26 Ways to Build Better Customer Relationships
Customer loyalty isn’t just about getting your clients to sign up to a loyalty program: it’s about the quality of your day-to-day interactions and about building solid long-term relationships based on a great customer experience.
Here are 26 easy ways to build better relationships with your customers.
Show Them You Care
- Greet every customer who comes through your door.
- Give your customers your undivided attention during each interaction and put personal conversations on hold.
- Respond to your customers’ emails, voicemail messages and social media messages as soon as possible.
- Personalize your emails with each customer’s name and preferred language… and make sure to have them proofread! Mistakes can make your business look bad.
- Send your members a birthday ecard or message. Discounts and freebies work too!
- Make choices that are good for your customers’ health and for the environment, like offering allergen-free or vegan options or stocking sustainably or locally sourced goods.
Make Their Lives Easier
- Help customers learn more about your business with a complete website and social media page.
- Update your opening hours online (i.e. on your website, social media pages and search engine listings), especially on holidays.
- Make sure that your most recent menu and prices are posted online. Incorrect information can negatively impact people’s perception of your business.
- Let your clients book appointments or make reservations online, 24/7.
- Accept several payment methods. “Cash only” policies aren’t very convenient.
- Provide your customers with an easy way to treat their friends and family and give the perfect gift: sell gift cards.
- Opt for a flexible exchange and return policy and send purchase receipts by email.
Don’t Take Them for Granted
- Thank your customers for their online reviews and ratings. It takes only a few seconds.
- Use negative customer feedback to improve your business, and stay polite, even if you disagree with their comments.
- Apologize to your customers if you’re late or make a mistake. Unhappy clients are more likely to take their business elsewhere.
- Try not to run out of your bestselling products all the time, or your customers may just give up and stop coming.
- Treat all customers equally and with respect, …no matter who they are or how much they spend.
- Hire a professional copywriter or translator to write your signage, menus, emails, web pages and other marketing materials in languages that your customers will understand.
Reward Them for Choosing You
- Set up social media contests for people who interact with you online. They’ll bring good visibility for you and prizes for them: everyone wins.
- Share your knowledge and ideas by giving useful, expert tips in a member newsletter.
- Offer member-exclusive perks, like sneak peaks at new products or skip-the-line privileges.
- Invite loyal clients to private events. Opening a new location or launching a new collection or menu? Send out invites!
- Provide discounts to clients who refer a friend to encourage word of mouth, the most genuine form of publicity.
- Surprise clients with a free gift when they make big purchases.
- Thank your clients for choosing you instead of a competitor: let them earn points with their purchases and redeem them for rewards or VIP experiences.
Showing your appreciation year-round will demonstrate a consistency and commitment that your customers are sure to appreciate. Give them the recognition they deserve with a loyalty program that rewards them for doing business with you.