Easy Strategies to Develop Relationships with Your Customers

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strategies to develop relationships with your customersWho is Your Customer?

‘Who is your customer?’ may seem like a strange question to a business owner. But, do you really know who your customers are? If you have been in business for any length of time you may easily conclude that your customer is the person who buys from you, and you would not be wrong, but it would be an incomplete answer.

In today’s social world, it has become more important to avoid generalizations and get to know your customers on an individual basis so that you can meet their expectations and satisfy their needs. Granted, this can be done much more effectively by small businesses, yet large organizations can put customer relationship management (CRM) systems in place that help them identify their customers.

Your message or brand has to be directed to a specific person or group of persons so that it’s targeted and appeal to the persons to whom it’s intended. Can you write a summary of a typical customer, what they like, where they live, their income and age? If not then this is your first step.

You should also find out what other places they like to visit when online. Do they visit certain forums or are they all members of a certain group? When you discover where they hang out, get into the habit of visiting the same places. This will provide you with even more valuable insights into who your customer truly is.

Work on Developing Customer Relationships

I believe it would be fair to assume that you thank your customer for making a purchase, but do you go any further than that? Do you follow up with your customers or offer them any advice or information on using your products?

Let’s look at two examples, a Skin Care Consultant gives her customer a facial and sells her some highly-reputable skin care products to use at home. The customer loves the way her skin feels as she leaves the salon and is happy to continue using the products at home. The Consultant makes a note to call her in three days. When she does the customer tells her how happy she is that she followed up with her because she has been getting minor skin irritations when she uses the product. The Consultant tells her to stop using the products immediately and contacts the medical department of the company that manufacturers the product.

She is given questions to ask her customer, and when she does, she finds that she has a known allergy to an ingredient in one of the products. She’s able to switch her to something else. Her customer is delighted and thinks of her as the best Consultant who really cares about her customers. She tells all her friends about her, her salon, her products, and helps to grow her business. She took the time to build a relationship leading to a loyal customer.

Another Skin Care Consultant provides a similar service to her customer and off she goes. She makes a note to call her new customer in three months, which is the average time most people will finish those products. Let’s say her customer had similar results.

Three months later she calls and is greeted with a hostile response and scathing comments from her former customer of how bad the products were, and the damage they did to her skin. The Consultant is surprised and offers to replace the products. Her former customer tells her she’d not interested in using any of those products, and had thrown away the items she purchased a long time ago.  She politely, but firmly, hangs up the phone.

What the Consultant does not know is that her former customer has complained to everyone who would listen about her and her products.

Following-up, as the first consultant did, would have averted this situation. Even if she did not become a loyal customer, she would have reason to believe that the consultant cared about her personally. By contacting her three months after the same, the customer was convinced that she was not interested in her, but in her money.t

Unfortunately too many business owners overlook the follow-up step. Instead of trying to build customer loyalty, they are always looking for new customers. If you want your business to grow and thrive, then it is crucial that you work on developing a relationship with your customers, and it starts with the follow-up.

Repeat Sales

It is much easier to get a current customer to buy another product or service, than constantly keep looking for new ones. According to research done by Marketing Metrics, there’s a 5-20% possibility of selling to a new prospect. On the other hand, the probability of selling to an existing customer increases 60-70%.

If you don’t have many repeat customers then take a look at your business model. Did you take the time to build a database or mailing list? Do you ever offer your customer’s related products and tools that complement their original purchase? If not you really are leaving money on the table.

You can improve this area of your business by offering great customer service and by following up with your buyers.

A satisfied customer is only too happy to keep buying from you. They know they can trust your opinions and judgement and they know you are looking after their interests. If you can continually deepen this relationship you will have customers for life.

Conclusion

Relationship marketing is all about developing a good line of communication with your customers. One of which is knowing everything you can about your product. In addition this helps build trust and respect with your customers. If they can see that you know what you are talking about, it will be easier for them to buy from you.

Customers are interested in doing business with people they know, like, and trust and a one-sided relationship will no longer be tolerated.  They want to know that the person with whom they’re spending their money cares about them personally. When you develop relationships with your customers you’re more likely to have loyal customers who want to do business with you.

 

Do you have questions about developing relationships with your customers. I offer a complimentary Double Your Clients Breakthrough Session. You’re invited to click on the phone on my Home Page, fill in the form and let’s schedule your free session today.

 

 


Comments

Easy Strategies to Develop Relationships with Your Customers — 11 Comments

  1. This is such an important topic Yvonne, and one that a surprising number of entrepreneurs just really don’t get. Years ago I worked for a time as a district manager for Avon. I had around 1,000 Reprs in my district, many of whom had been selling Avon for decades. I recall one situation where the established Reprs had trained their customers pick up their orders. Then a couple moved into the area and both began selling Avon and not only offered delivery but gave customers advance notice of upcoming promotions and sales (imagine the nerve?!) 🙂

    Not surprisingly their business quickly took off and the other Reprs complained bitterly. We tried to explain to them competition is normal in business and they were free to offer the same or similar service – they wanted Avon to kick the new Reprs out but the company refused. Needless to say it was an unpleasant mess, and I wish I could say was an isolated incident but from from it.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…What If It’s Time to Rethink Your Dream?My Profile

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience, Marquita. Isn’t ironic that the other representatives did not think they could
      copy the example of someone who clearly knew how to demonstrate excellent customer service and build relationships. Instead they saw
      them only as a threat. I’d love to get your permission to use this incident as a case study without mentioning company the reps represented
      and the location.

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      It’s so easy to overlook some things, Susie, but this is one step that is helpful in building the relationships.
      And often it’s as simple as asking current customers/clients where they hangout online. You’re welcome for the
      reminder. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Excellent and extremely practical advice Yvonne!

    Should definitely a main course in “Business Building 101″LOL!

    It’s amazing how many cash strapped business owners and or wannabee entrepreneurs fall into the trap of chasing outrageously expensive, brand new first time customers and or clients, as opposed to fully nurturing and
    servicing the details out of their current ones!

    If they only relentlessly adhere to your sound advice, they will grow
    their business much faster and get into profitability so much sooner!

    You did a great job!Thanks!

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Thank you, Mark. I appreciate your feedback and comments. You know, I’ve often thought of putting together a presentation entitled “Love the One You’re With”
      but I think the songwriter may come after me for infringement. 🙂 Seriously though, it would make more sense to nurture the relationships with the people who
      already know you, and possibly like and trust you, rather than expending a lot of time and money to attract new people. Seems logical, right? Of course there
      will be attrition due to various circumstances, but when your current customers and clients become your advocates, it helps to reduce acquisition costs
      because they will gladly share their positive experiences with their friends and relatives.

  3. Jennifer|the Golden Entrepreneur on said:

    I agree, Yvonne. You really must get inside the head of your customer – and if you haven’t done a profile, how can you?
    Having said that – I found it very hard to do and still lose sight of my “ideal customer” in the hustle and bustle of selling!

    Thanks for the reminder
    Jennifer|the Golden Entrepreneur recently posted…Done For You Blog SetupMy Profile

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      That can be a real challenge, Jennifer, because we want to help everyone. And the truth is that ‘everyone’ may not need our message, but when
      we identify our target market, it can be directed just to them so they say, “Yes, that is for me. I want that.” This is something I believe we
      all struggle with. 🙂

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      I like that saying, Mike, as it really says a lot. If we treat people as if they are a commodity and fail to follow-up to build the relationship (after service)
      then we shouldn’t expect they’ll want to eagerly do business with us again (after sales). Thank you for coming over and for leaving your thoughtful comment.

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