Just as you show your appreciation for friends and family, you need to show your customers how much you appreciate them. Showing love through attentive customer relationship management will give your customers positive feelings about your brand, strengthen bonds with them and build brand loyalty.
How do you show your customers appreciation and consistently stay in touch without being annoying or clingy? Here are some ideas to build strong relationships with your customers throughout the year.
In today’s highly competitive business environment, customer service is the key to your success. Over 60 percent of businesses have lost a customer who feels the company is indifferent to them and 70 percent say they left a business because of poor customer service. In addition, more than half of American consumers have canceled a purchase due to bad service and 33 percent say they will consider switching companies after a single instance of poor service. As business author and motivational speaker Bob Hooey once said: “If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitors will.”
Showing love for your customers will help grow your business. Whether online or in-store, engaging your customers after the sale will increase their emotional bond with your brand, allowing you to retain customers while sustainably expanding your business.
Express gratitude and thankfulness.
Thankfulness and gratitude are frequently used interchangeably but there is a difference. Being thankful is a feeling; being grateful is an action. You always want to thank your customers after a purchase or for visiting your business but “thank you” has become nearly an automatic response. Gratitude can have a greater impact.
Show your customers gratitude with a free trial or samples and offer giveaways. Sending a personalized note through the mail or sharing an eCard shows appreciation for your clients. Consider developing an email campaign that thanks your customers and gives them incentives to keep patronizing your business.
If you have friends who own companies, consider sharing their businesses through social media with your followers who may appreciate their products and services. This will benefit your customers and your fellow business owners and make your circle of gratitude even larger.
Create a customer relationship strategy.
Develop a customer relationship strategy for understanding your customers’ needs, addressing their feedback and finding ways to show them gratitude. This helps you focus on providing outstanding customer service and creating greater brand loyalty. Consider things like identifying your most valuable customers (MVCs) and hosting an appreciation shopping day, or making product or service recommendations by sending them personalized emails.
Be sure your employees understand your customer nurturing strategy and have positive attitudes when interacting with customers – provide training if necessary. Make sure everyone on your staff is held accountable for the delivery of great customer service. Employees who strive to meet your goals are the heart of your business, so let them know they are valued.
Be responsive and attentive.
Every customer should always feel welcome. A quick acknowledgment and friendly hello go a long way with in-store customers and an easy-to-navigate website with helpful information will make your online customers feel right at home with your business. Being responsive and attentive to customer needs will showcase your brand in a positive way, emphasize your dedication, build trust with your customers and help you generate more revenue.
Keep the communication lines open.
Over 81 percent of consumers complain that it is difficult to communicate with businesses, but only 34 percent of businesses acknowledge room for improvement. Don’t lose customer engagement by failing to communicate.
Communication is important for lasting relationships with your customers. Remember that your customers are unique, and every demographic has different communication preferences. Baby boomers are more likely to call while millennials prefer email. Make it easy for customers to find you by prominently including your phone number and email address in all marketing and communications materials and on your website. You can also make your business easy to find by building a website or enhancing an existing one and creating a strong online presence for your company.
Most importantly, listen to your customers to learn how you can serve them better. It’s the best gift you can give your customers – and your business.
Business relationships, like personal ones, take work and commitment but offer many rewards. By showing your passion for customer service with these ideas, you will be building a stronger and more lasting business union.