Should you spend time to develop relationships with customers? It’s been interesting that as I do research for my upcoming book that revolves around customer relationships, I find that there are so many polarized views on building customer relationships. In fact, I read one article which suggested that Customer Relationship Marketing is hard; it’s time-consuming, and results are not guaranteed.
My response to that is that nothing is guaranteed. No other form of marketing is guaranteed. You must have a plan and keep implementing the plan with consistency. Building relationships takes time. The results are loyal customers and clients, as well as increase in revenue and profit, because people come to know, like, and trust you.
Have you decided to incorporate relationship marketing in your business, and are not sure where to begin? The following quick and easy ways to develop relationships with customers can serve to guide you.
- Who is Your Customer?
Do you really know who your customers are? 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 am sure you thank your customer for making a purchase, but do you go any further than this? Do you follow up with your customers or offer them any advice or information on using your products?
Unfortunately too many business owners overlook this 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.
Surprise your customer with an unexpected phone call or card. You do not subtly or slyly slide in a sales pitch. This is purely a call to focus on your customer/client and their needs. Maya Angelou said it well, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
- Stay in Touch through Written Communication
There are many ways to stay in touch with your customer, such as through email marketing, sending a Newsletter once or twice per month, or through your business blog. Your blog allows you to share product information, answer frequently asked questions, share insight from other sources that provide value to your clients, build trust and rapport.
If you’ve not started a business blog, or you’ve started but are not quite sure what to do, my friends over at First Site Guide have a Beginner’s Guide on “How to Start a Blog” that you may find helpful.
- Repeat Sales
It is much easier to get a current customer to buy another product or service, than constantly keep looking for new ones. 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.
Satisfied customers are 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.
Yvonne A Jones is a Success Business Coach|Customer Relationship Mentor|International Speaker| Best-Selling Author. She works with entrepreneurs, soloprofessionals, and small business owners to build strong relationships with clients and customers so they become loyal customers and raving fans, resulting in increased revenue and profits.
“Focus on RELATIONSHIPS, the money will follow.”