A business is nothing without its customers and can gain even more success by ensuring loyalty and positive relationships with those customers. Building these customer relationships is essential for any business if you wish to retain any clients, and also if you wish to entice new ones.
How Can Customer Relationships Affect a Business?
Your relationships with your customers can affect your business in many ways, both positive and negative.
The positives of good customer relationships include:
- Free marketing for your business through positive word of mouth
- A high number of returning and loyal customers due to exceptional service provided
- Dependable profit based on returning and loyal customers
- Increased sales
- Customers may also be more patient and forgiving for any mistakes or delays made with a service provided for them, if they trust that usually everything is highly positive
The negatives of bad customer relationships include:
- High loss of customers
- Bad reviews of your business or product, which may lead to further loss of customers
- A negative image of your business
- Loss of sales and profit
How Can Good Customer Relationships Be Built?
Building trusting relationships won’t happen overnight. In the first instance, you may want to entice customers in a positive way, which could be a reward system in which you offer experiences such as concert tickets for sale, giveaways or the opportunity to try out new products and hear valuable feedback. You could also attend events with loyal customers to build those relationships.
Overall, good customer relationships need to be built through the following important methods.
Communication is vital to any successful relationship, not only within business, but when it comes to your customer base, communication needs to be 100% clear. If your customers are asking questions, you need to answer them efficiently, and if your customers are communicating with you, you need to take the time to communicate back in a timely manner. Problems such as customer queries not being resolved, or even failing to be answered, leads to negative relationships.
The power of the online world means that you can connect and build relationships in a variety of ways, most important of which, these days, is through social media and electronic communication.
- Show Appreciation
Customers like to feel appreciated, no matter the size or purpose of the business. You could utilize social media to post appreciation posts for all your customers or for specific customers. You can send personalized or even generic emails which show appreciation for any orders placed.
You can also add appreciation to any physical products which are packaged by adding a thank you note in with the packaging and delivery note. Every little helps.
- Go the Extra Mile
Always deliver on what you promise to provide, but also try and do that little bit extra. If you have a long delivery schedule, try to deliver to the customer earlier than expected so that they’re pleasantly surprised. Add discounts for loyal customers who have placed a certain number of orders with you in the past.
Anything which provides a little extra for them.