HOW TO BUILD A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
BY Dana Kessler
Did you know that getting a new customer can cost five times more than keeping an existing customer? And that’s only one reason to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers. Here's another good reason: If you are able to increase the number of loyal customers by only 2%, that has the same effect on your profits as cutting costs by 10%. So, in this post, we will teach you 7 methods for customer retention. Or in other words, how to build a strong and lasting relationship with your clients.
1. Ask for Feedback
Did you know that responding to customer feedback can grow revenue by 22%? That kind of makes sense. After all, any good relationship can use some sincere communication. So let your clients know you want to hear their thoughts. Make it easy for them to give you feedback, by giving them many ways to do it. Here are some options:
- Adding a feedback form to your website.
- Sending the occasional online survey. These are especially effective after introducing a new service or product, or making some big change. Or, you could use them at the beginning or the end of the year.
- Giving out your email.
- Leaving comment cards on the reception desk.
- Following up with clients by phone.
- Placing a suggestion box in your business, or posting a virtual one on your website.
Just remember to read all the feedback and make sure to respond to as much of it as you can. That’s what makes the difference.
Check Also: Negative Reviews: 7 Best Practices to Handle
2. Celebrate Your Clients' Birthdays
Here’s a crazy fact for you: Happy Birthday emails with a special offer sent to customers have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails. Wow.
If you want your birthday messages to do so well, you just need to make sure that your special offer is extra-special.
- You can offer a bigger discount than your competitors.
- You can offer a valuable gift, that makes sense to that specific customer.
- You could try and think out of the box. For example — don’t limit the dates of your special offer to the day or week of the birthday. Instead, give your clients an entire month or longer.
- Make the birthday wishes special and sincere.
Check Also: Customer Relationships
3. Supply a Fun and Memorable Experience
Here’s the thing, supplying your customers with the best products and services is great. But if your customer experience isn’t great, you’ll have a hard time holding on to clients.
In fact, 73% of surveyed customers say they’d be willing to spend more if they love a brand. 43% say they’d knowingly purchase a lesser product if they loved a brand. 83% say they care about your products and services, just as much they care about the way you treat them.
So be attentive. Be kind. And make sure you run a fun business. Choose employees who aren’t just pros, but are nice. Offer coffee and great music. Make people want to visit your business. And if you’re only operating online? No problem — bring your brand atmosphere to your website, with colors, copy, and music that are all about what your brand stands for.
4. Offer Personalized Membership Cards
Offering your clients a membership card is great. But if you want to go the extra mile and build a relationship with them, try and make it personal. What we mean is, make your customers’ offers based not only on how often they come in but also on their specific needs.
Here’s an example: A punch card for coffee-and-a-danish for someone who never eats pastries is useless. If that person could get a coffee-only punch card, they would be happy.
If a hairdresser could offer a customer with bangs a special membership card for getting her bangs trimmed, she would be happy.
And don’t worry — you don’t need some fancy system to do this. Just write down which services or products the customer bought. This way, the next time they come in with their card, you can offer them a relevant reward.
5. Suggest and Recommend Take-Home Products
This tip is for service businesses: Even if your business provides services, you can usually sell products too, for your customers to take home or order online.
Your clients trust your professional judgment. So go ahead and enrich them with information on which products are right for them. The reason is NOT to earn on the products you sell. It's to inspire loyalty and build strong relationships with your customers. A client who takes home a retail product is twice as likely to return for services.
6. Always Offer to Rebook
Here’s another tip for service businesses: Make a habit of asking your customers when they would like to book their next appointment. Don’t be shy: try to book each customer’s next appointment before they walk out the door. In the hair industry, for example, rebooking 80% of your client traffic will place you in the top 10% of all earners.
7. Boost Your Reminders
A great way to build a relationship with your customers is just staying in touch. Sending appointment reminders is one effective way to do this. Reminders reduce no-shows, but they’re also an opportunity to communicate.
You can use reminders to send a special offer, to give a birthday discount, or to tell your clients about a new service or product. You can send reminders by email, or better yet — by text message. 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes. This means text messages make for the most efficient reminders.
You’ve just learned of 7 great ways to build a strong and lasting relationship with your clients. Don’t be overwhelmed. Choose one way that feels right for you, and start there :)