If you’re not careful, customers can frustrate you to the point where you might even want to close up your business and run! To top it off, the saying “Customers are always right,” can be very annoying especially in situations where the customer is just being a nuisance.
In any case, all these need to be handled with care which is why customer relationships are very important to the success of any business.
Customers are the bloodline of your business because they are the main source of your income and the reason that your business even exists in the first place!auntyronke
Your customers are gold and you have to treat them as such, even when they frustrate you. As a small business, you need customer relationships even more because a majority of your sales come from referrals and repeat customers. With these 7 tips, you will be able to do so without feeling so frustrated or annoyed so that each transaction is a WIN-WIN for you, your customer and your business!
Here are 7 tips for building good customer relationships that will last for a long time;
1. Focus on your customer’s problem and be their solution
No matter what product you sell, it is a solution to somebody’s problem! If it’s clothes, somebody needs them, if it’s baby things, somebody needs them, if it’s shoes, somebody needs them.
The reason why many small businesses shut down is because they begin to focus on making profits without making customers the basis of their operations. For every transaction that you make, identify what the customer needs and find a solution to that problem through your product. The end result is that you serve them better because you have their interest at heart.
And believe me, customers are always drawn to vendors that care genuinely about them.auntyronke
2. Stay in touch with your customers
This is what friends do, right? They stay in touch! As a brand that genuinely cares about its customers, you should have a way of always reaching out to them in order to keep your brand in their mind. This positions your brand as a “friend” to your customers, not just another brand.
A good way to do this is through an email list.
Send them mails on their birthdays, on national holidays, or with special sales and discount offers and watch your customers become even more loyal to you!
3. Listen to your customers
Sometimes, you as a small business can make the mistake of thinking for your customers instead of just listening to them first.
Listening involves paying attention to what your customers are saying about your products, what product are they buying more of, which content are they engaging more on your social media and other ways they are expressing themselves.
This is a good way to improve not just your business strategy and do better, it also improves your customer relationship as your customers will know that you are listening to them and taking their voices into consideration. Remember, customers are shareholders in your business too!
4. Respond as fast as you can!
There is a reason this point has an exclamation mark, yes I’m shouting! Some vendors will actually take up to 24 hours to reply to a DM from a potential customer. The longer it takes you to reply, the more that customer loses interest and before you know it, they’ve unsent the message (like on Instagram) or they’re just no longer interested.
Responding fast fulfills the needs of people to get information or to get their cravings satisfied and such customers are willing to even pay more as long as you respond quickly to them. It makes your brand highly reliable and very trustworthy.
5. Give back to your customers
Everybody loves “awoof” and your customers are not excluded! Don’t be so focused on always making a profit, give your customers a discount, do sales offers, give your customers surprise gifts in their purchases to show them that you appreciate them.
Customers that you appreciate will always find their way back to you because a little gratitude can go a long way in business.
6. Don’t be too focused on making a sale at the first meeting
Yes, you want to sell but you must realize that customers can perceive when you are too desperate for a sale and this will make them shy away from you. Always focus on helping them out first before initiating a sale of showing your product to them.
In fact, not all customers will buy from you so throwing your products in a customers face will make them think that all you want is a sale. You must come as a friend who has their customers’ interest at heart so that your customers are not just buying your product but are buying a solution to their problem.
I always say that, at the core of every good customer relationship is a business owner that genuinely cares about their customers.
7. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think like them
This remains the best way to give your customers the best experience they can have. Think like a customer and say to yourself, “If I was a customer, would I like this? Would I like that? Would I like 5 emails within the space of two days? Would I like this offer? Does this apply to me?”
Questions like this will help you to shift the focus of your business from yourself to your customers, which is where it should be.
Having a strong customer relationship will not only boost your sales but will guarantee you customer loyalty (customers that keep coming back) as well as continuous growth for your business!
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