By Nancy Grace
Money can’t buy a primary element that is necessary for the survival of any business: a strong relationship with customers.
Most firms are very focused on increasing sales. So they invest their time and energy on acquiring new customers. In the process, they fail to address the needs of the customers they already have.
Entrepreneurs should know that the first purchase by a customer is just the beginning. The real value of a business lies in retaining that client.
The main downfall of most companies is that they don’t know how to hold on to their customers. It’s like searching for a treasure that you already have in different places.
You may have spent a lot of time reeling the customer in, but how do you maintain a relationship and keep them coming back to you?
1. Complaints are a blessing in disguise
If a customer is not satisfied, they will just walk away. You will never know the reason for it. The reason why most of them don’t complain is,
- They are not bothered
- They don’t know how to complain
- They don’t believe it’ll make a difference
Customers won’t tell you what’s wrong. But, they will spread the word to others. You certainly don’t want that! It’s been said that any form of communication is good. So if a customer takes his time to make a complaint, it means that he is giving you another opportunity to satisfy his needs.
2. Know your customers
The more you know about a customer, the more you can tailor your approach to meet their needs. Find the purchase history of each customer. This will be helpful to give out offers that are relevant to them. You could also use CRM software so that you don’t lose track of any customers.
Also, while making the offer use words that they would love to hear like “Free” and “New.” This way they will enjoy making a purchase and have a sense of satisfaction.
3. Take your customers’ advice
An effective way to strengthen relationships with customers is by constantly improving brand. Don’t always go by the numbers to try to figure out what your customers want. Create a poll with the ideas you have in mind and share it via social media accounts and emails. Your job is not quite done, as getting opinions from people takes a lot more work than just creating a poll. Always provide incentives to customers for participating in these like discounts or gift cards.
4. Satisfied customers are your secret salespersons
If you ever want to hear this “Hey I purchased this from XYZ. It’s excellent! You must definitely try it.” you must satisfy your existing customers. Stay in touch with loyal customers and give them something in return for the time and attention they have given your business. If you fail to keep in touch, your competitors will. So spend your time building a network. Cost effective tools such as email marketing make things easier. Send them simple newsletters, insights or advice that will make them remember your brand.
5. Use your customer service as a marketing tool
Your customer service team can enlighten you with insights because they communicate with clients on a daily basis. The main reason why customers leave a brand is due to bad service. So, if you want to retain customers, start with your customer service department. Empower your team to act quickly. Response time matters the most. If a customer reaches out, you have to respond promptly.
6. Make promises you can keep
Many businesses treat their customers like people waiting in line to get a ticket. So they take their money and move on to the next one. Companies lure customers with flashy advertising, and once they are in, they leave them terribly dissatisfied. When you’re working to earn the trust of your customers you have to keep the promises you make and even the ones you imply. So avoid drifting from the commitment you made as it can trigger a chain of adverse reactions.
7. Pique Expectations
Another technique to retain customers is to build their expectations as early as possible. Set anticipation at an early stage and then make it a tad lower so that you can eliminate any uncertainty. For instance, if you’re delivering a product, inform the customer that it will take one week to reach the destination. Even though you will be able to deliver it in 3 days, the extra time will save you if there is a delay.
There you have it. Your existing customers are the biggest asset of your business as they already know about your product and service. Also, keep in mind that the content you share with them will act as a medium to build a connection. So always create content that is informative. Focus your time and energy on retaining your current customers as opposed to constantly trying to find new clients.
How are you building relationships with customers? Are there any unique strategies you use? If so, our readers would love to know.
Nancy Grace is a social media writer at iDigic.net who also contributes for hundreds of other blogs. Her articles predominantly focus on social media and are widely followed by readers from all over the world