Connecting with Customers
Marketing is not just about creating the initial connection with a customer. Customer retention should be part of every well-rounded marketing plan. Connecting with customers is an effort that creates these long-lasting relationships beyond their initial transaction.
Customer retention finishes the equation for your business. Great relationships with your customers become repeat customers and those repeat customers become a vital part of your business. Not only do these long-lasting relationships create an added business, down the line, but could help with your word-of-mouth marketing. Customers who are happy and are repeat customers will speak positively about your brand and your products. It’s a cycle that almost never ends if you are putting the right focus on customer service and retention. Customers who have a great connection or relationship with your business cost LESS to come back when comparing it to creating new customers.
When looking at the reasons behind a long-lasting relationship both sides have different wants and needs out of it. On the business side, you are looking for sales, profit, referrals, etc. While on the customer side, they are looking for value, honesty, integrity, and support.
The relationship-building process begins before a transaction is made. We have spoken about building a brand that people like (Read the blog here) and this is a crucial part of the process. If you present your brand and business as trustworthy, honest then a customer will come to you believing they will experience a positive experience. How does your website, advertising, social media, logo, etc., impact your appearance? Are they all projecting a positive image?
Now comes the first interaction, whether that be in-store or online. Get to know everything you can about your customer during this stage. Understand their needs, listen to their wants, and deliver on your promises. They are in this consideration phase for a reason. Provide that value to them, which brought them to you and ultimately is leading them to purchase. Once this happens, you will now have information about your customer which allows you to communicate with them. DO NOT take this for granted and over abuse this level of communication! Make it personal to them, make them feel as though they are the only customer you care about. They are THE customer when communicating.
If applicable, post-purchase service is a great way to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. Anytime they need a problem solved, make sure they are getting the answers within 48 hours. Even if you can’t get the answer within that time frame, communicate with them and let them know you will get back to them with the proper answer. Take the time to make them happy and reap the benefits for your business.
This section of brand building is not a one-off or a Google ad campaign. It’s a long-term commitment to build these relationships and keep them going strong well into the future. Stay connected with customers and you will have them for life and potentially more business to follow!