How confident do you feel about the relationships you have with your customers?
Unfortunately, many business owners don't take the time to learn about their customer base and discover what they need. This lack of attention and care lead to one-time purchases, fewer sales, and unhappy customers.
For any business to succeed, it must focus on cultivating and maintaining positive consumer relationships. Building strong relationships with your customers is essential for many reasons.
Creates a positive reputation
For newer businesses especially, building a positive reputation among your target customers can be challenging. But when you take the time to provide quality and value to your audience, they'll have nice things to say about you to others. The more people who back up your business, the more visitors your website will garner.
Reduces churn rate
By providing stellar customer support and holding positive interactions, your brand can reduce its churn rate and improve retention rates. When you tend to users' needs and find solutions to their problems, they'll see you as a brand they can rely on and continue coming back.
Builds brand credibility
If a person has a pleasant experience buying from you or browsing your website, they're likely to tell those they know about it. Spreading the word about your good business is a form of social proof that builds credibility for your brand and convinces more customers to drop by.
Because retention is cost-effective, you’re saving your business money by catering to the consumer. It costs businesses anywhere from five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. So, when you focus on the customer base you already have, you're building your revenue along the way.
Let's look at a few ways you can build stronger relationships with your customers and meet your goals.
Collect their contact information
While it may seem like a no-brainer, the first point of contact you make with your site visitors is crucial. If you fail to collect their contact information, you have no way of reeling them back to your site. Therefore, you lose them as a potential customer forever.
The easiest way to ensure you collect visitors' information is by researching your target audience. When you know who you're catering to, you're able to create marketing strategies and create a smooth user experience (UX) on your site that’s sure to boost conversions.
When you know details about your target market, such as their buying behaviors and pain points, you can predict their actions on your website and lead them where they need to go.
You can study your website analytics to determine how your website can better serve its visitors. Pay attention to the places where users bounce from your site before they have a chance to join your email list. What obstacles keep them from moving to the next step in the conversion funnel?
A great way to grab new users' attention and urge them to reconsider signing up for your email list is by using popups. Exit-intent popups work well for visitors who are about to leave the page as they recover around 53% of abandoning visitors.
Tend to individual needs
No two customers are built the same. Each one has a different reason for visiting your site and browsing your content. So, if you try to deliver the same message to every person, you'll turn away those who feel that you can't cater to their needs.
In the last year alone, businesses have lost $756 billion because of poor e-commerce personalization. Because they didn't cater to customers as individuals, they failed to understand their needs and interests.
The worst thing you can do is assume that your customers are all the same and want the same thing out of engaging with your brand. When you don’t take the time to figure out what they want, it shows in your business’ performance.
Make sure you tend to individual needs as they come rather than try to cater to everyone the same. Go the extra mile to show visitors you care and that you appreciate them doing business with you over your many competitors.
Keep track of order history, past purchases, and other information that tell you more about the individual. Follow up with customers based on the actions they took on your website, such as making a purchase or joining a newsletter.
Exceed their expectations
Unfortunately, many people have the unpleasant experience of dealing with an unfriendly or unhelpful business, which leads them to go elsewhere. A whopping 89% of consumers have switched to a competitor due to poor customer service, which can significantly affect your conversions.
You want consumers to expect good things from you regardless of the issue, so it's important to cater to their needs in all areas of your marketing and sales processes.
Exceed their expectations by offering excellent customer service. Whether they have a quick question or seek product suggestions, it's your job to guide them through every step so they feel comfortable purchasing from you.
Chatbots are a great way to offer speedy, reliable support to website visitors. Using artificial intelligence and pre-programmed algorithms, you can leverage chatbots on your website to provide round-the-clock support and move customers through the sales funnel.
Chatbots work to build strong customer relationships because they:
Provide instant, fast service. You don't need a live chat agent if you harness AI technology to hold conversations during non-business hours, which helps you cater to global customers as well.
Offer personalization. Live chat collects and uses visitor data to make appropriate suggestions and find suitable solutions.
Service several customers at one time. An agent or representative can only help one person at a time, but chatbots can handle multiple customers simultaneously.
Respond well to feedback
At some point, you will receive negative feedback regarding your business. Whether it's customer service or the quality of a product, you need to be consistent in how you handle customer issues and complaints. Most importantly, you must respond well to all feedback.
One negative or sour comment to a customer could mean you use them, and others, forever. While people love to boast about their positive experiences with businesses, they’re also quick to name and shame brands they didn’t like as much.
While you can't control difficult customers or who says what about your business, you can lower the chances of it happening by consistently responding well to feedback. Avoid using snarky language or having an attitude when responding to users. Be direct, responsive, and professional while guiding them to helpful resources and answering their questions.
Social media, blog comments, product reviews are all hot spots for customer opinions. While you can't escape the bad ones, you can show other users that your brand handles conflict maturely and appropriately. This in itself will attract new users who gravitate to your site to see what you're all about because they were impressed by your behavior.
Create loyalty programs
You can show your appreciation for your returning customers by creating loyalty programs. These are rewards programs that rack up points or funds as the user continues engaging with your brand, purchasing products, using your mobile app, and more.
Loyalty programs are great at cultivating strong relationships because it gives back to your customers. It shows them that the more they do business with you, the more they'll get out of it. Knowing they can receive a new offer by participating is enough to encourage action and boost your conversion rate.
Starbucks lets users rack up points with every purchase which they can use to exchange for goods. Sephora offers free makeovers to customers who spend a certain amount of money on their products. How you set up your rewards program is up to you and how best you can serve your customers.
You want your customers to keep coming back so you can build relationships that last a lifetime. One-time buyers can only do so much for your business. What’s important is that you consistently provide value to ensure you're giving them what they need. How will you build stronger relationships with your customers?