Whether you’re in a niche industry or you have thousands of other competitors, maintaining an active relationship with your customers is crucial to business growth. More often than not we see companies pouring their time, energy and money into acquiring new customers but they’re missing out on their biggest market of all – their customers. After all, the statistics speak for themselves: customer acquisition costs seven times more than customer retention and 81% of customers are more likely to give repeat business simply because they were provided good service. Convinced? Here are some ways that you can nurture your customer relationship to build trust and turn them into lifelong fans.
1. Be Intentional
It’s starts with a mindset, and often one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in order to effectively nurture your current customer relationships. You have to intentionally seek and plan for opportunities to engage. Garter Group in “Leading on the Edge of Chaos” found that companies that prioritized customer relationships saw 60% high profits than their competitors. So you must plan for it to be successful otherwise it’s easy to get caught up in other day-to-day, business activities.
2. Be Attentive
Each of us has some level of interaction with our clients, whether it’s through face-to-face meetings, emails, questionnaires, or just sign up information. This information is key to establishing strategic, stronger relationships with your customers. To help you with this process, document everything you know about each of your customers that you can access at any time in order to not only tailor your communication and services to them but also so you can know how to better reach and marketing to them in future interactions.
3. Give Them First Looks
People love to be the first to know about new and exciting changes that could affect them as a customer. One way to build customer loyalty is to give your customers the first look into new products, services, deal, etc. This not only creates a stronger sense of belonging and loyalty within your customers, but it also is a great way to start some buzz around your products, services and/or brand.
4. Get Feedback
Your greatest asset is your customers, so why not utilize them to improve your organization, products or services while developing stronger relationship with them? Asking for feedback is one of the best ways to do this. People want to be heard and know that they’re actually being heard. Asking your current customers about their experiences, thoughts and suggestions, opens the doors for future interactions with them and sometimes an emotional tie. Give them a specific, easy way to communicate those thoughts, either through email, a survey, a website form, social media, or some other collection platform to help push them past any hesitation.
5. Stay Engaged
Finally, the biggest mistake we can make as organizations after someone buys our product, uses our services or completes the active customer lifecycle, is stop communicating with them. The goal should be to retain those customers for future business, referrals or simply just word-of-mouth. After all, studies have found that a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits up to 125%.
To put develop a viable plan of communication, create checkpoints during a customer lifecycle and after to purposefully engage with your customers in some way. Check in from time to time in a personal way (even if it looks automated), either with new offers, company updates or a simple “how’s it going” email.
Developing stronger relationships with your customers doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. It’s more about being intentional about seeking out opportunities to engage with your customers which will, in turn, help them develop a loyalty to you and your brand.
What other ways have you or other organizations you’ve seen effectively nurtured their customers?