Others may think that business is a cold-hearted transaction devoid of any emotion. But what they fail to see is that companies that thrive and succeed are those that place a high value on their relationships with their stakeholders, such as their patrons and consumers.
Whether it’s a retail business or a B2B company, good rapport with the customer or client is necessary to keep things going. Several studies point out that the cost of acquiring a new customer is higher compared to retaining existing ones. To capture your client’s interest and secure their loyalty, you have to put your focus on understanding them, their wants and needs. It’s like courting someone you like and make that person fall in love with you. We can probably use a few ideas from dating and apply them to customer relations.
Attracting their attention
When you set your eyes on someone you want to woo, you will do certain things to gain their attention. You send flowers, write romantic messages, dress up or make your presence known to that person. In marketing, you need to be out there. You come up with advertisements, utilise social media, beautify your store, polish your website or create a beautiful packaging and catchy taglines. Sometimes you have to customise your approach depending on the response of a particular client or consumer. Before you plan out your strategies, you have to find out what ticks and clicks to your prospective customers by conducting research that can provide insight into their preferences.
Getting them excited
If obtaining the attention is the first hurdle, the next one is to get the person interested. You have to excite them to get a second, third or more dates. It’s the same thing with customers. The first engagement with them should be memorable, but you have to come up with other means to make them come back for more. It’s either you sign them up for a rewards system, offer a discount on their next transaction or highlight your unique value proposition to gain their trust and confidence to your brand. Make them look forward to recurring encounters with you.
Communicating good news and issues
One of the reasons why relationships fail is that both partners do not communicate properly. As you get to know each other more, you have to express your appreciation of the person or discuss issues in the onset. Similarly, customers are pleased when brands inform them of milestones, good news and possible concerns ahead of time. Whether you do email blasts, social media posts or community forums, constant communication with your customers will make them feel valued, especially if you listen to their suggestions and get their feedback.
No relationship is perfect. There will always be misunderstandings and disappointments. But you have to work hard to go beyond that bump if you truly want lasting relations with the person you love. If there is a problem, you can nip it in the bud before it blows out of proportion by finding a resolution. When it comes to business, make sure to resolve any problem that your customer may encounter with your product or service. You can go the extra mile in assisting your clients, particularly your loyal patrons so that they will keep coming back regardless of the hiccups.
Elevating the relationship
A relationship is like a journey. You either move forward or go backwards. Despite the ups and downs, you have to put more effort to strengthen the bond. Customers of companies that show strong rapport with their clientele often turn out as ambassadors and help attract new patrons. You have to come up with ways to elevate the affiliation of your loyal clients to your company so that you grow together in this journey. This is one reason why some brands build online communities to involve their consumers to their brand.
The question now is this: Is your relationship with your customers only for now or is it for keeps? Whether it will lead to an enduring and deeper correlation or something temporary, you alone can give the answer to this. It all depends on your actions. If you know your customers better, you will know the right path to forge ahead.