business before. What’s more, it’s free! However, negative feedback could be seen as being even more powerful, as this provides you with the chance to learn from your mistakes and improve your business to further benefit your customers, resulting in a more satisfied and loyal customer base.
Simply asking for reviews is a fantastic way to encourage your customers to leave you some feedback. If your product or service provides value to your customer, or exceeds expectations as we discussed in tip two, then asking for general feedback will likely generate mostly positive reviews, which will help build trust amongst any prospective customers.
4.Connect Through Social Media
Even when not directly communicating with customers, social media is a way of sharing your brand’s message with the world, whatever that may be. Whether it’s a new product or a change in opening times, social media is one of the most effective ways to inform your customers of your message. In keeping your brand’s social media channels updated, you’re making life much easier for your customers when it comes to getting the information they need. This helps paint a more reliable picture of your business and of course, makes it much easier for a customer to find out more about the products or services you provide.
To get the most from social media, it’s important to frequently engage with your customers. From replying to messages to sparking conversation, whether that’s via Instagram questions on stories, Twitter polls, Facebook posts or on your YouTube videos.
5.Incentivise and Offer Loyalty Programmes
Loyalty should always be incentivised as it rewards your already loyal customers and provides encouragement for less loyal customers to purchase, use or interact with your product, service or brand. Incentives also help foster good relationships as they provide the recipient with a reward, leaving them to feel good about your brand and be more likely to recommend your product or service to others.
What’s more, incentives also allow you to learn more about your customers’ preferences and track their buying habits. This therefore means that deals and products can be better targeted to your customers, providing them with a more positive overall experience and relationship with your brand.
Summary: How to Build Better Customer Relationships
Building better relationships with your customers can be the difference between a successful business and a failing business, as afterall, our customers are often at the heart of what we do. So why not give these tips a go and see if building more positive relationships with your customers can really help your business to thrive.