Building a relationship with your customers has several advantages. From increasing perceived value to enhancing the overall customer experience, building relationships with your customers is crucial to your business’s long-term success. Unfortunately for most businesses, they are neglecting to consider the impact that customer relationships have on their business and ultimately their bottom line. In an interesting study conducted in the 2013 Customer Satisfaction Report, clients of over 200 IT companies were questioned about their loyalty. The study showed that one in six clients were “at risk” of leaving or cancelling their contracts because of customer service issues.
One of the fastest ways to improve customer service and reduce customer turnover is through building relationships that create a long-term bond. Here are three strategies that will help you build those lasting relationships with your customers:
Practice Inbound Marketing
In opposition to traditional “Outbound Marketing” which focuses on you going to the customer (i.e. TV ads, emails), inbound marketing lets the customers come to you. Commonly known as “pull marketing”, inbound marketing is a great way to build relationships. Create valuable content that solves your customers’ real-world problems. This can be done through blogs or videos and shared through your website and social media outlets. These outlets keep the conversation rolling between your customers and your brand. Not to mention, inbound marketing tactics on average cost 62% less per lead than outbound marketing.
Stay In Regular Contact
Every interaction with a customer should be treated as an opportunity to build a relationship. By keeping in regular contact with your customers, you can track their sentiments, concerns, and ultimately understand their perception of your brand. Here’s a scary fact; 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain when they’re unhappy. Knowing how your customers feel will help you be able to better communicate how your product or service can add value to their lives. So what are some ways to stay in contact?
- Follow up with customers after meeting by phone, email, or even social media
- Send friendly reminders to show that you are thinking about them
- Create helpful content on a regular basis
- Send monthly updates to keep them up-to-date with your industry and company
- Provide customer feedback surveys to give them a chance to share their concerns, needs or problems.
Live For Customer Complaints
You heard it right. Negative feedback gives you the opportunity to hear what your customers really think about your service or product. They can help you improve your service, give you a chance to redeem yourself and keep potentially toxic reviews from hitting social media and the community. Be realistic about the solution to avoid disappointing another customer again, and then work to fix the problem. Instead of being upset about your next complaint, think of it as an opportunity to have two-way communication with your customers in a way that leaves them loving your brand because you listen to them.