Have you been trying to improve customer retention through relationship marketing with less than impressive results? Everyone knows you can’t sustain a business if you can’t retain customers, but building relationships with customers is much more complicated than attracting them in the first place. Here are seven ways you can start building relationships with customers today:
- Try Not To Play Favorites
It’s important that you treat all new customers equally, especially if you do business online. The nature of the Internet makes it near impossible for businesses to predict which customers will spend more and over a longer time period. Once they prove their value as a customer, new relationships may then develop. Clients love to feel important – nurture them all as if they were gold, and the chances that your efforts will pay off are great.
- Don’t Make it Hard
People shouldn’t feel like there are huge barriers to becoming and staying a customer. Every time a current or prospective customer faces a potential barrier – such as a long form they have to fill out online or an annoying automated phone system – the likelihood of repeat business decreases. Remove these barriers now! Make them feel like it’s convenient and easy to connect with you.
- Keep a Customer Scorebook
Once you have a working relationship with a new client or customer, breaking them up into categories by the frequency and monetary value of their purchases can help you decide which customers to focus on with your relationship marketing program. You can further categorize customers based on their behaviors, needs and preferences.
- Make it Personal
Personalizing the experience for your loyal customers will let them know how much they’re appreciated. There are many ways to personalize your relationship, such as offering advice and content or packaging customized for different customers’ needs and preferences. People inherently feel a sense of loyalty to those who value them. Showing them you know and understand their needs proves to them you care.
- Show Them You Notice
Customers who stick around should be appreciated and rewarded for their loyalty, not made to feel like second fiddle to the newbies. Long-time customers deserve special treatment, extra services and the occasional discount. Consider offering a limited time a free shipping, upgraded printing or “refer-a-friend” loyalty reward program as a thank you to your customers.
- Spark a Conversation
One of the easiest ways to build relationships with and retain customers is to maintain an ongoing conversation with them. Ask customers what they want and show them you’re eager to listen to their concerns. Utilizing social media channels is a great way to foster this engagement.
- Start at the Beginning
You’re more likely to retain a customer if you initiate a relationship program with them as soon as they become a customer. So if you’re starting a new program, your efforts will pay off more with new customers.
Relationship marketing takes a lot of time and effort. It’s one of the best uses of your time, though, so consider getting started today if you want to keep your customers coming back for more.