No matter which industry you belong to, there can only be a buzz in it if you include your large or small but loyal customers. A business is all about forging deep relationships with your customers, so if you haven’t done that so far, your business is sure to suffer.
By working on ways to build relationships that stand the test of time, you will set a foundation for the next generation of businessmen who will take your business forward. A point to note here is that a business owner like you cannot be one-directional or one-dimensional and only concentrate on growing your business, but you need to take your customers along with you in your growth story. That’s the key to keeping your customer base with you as you move from milestone to milestone. Here are a few tried and tested methods of getting the most out of your business relationship with your customers:
1. Find Ways To Make Your Clients Happy
Small things can keep anyone happy if they aren’t expecting anything from you, and so it is with your existing customers. You can easily satisfy or delight your customer, but when you do it continually, you’ll find them coming back to you and staying with you. On every interaction that you have with them, you should work hard to exceed their expectations of you. Once you do this consistently, you’ll have a customer forever.
You can do this in several ways, for example, if you want them to read a part of a book you’ve written, gift the book to them, never mind the cost. If you make this gift to them when they least expect it, the surprise element will be enough for them to stay with you.
2. Don’t Assume You’ve Got A Customer For Life
You’ve made a deal with an existing customer–one that benefits both of you. Now, don’t on the basis of this assume that they will always be with you, no matter what you offer. You need to work hard to reach out to your customer base and keep in touch with them. A phone call, a surprise luncheon meeting or something personalized would be enough to make them remember that you did, in fact, reach out to them. Cultivate their friendship, but don’t take this relationship for granted. That would be a big mistake.
3. Give Personal Attention, Be Customer-Driven
Businesses have taken a different perspective on customers. They no longer feel that one size fits all, but that one size fits only one. Businesses have become extremely customer-driven, customer-centric and increasingly personalized.
This degree of personalization is being packaged as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and is being touted as the answer to keeping existing customers and deepening your bonds with them. The idea behind this is very simple: Give your customers so much personal attention so that they reciprocate by always buying your products or services loyally and for long.
Prod your customers to share a little information about themselves with you which you can use when next you’re in touch with them. The more they feel that your attention was solely for them, the more they will want to stay connected with you.
4. Once You Commit To Your Customers, Deliver On Your Promise
If you promise your customers a service or product but don’t carry it through, you stand to lose your customers’ respect. You certainly can’t expect your customers to be with you if you disappoint them in this way. In doing so, you slowly gain trust. If they trust you to deliver on your promise, you’ve made a customer for life because trust is the nerve center of your relationship. This will lead to many more deals to more people. If you deliver on your promises, more people will hear of it and you will be known for this. The people who trust you might also refer you to people they work with, thus increasing the number of people who trust you and perhaps buy your products or services.
5. Request For Feedback
To make good business strides, you need to know what your customers think of your products or services. If you don’t know this, it means you’re far removed from your customers’ likes and dislikes.Your customers will endorse your products or services because they believe it is good.
If a customer has problems with your offerings, other customers will offer valuable advice and suggestions for improvement. So, without actively channeling it, you will have a well-oiled system in place where you can ask for feedback periodically. Once you have their feedback, inform your customers exactly what you are going to do with it. This will make them feel a part of your growth story and they will very likely send other people to you.
6. Give Them Guarantees
To prevent your customers from going elsewhere, it’s prudent to offer them a guarantee of a kind. It could refer to informing your customers where to lodge product or service complaints and how. It’s also worth educating them that it’s well worth their time and effort to complain if they are dissatisfied with your product or service.By doing this, you convey that you care for them and their satisfaction levels.
7. Reward Them For Their Longstanding Loyalty
If you institute loyalty programs to infuse loyalty and increase sales from your really good customers, they can serve as an important link between your brand and your customers. In the process, customer satisfaction will leapfrog and sales will increase dramatically.
8. If Your Customers Have Referred You, Thank Them
If your customers have given you referrals, you need to thank them for what they did. Not only is it your duty to do so, but it also makes them feel good and recognized and it forges a stronger relationship between you and your customer. This will encourage your customer to repeat this action. Writing a thank you note or sending him a couple of movie tickets would be highly appreciated.
There are umpteen ways of taking that extra step forward to forge a meaningful and solid relationship with your customers. If you spend a little time each day to focus on this and ensure that it goes hand in hand with your marketing strategies, you will reap the rewards of many more referrals and unprecedented sales.