A study has shown that 5% increase in customer retention rate can cause a company’s profit to increase from 25% to 95%. Also, on a survey, 79% customers said that they want to purchase products or services from brands that understand their needs and show them that they are valued. These statistics simply go to show that a solid customer relationship is key for any business to thrive.
The importance of retaining customers and maintaining a strong relationship with them is clear. But the question is, how do you do it? In this article, we will dive into some strategies that can help you develop a lasting relationship with your customers.
Give your attention and time to every customer individually.
Customer satisfaction does not only depend on the quality of the products. Customers should feel that they are valued and that they matter. Like every other relationship, maintaining good communication is key to building strong customer relationships.
Try to have engaging and friendly conversations with them. Learn what they want and provide them with solutions. When interacting with customers, make them feel at home – try calling them by their first names to make yourself appear more approachable. Always be in a cheerful mood and use affirmative words when dealing with them. Make sure your words are empathetic and they convey that you care about them.
You can form a policy on how to properly communicate with customers and develop communication skills among your employees in order to facilitate that.
Try to Exceed your Customer’s Expectations.
Customers always want good quality products and services from the sellers. This is why maintaining the standard of your services is so important.
In order to retain your customers, you have to impress them. Give them special offers and discounts – maybe deliver products quicker than they expected. Make sure that the customers also have reasonable expectations from you. Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver.
Ritz Carlton in Florida has set an unforgettable example of making their customers feel truly special. During a stay at the hotel, a family left their son’s stuffed giraffe. The father informed the staff of the incident through email. The Ritz Carlton staff not only returned his son’s favorite toy but also sent a photo album depicting what the stuffed giraffe had been doing throughout its extended stay. Chris Hurn, the father of the child whose toy was left behind, will never forget what the hotel had done for his child. These kinds of experiences make a customer forever loyal to a company.
Customer feedback can assist you in catering to the customers’ specific needs and in providing the best possible solutions. The customers may have a positive or negative opinion about your product and service. You should make sure that there is a proper channel where they can express their feelings. You can put comment cards on the counter, run surveys, or even install a chatbox message to learn about your customers’ opinions.
It is important to pay heed to their comments and respond accordingly. You need to show them that their opinions matter to you. Negative feedback is especially important to consider in order to understand the satisfaction factors of your customers. Moreover, it also gives insights into the management of your company. You must properly handle the feedback. Concede to your mistakes and address their complaints as soon as possible.
There are many ways to stay connected with your customers, whether it is through social media and other online tools. Don’t make the customers feel like they’re having one-way conversations when dealing with them online. Ask them what they want and respond promptly.
In the case of websites, design them in such a way that they are user friendly and easy to approach. You can also add informative, engaging blogs about your services to help them out.
These are some of the various ways to be connected with your customers:
- Send newsletters and personalized emails.
- Provide discounts and gifts.
- Invite customers to follow the company’s social media accounts, blogs, etc.
- Utilize PR outreach.
You need to know everything about your customer.
Read 3 Import ways of Nurturing your Customers to learn more about ways to keep them attracted to your brand.
Understand Psychology of the Customers
Understanding customer psychology can help in forming better relationships with your customers. Customers want to feel important; they want to know we care about their problems and opinions. They need to be treated in this way.
Understanding the factors that come into play behind customer satisfaction is the main purpose why one needs to learn about customer psychology. It’s basically analyzing the behavioral patterns, preferences, and emotions of your customers.
The principal benefits of understanding consumer psychology are:
- Loyalty – Customers become loyal and favor your brand when they are pleased with your products and services.
- Brand Support – Building strong relationships with customers by knowing their preferences and interests can help you improve your brand value.
When customers come forward with a problem, they expect their problem to be heard and acknowledged. They expect you to come up with a solution to their problems as quickly as possible.
Reward Loyal Customers
Customers tend to have an emotional connection with the brand they are loyal to. They also spend more than other customers and recommend the brand to other potential customers.
You can reward them for their support through different programs and further incentivize their loyalty. These are some approaches you can try:
- Provide special offers, discounts, free products, and other packages to show that you acknowledge them.
- Give premium services like video-chat, co-browsing, etc.
- Provide exclusive access to different programs.
- Offer tier and point based programs.
- Give birthday special offers and gift cards.
Sephora’s beauty insider has set a good example of how to make a reward program to appreciate your loyal customers. Its program consists of about 17 million members. These members contribute to 80% of their annual sales. The brand uses a traditional point-based system where customers can get rewards by making purchases. The great part is that the members have the option to decide how they will use the reward points.
Utilize CRM Tools
CRM or Customer Relationship Management tools will help in analyzing customers’ behavior, record their activities, and optimize promotional activities accordingly. A CRM software will help give you a comprehensive understanding of all the needs and habits of your customers.
Essentially, a CRM system can enhance your business by optimizing your relationship with customers in the following ways.
- Acquire valuable insights about the buyers.
- Divide customers into segments for optimal management.
- Forecast customers’ interests and requirements.
- Improve retention rate of customers.
- Ensure swift communication.
- Send targeted marketing messages.
You need to know everything about your customer
When I was running a business, I would tell my team, “If you lose the sale after spending 30 minutes with the customer, I’m OK with that as long as you learned three things about their personal life.”
Specifically, you need to know if they’re married? … do they have kids? … where are they going after work? … What are they doing on weekends? … What’s their hobbies???
These questions are going to keep customers for life.
Read 5 Ways to Learn how to improve your customer engagement for more detailed info.
We all know businesses make mistakes, but in the case of those customers with whom you took the time to ask about their personal life (with sincerity!), they aren’t going to care when there’s a mistake because they know you’re genuine and want to do good. By simply talking about life, they assume the fact that you are a good person and want to perform a good service for them.
You never have to tell them that you’re a good person.
Connecting with your customers on a personal level is the key to the growth of any business. What you’re selling is just a commodity – it means nothing. The person selling the product is the actual product for sale.
So, think about your customers and who your best customers are. You know exactly the customers I am talking about. Those are the ones who would bend over backwards for you if your team messed up. Focus on these customers because it’s this type of customer you need to search for and continue to learn about who they are.
Call them up, ask to meet for coffee or a chat over the phone. It may surprise you by what you learn from them. On top of that, you may get a few leads from the conversation as well. When you focus on learning who your customers are, there is no way your business will fail because the best key to moving forward as a business is through a strong customer relationship.
Today, maintaining customer relationships is more important than ever. Customers demand more and expect better treatment from sellers. We hope the above-mentioned tips and strategies will help you strengthen your relationship with customers and take your business to the next level.
If you want some help organizing your customer data and also want tips on how to boost your customer relations, feel free to shoot me an email so we can brainstorm your plan of attack!