Most businesses share similar business goals. Those are:
- More customer acquisition
- Better customer retention
- Reducing cost
- Selling more products/services and
- Making more profit
Businesses revolve around customers. Thus, customer acquisition used to be among the top priorities of any business. It still is; any business strategy begins with the thought of customer acquisition.
However, customer retention is just as necessary. Here’s an infographic showing just how effective customer retention can be:
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Building a relationship with customers increases customer retention, reduces churn, boosts a customer’s lifetime value (CLV), and improves your brand advocacy. Thus, building customer relationships is just as important(if not more) as customer acquisition.
In this article. we’ll look into some of the best ways to build customer relationships that don’t just help retain more customers, but also inspire them to advocate for your brand whenever possible!
But before we dive in, let’s look at why it’s important to build customer relationships…
Importance of building customer relationships
In today’s market, you need to attract, engage, and delight people continually. And building excellent customer relationships fall under the strategy that aims to delight the audience. According to a 2019 study by Edelman Trust, over 80% of people want to buy products from trusted brands.
With such statistics all over, it’s safe to say that today’s customers want a relationship with your business. Customer retention is primarily beneficial for three meaningful reasons:
Customers don’t switch because of the cost; they leave because of the lack of communication and service. Today’s customers want certainty that the brand will keep them in mind before making any decision. That’s why you have a 60 to 70 percent chance of selling to an existing customer than 5 to 20 percent of selling to a new prospect.
Acquiring a new customer is exciting, but it’s vital to reduce the customer churn rate. And building better customer relationships can be your primary weapon to do so.
Boosting customer lifetime value
Customer retention is an essential metric for calculating CLV, aka customer lifetime value. It refers to the total lifetime revenue a business can expect from its customers. There are multiple methods of calculating CLV for your business. It enables you to understand how much you were earning for each customer you acquired and predict how much you’ll be making.
By building a customer relationship with your customers, you can increase customer retention probability as they are more likely to keep the relationship going with a company they trust.
Increasing brand advocacy
Brand advocacy happens when your customers are so satisfied with your product or service that they recommend it to their friends. Satisfied customers are way more likely to recommend your products to their friends and family, who are more eager to listen. Studies show that word-of-mouth marketing is guaranteed to convert anyone who’s listening! Customer relationship is such a thing that it can set you 1v1 with your customers, allowing you to grow your business organically by making them delighted with fantastic customer-centric dishes.
Thus, customer relationships matter and your business needs to develop one. So without further ado, let’s look into some of the best techniques to build customer relationships.
10 tips for building better customer relationships
Because when it comes to business, customers are the boss. From legendary CEOs like Jeff Bezos to business magnets like Bill Gates, everyone admitted that customers make a business, one way or another.
Customer relationships require effort, and the action needs to be driven by one or multiple strategies. Here are the ten best ways to build better customer relationships:
Know your customers
“Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer.”– Scott Cook
What’s the first thing you do when reaching out to someone? Of course, no one likes strangers. And that’s why knowing your customer comes first.
In today’s market, you need to know your customer’s pain points, tap into their emotions, and empathize with them with the right kind of solution. You need to find out how your customers have ended up arriving and what made them interact with your business.
Such information will help you gain insights into their interests and help you better analyze their habits. For example, you manage your business through a website, and your customers typically land on particular pages of your website through social media. We can identify this as an “interest.” If the customer ends up buying one of your products, this can indicate your customer’s buying habit.
Once you know about your customer, communications get easier, enabling you to form a meaningful relationship.
Try to learn why your past customers left
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”– Bill Gates
Does your business experience a high customer churn rate?
Perhaps you’re not paying attention to why your customers are leaving—understanding how to prevent customers from leaving starts with learning why your past customers left. The possible reasons could include everything. But you’ll likely find out a few common reasons that are making customers go.
One excellent idea is to compare past customers with your present customers; you’ll likely also understand the best practices to retain customers and reduce the customer churn rate. Besides, to keep your email list updated, don’t forget to employ an email list cleaning service.
Focus on personalizing the customer experience
“Customer service is about empathy.”– Chaz Van de Motter
Customers love relationships. But the best communication experiences are built upon personalization. You can better empathize with your customer when you can tailor a personalized communication experience for them. It involves tailoring your communications based on your customer’s data, interests, and behaviors.
Discover some of the best email personalization techniques
Reach out to them often
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”– Steve Jobs
In today’s world, customers are crowded with advertisements from social media, emails, and various other marketing channels. As a result, remaining familiar to your customer is challenging. That’s why engagements play a pivotal role in customer retention.
