The time, when companies were aiming for a single sale without caring whether customers come back, has now gone. Well, at least it should be, otherwise at some moment you might simply run out of potential new customers in your area.
Similarly to human relationships customer ones are not always easy to build as it involves lots of considerations. But you will see that it is worth it – these are relationships worth investing in.
Build your network
As explained in Enterpreneur.com “contacts are your potential customers waiting for you to connect with their needs.” Basically, in order to start building customer relationships you have to have a group of people who would be interested in this.
When growing your network though, do not concentrate on simply looking for people who have an interest in your product category. Remain human with your own personality – attend networking events, exhibitions or concerts. Stay be interested in things and who knows maybe people will become interested in you. For such a situation always carry your business cards with you.
Listen to what customers say
An understanding of customer is an often repeating topic in our blog and this is not a coincidence. Understanding of customer, client or simply people surrounding you is a key to finding an approach to communications. As it was said in “Understanding is everything”:
“The clearer you can explain your idea to them the better, as this will allow you to tailor the most effective content and encourage, not more people to read it, but the right people to make the decision to purchase.”
Respond quickly and react fast
No matter what industry you’re operating in, it is definitely going through the change due to the developments in the external environment. Just think about increasingly trending is technology and environmental issues, for example. In a time when competition is increasing rapidly and differences between providers fading, it is vital to react quickly and be first. “The faster your business is able to send and receive information, the better you will be able to take advantage of opportunities and avert mishaps in a timely fashion” says Devra Gartenstein.
As a result of changes in external environment, the needs of your customers might take another turn. Audience expect a fast response and if disappointed, by not receiving this, will simply find it somewhere else.
Technology has enabled this fast communication by, for example, such a (nowadays) common tool as email. E-mail marketing campaign might not ensure instant loyalty, but is a secure step towards it.
Reward loyal customers
It is not surprising that your local supermarket has a loyalty scheme or give away some products for returning customers, as according to Inc magazine the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67 percent more than a new one. Loyal customers are your business’s best friends so don’t forget to say thank you for being with you and remind how important this friendship is to you. Loyal customers result in brand advocates and it is said that word of mouth is the present and future of marketing communications.
Continuing on the importance of regular and close communication, social media cannot be overlooked. It is possible to implement all the previous point only if you are part of customer’s life and you know what is happening in it. Every relationship involves participation and always depends on two sides – you don’t want to be a friend who is always late and doesn’t know what’s going on. Be a part of your customers life to ensure that you are part of their’s.
The world’s top brands are using social media as a meaningful way of deepening relationships with their customers. Just look at The Body Shop, a helpful friend who sends gifts to people tweeting about their issues. This example clearly shows that every company can find its’ way to make their fellows happy – the secret again is understanding. Most of marketing agencies’ services now include social media management as after more than a decade of its presence the results of have spoken for themselves.
As every friendship customer relationship management involves long term attention and investment. It cannot be built overnight, but implementing these 5 simple steps though, will be a first step towards it.
This blog post was written by Diana Lauska at Coretium