Building good customer relationships is important for any small business. It is like the soul of your business that helps gain more loyal customers and helps you thrive in a competitive environment.
In this post, we will share with you some very doable tips on building good customer relationships.
Table of contents
- What is customer relations
- Importance of building good customer relationships
- How to build good customer relationships
- Other important tips
What is customer relations
Customer relations is simply establishing a connection with your customers that helps build trust and loyalty. This can be described by the quality of experience they have in doing business with you, whether it is the way you deliver your products or services, the way you do after-sales, the way you do marketing and promotion, and everything in between.
Compared with customer service, building customer relations is more focused on a longer-term view. While customer service is part of building good customer relations, customer service is more focused on the delivery of your products/services and addressing after-sales concerns. Customer relationships, on the other hand, aims at keeping customers and making them loyal to your brand.
Importance of building good customer relationships
You may know by heart why you need to establish good relations with your customers – so they will keep on coming back to you. More than that, there are actually many other reasons why it is important to build good customer relations.
- You will improve your brand image that will help increase the value of your company.
- You will draw in new customers through word of mouth by your loyal clients.
- You will constantly encourage improvement and innovation within your company as you strive to build good relations with your customers
- You will learn more about your customers, such as their needs and wants, which will help you plan for future strategies.
How to build good customer relationships
Running a small business is actually a good thing when it comes to building customer relations. The size of your clientele will allow you to better reach your customers at a more personal level compared to those running big businesses.
So how can you establish and maintain good relations with your customers? You may consider any of the following tips on how to build good customer relationships:
1. Give importance to customer service
Since customer relations is about customer experience, you need to give utmost attention to customer service. Make sure you and your staff are welcoming and attentive. Be responsive to queries on social media, email, and website. Finally, deliver the product or service, including after-sales, as promised.
2. Ask for feedback
Every time you complete a sale, always seek feedback, whether using in-store feedback forms or online (e.g. FB page review, website feedback form). This will allow you to improve your product/service, customer service, and other aspects that go with the process. Feedback also gives your customers the impression that you truly value their experience with your brand.
3. Give perks to loyal customers
You can do this by giving special discounts to your loyal customers through vouchers and discount codes. You can also use stamp cards, reward cards, and similar techniques to help promote brand loyalty. You can offer memberships that give your customers exclusive offers, such as members-only sale, discounts or freebies during birthdays or other occasions, early access to scheduled sales, and more.
4. Greet your customers
Whether it’s a completed sale, a subscription to your blog or newsletter, a birthday, or a special holiday, take time to greet your customers. Thank them for their purchase, welcome them to your blog, or greet them on their birthdays or during holidays. You can also personalize these greetings by adding exclusive promos. A discount voucher, a stamp on their loyalty card, or a freebie with or without minimum purchase are great ideas.
5. Use content marketing
Read more: Content Marketing
6. Feature your company
Letting your customers learn about your story would make them feel they are part of your family. Do not hesitate to share your story like history, special events, employee awards, community activities, and other noteworthy stories with them. You can post them on your website, your blog, your newsletter, or you can even put on them up on a news board in your retail store.
7. Feature your customers
Another way to build good customer relationships is by appreciating your customers. One great way of doing this is by featuring your clients in your social media accounts and in your website. You may post a screenshot of your customers’ positive feedback on your account, as well as share posts that mention and tag your brand. You may also use customer experience as case studies for your website.
8. Be humble
You can never really please everybody and some mistakes are inevitable. When these situations happen, be humble to accept your shortcomings and be quick to offer solutions. In the same manner, when a customer posts negative feedback on social media or emails a complaint letter, be sure to promptly reply and address the concern.
Other important tips
- When choosing the strategies, remember to at least have a general knowledge of your customers. Knowing their common needs, interests, demographics, and other information will help you determine which methods could work best.
- You can also use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools to evaluate and manage your relationships with your customers and potential customers. Consistent monitoring can help you see if your strategies are working. This way, you can see which ones need to be maintained and which ones to drop.