However, you don’t need an invitation to say hello. To increase engagement, you can use opportunities to send out greetings on the holidays or reach out to them with helpful content every week. In this way, you can earn more insights into your customer’s demographics and behavior patterns that you can later utilize to craft personalized content and emails tailored to them. Just like personalization, engagement can help you establish a phenomenal customer relationship that leads to more conversions.
Ensure round-the-clock support
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”– Jeff Bezos
Support is instrumental for any business. Customers expect reliability, consistency, and round-the-clock support from any organization. Good customer services help keep the customers in the loop and ensure faster service. This increases the trust and popularity of a business among customers.
As Jeff Bezos mentioned, customers are like the invited guest of a party who expects to be served on time. And failure to do so will result otherwise. So your customer service team should be ready to provide reliable and round-the-clock support.
Pay attention to customer feedback
“Customers often know more about your products than you do. Use them as a source of inspiration and ideas for product development.”– David J. Greer
Customers like to participate in product or service improvement. Whether you post about your product on social media or catch your customers talking randomly about your business, they will always have one or two opinions to share about your business. Today’s customers want to be a part of your business, if not the entire business.
By seeking feedback from your customer, you’ll also show that you genuinely care about your customer and value their opinion. And when you pay attention to feedback and resolve issues, it can establish loyalty among your customers. Hence, you should be eager to gather customer feedback and implement strategies to deal with them effectively.
“The reputation of a thousand years may be undermined by the conduct of one hour.”– Japanese proverb
Honesty is about being open to your customers. Hiding information or playing tricks to make your products or service look better may help you in the short term. But once the truth is disclosed, your business will suffer in the long run. Besides, the key to running a successful business is to exceed expectations. If you promise something that you may not have a 100% chance of achieving, you will risk hurting years of customer relationships.
So it’s essential, to be honest even when the truth doesn’t favor your business. For example, if the possible delivery date is unlikely to meet, let the customer know your limitation, don’t keep them hanging. In most cases, the customer will accept your limitation.
Reward your loyal customers
“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.”– Chip Bell
Some customers buy and leave, and some customers buy again and again. What are you doing to repay their faith in your organization? It’s wise to develop a loyalty program for loyal customers. This helps your organization in two ways.
Firstly, you’ll retain more customers, and secondly, the reward policy will also give you a marketing boost. Some ways to reward your customers can be:
- Offer discounts for high-spending customers
- Allow customers to earn loyalty discount cards
- Offer free gifts for returning customers
- Offer holidays based on points earned via purchases
- Start a referral program
Also, you can arrange giveaways keeping your brand top of mind. Items such as t-shirts, and hoodies can give you a marketing boost and help retain more customers.
Build a community
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.”– Ken Blanchard
Communities get you better insights, trust, support, networking opportunities, and incredible brand advocates. It all begins with customer satisfaction. Having a few customers that will rave about you all over social media is undoubtedly better than having thousands of lukewarm customers.
Apart from customer satisfaction, you can arrange get-togethers to help your customers meet each other or participate in public discussions. Such meetups and discussions are likely to improve customer relationships, and you’ll end up building a community that often raves about you!
Use a customer relationship management system
“Legendary customer experiences are designed.”– Dwayne Vera
Excellent customer service takes time. To develop one, you need to consistently track your sales, marketing, and business management team’s data and interactions. Of course, you can maintain a spreadsheet to keep all the data and interactions of your customers. But in the long run, such spreadsheets and notes will eventually feel like a burden.
Thus, we recommend using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage better, segment, and communicate with your customers with effective customer retention emails. Such systems are made up of reliable customer management tools that effectively provide dedicated customer service.
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CRM solutions are often complicated and expensive. Although adopting a customer retention policy may seem vital, the cost involved in a CRM eventually discourages some organizations from adopting a CRM solution. Besides, most businesses dislike the pay-as-you-go model of regular CRMs.
But if you are managing your e-commerce website via WordPress, FluentCRM can be an inexpensive option for you. The CRM, available as a plugin, can offer most of the tools you need to successfully track and manage customer interactions. You can collect unlimited customer data and send out unlimited marketing and transactional emails.
The functionalities of FluentCRM are more than good enough to maintain superb customer service, and you’ll also avoid paying for hundreds of features that you’ll never need!
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You can compare customer relationships to any other relationship in the world. If you treat a relationship like you treated it initially, you don’t need to worry about it. Like all relationships, you need to keep contacting your customers, understand what will make them happier, and often exceed their expectations. On the other hand, failure to maintain efficient customer service will result in poor customer relationships, leading to higher customer churn and fewer sales.
We tried to give you some of the most popular customer relationship-building tactics through this article above. However, it’s vital to develop a positive company attitude towards customer retention and develop a customer relationship policy of your own. With that said, we hope you will reduce churn, boost customer lifetime value, and increase brand advocacy like never!
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