by Angela Delaney
Six ways to develop excellent relationships with your customers
Good relationships are key to business success. Without positive and productive interactions and communication with your customers, suppliers, staff, distribution networks and so on, building a successful business can be an uphill battle.
And having an excellent relationship with your customers - past, present and future - is perhaps the most pivotal of all.
Below, we list our top tips to help you develop a fantastic relationship with your customers. Follow these guidelines and build relationships that will:
- Endure and grow stronger over time
- Lead to enthusiastic brand loyalty
- Ensure your customer returns to you again and again
- Develop more relationships as your customers recommend your service or product throughout their networks.
1. Have conversations
Review how you’re communicating with your customers - are you simply telling them who you are and what you sell, or are you having a conversation with them? By interacting and responding to your customers’ queries and complaints, customers are likely to feel more comfortable in trusting your brand as they know they will be heard when they speak up.
2. Be available
Create a company-wide rule - how long will it take you to respond to your customers’ queries? Within 24 hours, two-three days? Whatever you decide, stick to this and make it readily known to your customers so that they know you have heard them and will get back to them as soon as possible. People will be willing to wait for you to get in touch, just as long as they know how long they have to wait.
3. Respond quickly
Take into account the medium or platform your customer has chosen to use when contacting you - is it on social media? Through your company’s website, or through the marketplace in which you sell your products? Make sure you adapt your availability to suit these mediums. People who send queries or complaints through social media channels will expect, and appreciate, a quicker response than an email to the customer support helpline.
4. Be upfront
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s that simple. Be honest about what your product or service provides, what’s included in the deal, what the returns policy is, and how long your customer can expect for a delivery. By being upfront you can avoid any issues that could lead to a breakdown in your relationship further down the line.
5. Exceed expectations
Surprise your customers. Surpass what they expect you can deliver and, in doing so, garner goodwill, delight and appreciative reviews. A great way to do this is to tell your customers their order will arrive in ten days, knowing you’ll be able to deliver it in five days. Using a shipping portal like World Options can be fantastic tool to keep track of when your goods will reach your customers, so you can keep on exceeding those expectations.
6. Show a little appreciation
Customer loyalty is a valuable commodity and, by showing a little appreciation, you can keep your customers coming back again and again. There are plenty of ways to show you how much you value their patronage - hand out exclusive one-off discounts to big spenders or repeat buyers, invest in a loyalty dicount scheme that offers them money off a purchase, or issue a points reward system where customers can build up points with every purchase in exchange for goods. Simple freebies such as branded pens, calendars and tote bags can also be an easy way to say ‘thank you’, and keep your company name within sight.
Build an enduring relationship
Without happy, satisfied customers, your business could become stuck in the mud and struggle to grow as successfully as you know it deserves to. After putting all that time, hard work and energy into running the company, make sure you remember to also invest time in cultivating those relationships with your customers.
By following our six-point guide you’ll be on the right path to building enduring, long-lasting and productive relationships that will help your business to grow.