With coronavirus prompting a record drop in consumer spending, your customer relationships have never been more critical. You need to be nurturing your client base to strengthen your connections, support them during this difficult time, and to survive beyond the pandemic.
Here are five strategies For building strong relationships with loyal customers:
1. Deposits vs. Withdrawals
There is an excellent metaphor that people are sharing on LinkedIn at the moment. It compares businesses to banking. In any transaction with your customer, you are either making a deposit or a withdrawal. Examples of making a deposit might be teaching them something new, giving out corporate gifts, or sending them a helpful and relevant whitepaper.
If you are making a withdrawal, you might be asking them to do a survey, or take time out of their busy schedule to watch a demo. Even if the demo will be helpful in the long run, it doesn’t help them cross anything off their to-do list for the day. So, when you are interacting with your customers, make sure you focus on deposits before you ask for a withdrawal.
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Through effective communication, you can prevent small inconveniences like late orders, changes in packaging size, or product updates from becoming a problem. Letting your customers know what is going on allows them to plan around the disruption.
Conversely, failing to communicate when things come up can cause immense and unnecessary frustration. How you deal with a situation can be the difference between losing a customer and turning them into an advocate for your business.
3. Celebrate Your Customers
Everyone likes to be recognized and appreciated. You can celebrate your customers in lots of different ways. You could try congratulating your primary contacts on any change of role, sending them an email or special deal for their customer anniversary, or remembering their birthday.
Customer loyalty programs are also a fantastic way to celebrate your regular customers. Along with discounts, the rewards could include early access to new products, VIP services, or unexpected bonuses. Because there are so many rewards programs out there, make sure that you consider what will be most meaningful to your customers.
4. Personalize their Experience
Companies are increasingly leveraging AI technology to personalize and improve the customer experience. One well-known example of this is the Netflix recommendations algorithm, which analyzes your viewing history, demographics, and personal preferences to recommend new shows that you may enjoy. By making your products and services as relevant as possible to each customer, you add value and increase customer retention.
5. Put Yourself in their Shoes
Too often, businesses talk a lot about what they do and who they are and forget to talk about the gap or problem they are solving for the customer. Have a read through your website, advertising, and social media posts. What is the ratio of references to “we vs. references to “you?”
It is always a good idea to frame the value you are delivering from the customer’s perspective. How will it save them time or make things easier for them? You might even go so far as to build a comparison table between your offer and your competitors, showing both your strengths and weaknesses. Going the extra mile to help your customer make an informed decision is a fantastic way to build strong, long-lasting relationships.
What are you doing to strengthen your customer relationships? Have you tried any of the above methods?
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