Communication is an essential part of any relationship–even with your customers! As a business you may view your relationship with your customers similar to that of a personal relationship–one that needs to be cultivated, respected, and, of course, mutually rewarding. Without these qualities a customer may become dissatisfied and look for alternative places to do business, namely your competitors. However, with proper care and nurturing, you can build a relationship with your customers that will last a lifetime and may even turn them into ambassadors of your brand. Here are five ways you can nurture a relationship with customers and hopefully keep them coming back:
1. Be personal
Personalization, while not a new trend, is definitely a good marketing habit that will help nurture a relationship with your customers. Being personal shows that you care about your customer’s preferences. For example, if you’re a local store and you send an email blast with a subject line regarding a dog toy discount you’re offering, it’s likely that recipients who don’t own a dog won’t even open the email, and just send it to the trash or even mark it as spam! However, if you segment your email lists based on information you’ve gathered about your customers, and send emails tailored to their preferences, they’ll be more likely to value the content you send them and look forward to messages in the future. This way, you’ll be able to give your customers information that’s more relevant to them and they’ll feel more valued as well.
2. Send notes or special gifts
Whether you are thanking them for their purchase, congratulating them on an accomplishment, or simply reaching out to ensure all is well, sending a card or email to your customers shows that you are thinking of them and you appreciate their business. While this may be more difficult in some industries, you may be surprised how well this can be incorporated into your current relationship-building processes. To make a little more of an impact, think about sending a gift as well to help them get the message and feel like they’re a valued customer. Depending on the occasion and your relationship with the customer, a simple note or gift can go a long way, especially if they aren’t expecting to receive anything. If your message lands well, your customer may even share their experience on social media or with their friends–exposure that can help you build more relationships!
3. Give a shoutout/recommendation on social media
Recognizing your customers publicly is a great way to build a relationship with them and thank them for their business. As a B2C company, such as a restaurant or specialty store, you could share a photo of a customer (with their permission) as they visit your store or after they’ve made a purchase. For B2B companies, think about tagging a vendor that has helped you successfully launch an event or new product, or even just shouting out a business you’re interested in working with in the future. One thing to remember is that when you post on social media, you aren’t just building a single customer relationship anymore–you’re sharing the relationship you have with your customer and adding a layer of social proof. This way, you can help show your support for the community as a whole and start building relationships there as well.
4. Hold a special event
Another way to help build a relationship with your customers is by holding a special event in their honor. Maybe your business is celebrating a milestone and you want to thank those who helped you get there, or you simply want to share a special promotion for your most loyal customers. Hosting an “invite only” event will make your customers feel that they are part of an exclusive group and that their relationship with your business is valued.
5. Listen to them
Like any personal relationship, it’s important that both sides of a business relationship feel that they are being listened to. While you can listen to your customers through their online reviews and comments, and any comments made to your representatives in store or over the phone, you need to be able to show that you are listening by how you respond. While not every suggestion will make sense for your business, there are likely ways that you can incorporate customer feedback, perhaps through staff training or procedural changes, that will make a noticeable impact to your customers. You can also show you are listening by actively asking for feedback. Send out a survey to your customers within a few days after they’ve purchased from you so their experience is fresh in their mind and they will be able to give you more valuable feedback. By simply giving your customers an avenue to share their experience, good or bad, and taking their feedback into consideration, you’re helping them feel valued–an essential component of a productive relationship.
Building a relationship with your customers doesn’t have to be difficult–just a few steps can make all the difference! If you need assistance nurturing a relationship with your customers, whether it’s through email campaigns, an event, or another channel, we can help! Contact Concierge Marketing today for a free 30-minute consultation.