5 Building Blocks Of Long-Lasting Customer Relationships

According to a loyalty survey by Zendesk, over 75 percent of customers who are satisfied with a service will not switch to a competitor for any reason. Quality will often triumph over price as well. It’s all about satisfying the customer and building relationships with them that inspire that kind of loyalty.

When customers are loyal to your brand, they become walking advertisements for your company. The key is to beat out your competition for that loyalty, which requires some work.

1. It’s not about the Numbers

Your business might have thousands of satisfied customers. They could account for 75 percent of your business, but the other 25 percent might be customers that could be providing the company most of its revenue. Instead of looking at the numbers, it’s vital to consider the individuals involved. Learn about your customers and be attentive to their needs, especially the customers who are unhappy with your service.

Pay attention to the customer’s feedback. Instead of worrying about making a sale, place your emphasis on providing the customer with answers he or she needs. If the customer has an issue with a part of your process, quickly solve that problem. You don’t want to leave any customer with bad feelings even if they’ve already made their purchase with you.

2. Relationships Built on Trust

Your relationship with customers is like other relationships in your life. When you have an interest in each other, it’s important to develop trust. Be sympathetic to your clients’ problems and have an active interest in how you can solve them.

While you want to be approachable and relate to the client on a personal level, you don’t want to cross the line into a too-casual relationship. You can joke politely with the client, use their name frequently and show emotions with the customer. They’ll appreciate that effort.

3. You’re the Expert

Whether it’s a service or a product, you’re the expert that is providing the customer with what they need. At every step of the process, you should be maintaining that feel of the expert. From the first moment they come into contact with your company to the time of the sale and beyond, it’s a journey that requires you to have a thorough understanding of the product as well as the client’s needs.

The client or customer expects you to have the answers to their questions regarding your service or product. At any point in the process, they will come to you with questions or concerns about how the product fits with their needs. You should be ready to answer those questions.

4. Feedback and Complaints

If you take a step back from complaints, you can see them as an opportunity to fix a problem within your own company. The customer who complains to you is doing you a favor. Instead of stewing about the problem, and telling friends and family not to shop with you, they are giving you the chance to address the problem. You can still win a customer after a negative review or a complaint.

Fixing a problem before the customer jumps on social media should be a primary goal within the company. Give the customer a chance to contact you with issues, so they feel like you’re going to address their concerns. Listen to the problem and do your best to fix that problem quickly.

5. Check-Up After the Sale

The end of the transaction isn’t the sale itself. You should be continuing the conversation after the sale is made to ensure that the customer is thrilled with the product or service. The best salespeople understand that they need to follow-up with customers to get feedback. A quiet customer isn’t always a satisfied one.

Send an email or give the client a call after the product is delivered. This shouldn’t be done to elicit reviews, but to get feedback on the process and the client’s satisfaction level. Ask for comments and how the service can be improved. They’ll appreciate the attention, and it gives you valuable information.

You should always be delivering what you promise to your clients and customers, but this isn’t what they remember. They’ll remember when you’ve gone above what you’ve promised. There’s an old saying that says, “under-promise and over-deliver,” which means you should give the customer more than they expect. Provide great customer service. Ask how you can solve their problems. Focus on the customer, and not the sale. Great relationships and loyal customers develop over time, and you’ll have to put in the work like any relationship.