Customer relationships form the backbone of every successful business. It is a simple fact that experts have held up for decades: no matter what the business offers, the key to success rests with relationships. From suppliers to associates, relationships make up every aspect of a U.S. business owner’s existence, and while they all require constant care and cultivation, customer relationships can be the most fragile.
Even when a business has succeeded in building a customer base, a business must never take that relationship for granted. A U.S. business owner can never afford to believe customers no longer require attention; doing so can result in those customers wandering off to see what else the market has to offer. With that in mind, consider these six simple tricks on building customer relationships.
7 Effective Tips to Build Strong Customer Relationships in 2022:
1. Send Small Gifts
There is a reason why realtors leave gift baskets for new homeowners, and car dealerships include vehicle detailing kits with every purchase: best service pros know the small gifts accentuate the trust a customer has given the business while promising further care and attention in the future.
When it comes to customer relationships, a gift should say more about personal attention than excess. As such, large gifts might be deemed excessive or impersonal. However, a small gift communicates appreciation and attention without overwhelming the customer.
Pick the time and place to bestow the gift as with any gift. It should be in celebration, so holidays and deal closings tend to be the most popular.
See Also: How to Build Customer Loyalty
2. Never Close the Door
We may lose sight of the fact that we inadvertently close the doors to potential clients. For example, our service does not fully suit them. However, just because a customer didn’t buy today doesn’t mean they cannot buy tomorrow, does it?
Let’s say you made a great presentation, but your offer didn’t work for the client for some reason. How can you leave the door open?
“I respect your decision. Could I call you in a couple of weeks to find out how things will turn out?”
We have left behind a call to action that is very gentle and demonstrates personal customer care. You left the door open for further interaction.
When it comes to building customer relationships, it’s important to remember how big of a factor timing plays in a customer’s decision. The customer decides to move forward in an ideal situation, and the business complies accordingly. However, when the customer can’t or won’t move forward due to timing, it’s important for the best service pros to acknowledge that reality and plan for the future.
Always leave a potential customer with the opportunity to contact the business again in the future.
3. Don’t Work with People
A key element of customer relationship management is to work with customers. While the popular saying claims the customer is always right, the business-customer relationship has never been a one-way relationship. Both parties have to agree on terms, and if they can’t do that because of the customer’s demands, it’s important for the business not to overextend its energies and resources trying to please one customer.
But that doesn’t mean the business has to show the customer the door politely. Instead, offer to send the customer to a business partner to better accommodate their needs.
For example, your law firm deals mainly with health and accident insurance. A customer appears on the horizon who needs help in a criminal case. Can you help them? Probably yes. Will this be the best service for the client? Not at all necessary.
This approach to business will let the customer understand the business will go the extra mile to do right by them, even if it means sending a little business elsewhere. Also, the business partner should return the favor in the future.
See? business really is all about relationships. Moreover, using the business to canvass customer relationships can be profitable in the future.
4. Use Unexpected Discounts
Discounts can be a double-edged sword for a U.S. business owner as a customer relationship tool. On the one hand, it allows a business to offer a customer what they want at a lower price, which the customer should find gratifying, while the business owner gets to offload excess product potentially.
Of course, any discount can be a detriment to the business owner; less money for a product can really eat into the bottom line, and the customer may start to expect the discount on a regular basis.
The solution? Offer the discount when the customer won’t be expecting it, and don’t make the offer every time the customer shows up. A discount should communicate how much a business appreciates the trust repeatedly given by the customer, and that trust merits a reward.
5. List Your Achievements
In business, listing your achievements doesn’t count as bragging. Any positive achievement can be a microphone that allows the business to shout out what they can do for the customers. This is telling existing clients that you are not standing still, that you are developing and that you can better satisfy the client when he comes back to you.
Any sign of merit that a business has achieved should be celebrated and shared with customers. Celebrating five years of operations? Wonderful; that five years longer than most businesses don’t get to achieve. Received a service award from a national organization? Outstanding; they recognize the hustle, and the customer will see they can depend on the business, too.
See Also: Why Data Is Important in Business
6. Ask for Feedback
When in doubt, ask for help.
Remember that a business/customer relationship cannot survive if only one member pays attention to the relationship. Customer feedback allows a business to see what’s working and, more importantly, what needs attention.
Keeping that in mind, a U.S. business should not hesitate to get feedback from their customers about the experiences. Requesting feedback should also demonstrate to the customers how much their opinion matters to the business.
7. Building Better Relationships
In summary, we can see that gradually, step by step, it is possible to build unbreakable bonds and customer trust. This takes a concerted effort and time. But who said it would be easy? Both parties can build and maintain a lucrative relationship by being attentive to a customer’s needs and actively seeking new solutions.
Hope you find these customer relationship tips useful. If you have any questions, please use the comment box below.