Small Business Advice
How to Build Strong Customer Relationships
As of this writing, there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States. Unfortunately, over half of the small businesses in the country face financial woes and eventually fail.
That’s why so many businesses are focusing on ways to improve customer relationships in 2023. Finding and retaining new customers is crucial to any successful business strategy.
The following guide will explore effective ways to strengthen customer relationships. Read on to learn how to build a brand that puts its customers first.
Let Customers Know You Care
It’s good to engage with your customers on a personal level to let them know you genuinely care about them. So, it’s very important to keep customer interactions pleasant and tailored to their needs.
Research what things your brand has in common with your target customers and focus on that matter. For example, you might ask about their family or send them happy birthday wishes each year.
Take time to write down important dates and details about clients in your contact list. Avoid automated messages when possible so that the customer knows you’re authentic.
Consider using a loyalty technology platform to reward dedicated customers. Loyalty programs give customers an incentive to keep coming back to your products or services.
Listen to Feedback
Always pay close attention to what your customers have to say about your brand to discover what they value most. From there, tweak your strategy to fit their needs and expectations.
Some customers want a lot of personalized interactions with companies and others prefer their space. For example, someone might want to place an order for a product and move on without much follow-up.
You might find that certain customers want affordable deals while others want more features despite higher prices. Try your hardest to find the needs of your target customers and remember that even negative criticisms can teach you a lot.
Don’t just stay open to customer feedback and try to seek it out as well. Use feedback forms to survey customer opinions about your brand. Send follow-up emails to ask about their experiences and consider offering future discounts for their feedback.
Move at an Appropriate Speed
In some situations, you can tell that a customer doesn’t have much time for small talk. Don’t waste their time with excessive pleasantries if you know they’re in a hurry.
On the other hand, some customers call and want to have a conversation or want lots of details. In this case, make sure you give them time and don’t rush to get off the phone.
Stick To Your Brand’s Mission
The mission statement of your brand and marketing will most likely make a guarantee about customer interactions. It’s crucial that you always back up that promise to build trust with your customers.
For instance, don’t proclaim that you’re always available for customers and then let all their calls go to voicemail. You must keep promises to preserve your brand’s image and show that you mean what you say.
This rule applies whether you sell wholesale goods, run a boutique, or do any other business. Big warehouses and small intimate stores both need to back up guarantees to enhance their customers’ experiences.
Make sure all your employees follow the same standards when interacting with customers. You want customers to get the same level of consistent care no matter whom they deal with.
Lead By Example
To ensure that your employees stick to your brand’s image, you must lead by example. How you treat customers will trickle down to all your employees’ interactions, too.
Let’s say you’re always trying to cut costs regardless of how it impacts the customer experience. In this case, your employees might echo this and avoid offering discounts.
Sometimes it makes financial sense to go the extra mile to add value to a customer’s experience. Don’t create a workplace culture that avoids giving back to customers when the time is right.
Remember that it might take a long time to develop relationships with your customers. Stick to your plan, stay patient, and don’t expect to create loyalty overnight.
You won’t find success with every interaction you have even if you always go out of your way for customers. Try not to get discouraged or take negative interactions with a customer personally.
Customer Service vs Customer Relationships
Customer service involves reacting to issues and helping a customer if something doesn’t go right. Examples include IT tickets, support desk calls, automated email responses, and even personal messages from the owner.
Sales and marketing teams often focus on building relationships with customers. A business’s service and support departments usually handle customer service issues.
Think of customer service as a short-term task to solve problems as they pop up. Think of customer relationships as a long-term strategy to create trust and loyalty and grow your business over many years.
Understanding Customer Relationships
You now have several ways to enhance your customer relationships and take your business to the next level. Listen to feedback, show your appreciation for customers, and make sure your employees follow your lead.
Remember that it takes time to earn the loyalty of customers and you might need to adjust your strategy several times. Consumers recognize when brands put in the effort to get things right, so never become too complacent!
Check out our Lehi Business category for more ways to keep your customers coming back again and again.