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Be Authentic: 6 Key Tactics for Building Strong Customer Relationships

Waqar Hassan

The cornerstones of the market conditions today are repeat business and customer loyalty.

Losing a customer is, without a doubt, the worst thing that can happen to a business.

Sure, this has stayed true for every business of any age, but it holds even more importance these days because you are fighting your competitors for every dollar.

Hence, customer retention has become key for every business in this fast-paced and competitive market. Statistics reveal that nearly 80 percent of customers are willing to pay more if they are offered a better experience.

Unfortunately, a large number of businesses end up making common customer retention mistakes and are unable to create a customer service experience that ensures satisfaction.

However, the importance of keeping your customers happy and satisfied cannot be ignored and businesses should make it a priority to improve their customer relationships.

The question is how to build and strengthen your relationship with customers?

Luckily, here are six best tactics that can prove to be invaluable in helping you achieve this goal:

1. Interact Like a Human Being

These days, customers are looking for a more personalized and unique experience. They are not interested in talking to toneless and glassy-eyed customer service representatives. Yet, you will find that most businesses train their employees to memorize sales pitches, greetings and apologies when all their customers are looking for is to communicate with a more human and personalized touch.

Especially with the widespread use of social media, it has become essential for businesses to empathize with their customers and emote with them. This involves using their names while conversing, making jokes and being personal. Every time you interact with your customers, it is an opportunity to build and strengthen your relationship and you should take full advantage.

2. Know More About Your Customers

Building customer relationships is quite similar to the way salesperson build a rapport with their customers. One can only be a good salesperson if they know their customer and the same logic applies here. Since you are providing a more personal experience, you should make an effort to learn their individual needs and wants.

The key to learning more about your customers is to continue your interaction with them even after a transaction is completed. You can do some research on your customers on social media and learn about their habits and interests. Think of ways you can offer value to your customers like offering training sessions, sending coupons or forwarding blog posts.

In today’s market, the easiest way for businesses to stand out in the crowd is through the customer experience they deliver and not by the products they sell. Learning about customers continuously allows a business to extend their relationship beyond the basic level and this boosts retention rate and repeat business.

3. Focus on Customer Complaints

Customer complaints and negative feedback provide your business the opportunity to hear what your customers have to say about your product or service. Rather than thinking only of the downsides of complaints and negative feedback, you should regard them as a way to improve your service.

You are being offered the opportunity of redeeming yourself and prevent further such reviews from circulation about you, provided you deal with the existing complaints properly. You don’t want your customers to keep their complaints inside and blurt the out to others. Instead, businesses want the chance to be able to fix their mistakes and complaints are the best way to go about it.

Also, when you resolve complaints, your customers will appreciate it and it will tell you what not to do so you don’t disappoint your customers again. Remember, building strong customer relationships is a two-way street.

4. Connect With Customers Regularly

Keeping your eye on the ball is key to developing strong customer relationships. Every opportunity to interact and communicate with your customers should be considered an opportunity to assess, monitor and develop the relationship. When you are in regular contact with your customer base, you are able to track their sentiment towards your business and deal with any problem areas that are identified during the regular communication.

Frustrating facts reveal that 91 percent of the customers just leave and never come back whereas 96% of clients don’t complain. Hence, tracking customer satisfaction is tough. Nonetheless, follow-up with customers and regular contact can identify problem areas. A follow-up can be done via phone, email or even social media. This provides customers a platform to reach out to you.

5. Build Trust With Your Customers

Trust and commitment with customers have to be built in the same manner as your other relationships. You need to express your compassion for things that can affect this relationship. It is also necessary to be credible and honest and you should build your integrity. A business should also highlight that it possesses the competence needed to act for the relationship’s mutual benefit.

Exhibiting these characteristics is necessary because the perceived vulnerability and risk in a partnership is diminished with trust. This leads to increased customer satisfaction. If you hide your flaws and don’t act in the best interests of your customers, your customers will be unable to trust you and thereby abandon the relationship. Thus, building trust is important and this can be done by being straight forward and open.

6. Implement Inbound Marketing

The concept of outbound marketing focuses on invading your customers’ personal space and interrupting their day with demonstrations of your product or service in the form of blanket emails or TV ads. In case of inbound marketing, customers are coming to you. This is defined as pull marketing rather than push marketing and it is a great way to build strong customer relationships.

The best way to implement inbound marketing is to craft valuable content that actually solves problems faced by your customers. You can use various mediums such as videos, blog posts, whitepapers and ebooks. Engage in online communities that are relevant and share the content through social media. This serves as a great lead generation tool and also costs less.

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Waqar Hassan Member
Waqar Hassan is a Digital Marketing Expert and a Blogger who helps many businesses with their digital marketing approach. He is the CEO of Burgeoning Technologies, a Web and IT Company that has offices in Pakistan and Middle East. He also manages several websites and blogs, such as MenaEntrepreneur and Follow Waqar on Twitter and Google+.