There's nothing more important in business than building strong and lasting relationships with your clients. Even high volume of sales won't keep you afloat if the number of your returning customers is low. Why? Because people talk and if they are happy with your services or products they will spread the word. If they are not, they will do the same. So nurturing your relationships in business is just as important as in personal life and it's not much different. Here are 5 ways you can do that.
Understand Your Consumer
First of all, learn all you can about your consumer. Not in a creepy way, of course. Just do your research on your target market. The most accurate results about the likes and dislikes of your ideal clients you will get directly from them. So once you have determined your audience, find out where and how you could reach the majority of them and ask them to fill in a survey for you. This could and should also be done with your existing customers. The main answers you are looking for are:
What do they value more - quality of the product/service or the price? (Often you will get the response of "both", so you will need to find ways to provide optimal quality at optimal price)
What is more likely to bring them back to you - brilliant customer service or frequent promotions?
What is more important to them - brand values or brand association? (Do they care more about what you stand for or the celebrities and public figures who wear/use your products/services?)
When you have these answers you will know how to build your campaigns. And that leads us to #2.
Be an Excellent Communicator
If you want to build lasting relationships with your clients you will have to practise excellent communication at all times.
Before you convert - Make sure you have great content that resonates with and relates to your target audience. Inspire, motivate, educate, engage.
After you convert - Provide your customers with regular updates on their order/project. Keep them in the loop of everything that's going on and they will appreciate it.
After delivery - It's very important to keep in touch with your clients after they have purchased and received your product or service. Ask for feedback, check if they are happy and use the opportunity to offer other products/services they may like in the future without being overwhelming.
When an issue arises - In my practice I've seen a few companies and entrepreneurs who failed to keep the communication when there was a problem or an unhappy customer. Needless to say it didn't work out well for them. This is a major mistake in business and it kills consumer-brand relationships.
If you are a good communicator you will be prepared for honesty, which is the next step on to building those lasting relationships.
Nobody likes dodgy, overly-corporate and secretive brands. At least not in this day and age. Customers appreciate the openness and honesty of a business and feel more inclined to trust such brands. Be transparent about the changes in your organisation, share the good news, as well as the bad ones.
Deliver Before the Deadline
Technically, this is much easier for service-based businesses than for product selling brands. When it comes to the delivery of a physical product, there are several channels involved that are not always under the brand's control. However, there are processes that can be implemented to ensure deliveries are made before the set date. Many of the Amazon merchants do it. Although it won't be possible 100% of the time, it can become a common practice which nurtures your relationship with your clients.
Provide Extra Value
Who wouldn't to get more than what they paid for? And if they did, why wouldn't they want to come back again? Here are some ideas of how you can provide extra value to your consumers:
Give more than what was outlined in your brief for the agreed price (service-based businesses); add a mini present to your customer's order (product-based businesses). Be careful with this tactic, because it's not meant to be cost ineffective. You can't be running a constant giveaway of products or your time as a service provider.
Give freebies - everybody loves freebies and, in general, respects the provider. Freebies are one of the most successful sales funnels. Again, this should be done occasionally, not all the time, because it will become a burden to your business and could lose its value to consumers.
Special offers, discounts, member benefits - all these help with the establishment of healthy and lasting relationships with your clients because they act as additional value to the item that the consumer has already paid for.
Whether you are celebrating Valentine's with a romantic partner or not, as an entrepreneur, during this period it's worth thinking of strengthening your relationship with your customers. It will elevate your business to a whole new level.
Have a question? I'm here for you. Don't miss any of the upcoming posts on MBC blog in the month of February. I'm looking forward to sharing with you my interview with 3 incredible consumer psychology experts and their tips for a successful business strategy. But I'm not giving out any more details. If you want to know more you'll have to subscribe below.