No matter what kind of services you provide or products you sell, customer relationship-building should be at the heart of your business. Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think to strengthen your relationships. Then, customers are more likely to come back and recommend your company to people they know.
1. Respond to Online Reviews
The internet lets people leave feedback about their experiences with businesses in minutes. If you’re serious about having better relationships with customers, one straightforward thing to do is respond to their reviews.
A 2022 survey revealed that 89% of people would be highly or fairly likely to do business with a company that responded to every review. Then, 57% of respondents indicated they’d be not very likely or not at all likely to choose companies that don’t respond to any reviews.
Customers like to feel that company representatives hear them and take their feedback into account. Your reply gives them that assurance.
Depending on the size of your company, it may be too big of a workload to write back to every customer review each day. However, if you set up a schedule, so you’re at least submitting responses within a week or two of the feedback coming in, that’ll go a long way in improving relationships.
2. Maintain the Company’s Social Channels
Your company’s social media channels may be among the first places current, and potential customers go for accurate information and the latest updates. They’ll appreciate consistency when landing at those online destinations.
One simple way to give it to them is to build templates for each social media channel. Make sure they feature all pieces of information your company publishes regularly. That could mean the template has a certain format for text and images or the contact details for your company.
Keep in mind that each social media platform has particular specifications. You may need to resize images or make other tweaks to ensure the template’s content looks professional and appealing.
However, taking these steps will pay off by setting visitors’ expectations when they come to the page. They’ll instantly recognize aspects of your business, such as the font and color scheme, helping them create stronger associations with the company.
3. Understand Your Customers’ Needs
Many people find it increasingly difficult to make deep connections, but they’re often willing to do so when they perceive that their preferred brands understand them. One study of several thousand consumers across all age groups revealed that approximately 26% said they felt greater loyalty to favorite brands, while about 60% said their commitment to them was unchanged.
One effective way to encourage more loyalty from your customers is to put yourself in their position when deciding what to offer. Become aware of what they may find stressful, inconvenient or frustrating in their lives and explore how your company could ease those issues.
That may be as simple as opening one hour later on weekday mornings to accommodate more people who want to stop in on their way to work. It might also mean offering consumers more options for doing business with you, such as by launching delivery or curb-side pickup services. It’s not always easy to know what changes your customers would welcome most.
You can also be proactive and ask for people’s input about proposed changes. One option is to put up a sign that says something like, “We’re considering offering weekday delivery services. What do you think?” Then, incentivize people by entering them into a prize drawing once they give their thoughts. Provide the option to say things anonymously too.
4. Act Efficiently to Make Things Right
Even if your business runs extremely smoothly most of the time, things will inevitably go wrong. Customers know that, but they’ll be more likely to forgive you and want to keep doing business with the company if you work quickly to remedy the situation.
Start by removing any friction that could make it take longer than necessary for a customer to get a resolution. You might give employees permission to replace or fully refund the price of broken items without getting a supervisor’s approval. Another possibility is to provide employees with the authority to offer free shipping or a significant discount on a customer’s next order,
Include instructions on an order form or receipt to tell customers what to do if something’s wrong, too. Give specific details, such as when your phone lines are open or mention that your representatives reply to all emails within a business day.
Then, people will have the correct expectations. They’ll also appreciate knowing what they need to do to make your company aware of an issue.
5. Provide Personalized Offers and Service When Possible
Interactions and perks customized to individual consumers can also help you strengthen relationships. Of course, you need certain pieces of information from people to make personalization work. However, consumers are often more open to providing it if they know they’ll get nice things in return.
You might start by asking for a person’s birthdate and email address. Then, send them a birthday greeting on their special day that includes a coupon or code they can use to get something free.
The personalization could also extend to the things they’ve purchased before or are likely to buy soon. Perhaps a customer recently bought a product from your newly launched makeup line. You could send them an email about an upcoming sale that might encourage them to get a complementing product.
A less-specific approach is to ask people to indicate all the product categories that interest them. Then, send them related offers while not passing along content that doesn’t fit into those groups.
Building Relationships Is an Ongoing Effort
These five tips will get you off to a great start in improving your customer relationships. However, making progress requires a sustained approach. You may not make all the right decisions, but most customers should recognize your dedication and respond favorably.