The relationships you have with your existing customers are your key to success

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The economy in the coming year will remain tight for pretty much everyone.

Given that and given that we are heading towards a new year, I wanted to ask you to consider something: look after, cherish and build the relationships that you have in your business, particularly with your customers.

In doing that we must think about the relationships that we actually have with our customers, the sort of relationships that we want to build with our customers and how we are going to do that. I wrote about this in a recent guest post (Back to Basics: 6 Steps for Excellent Customer Engagement) on Get Satisfaction’s blog earlier this month.

So, in the coming year, please make sure you focus a significant amount of your business’ effort on keeping your customers, letting them know how great you think they are rather than just acquiring them and chasing their business. After all, once you’ve spent a whole heap of effort and resources on earning their trust and business, why waste that?

Here’s some ideas for you to try out that focus on building the relationship you have with them:

  • Call them up to say Hi! from time to time;
  • Send them a gift unrelated to your business … but something they would like based on what you know about them. Why? Because, we all like free stuff and receiving presents;
  • Make it your business to learn their birthdays and send them cards as we all like to be remembered on special days;
  • Introduce them to somebody or something that they will find useful;
  • Ask for their opinion and do something about it. However, once done tell them what you’ve done, they’ll appreciate it and they’ll then know that their opinion counts;
  • Celebrate their successes. Feature them in your newsletter or on your website, particularly if they are business customers;
  • Etc;
  • Etc

Now, not all of these ideas will apply to your business and there are many more. But, I am sure at least one will apply.

However, relationships are not one-off events but are a series of events that are stitched together over time.

So, make the time, effort and commitment to build your relationship with your customers and their business, their view of you and the amount they talk about you will grow.

Here’s to a 2013 that focuses on relationships!

Thanks to M.Ryan Photography for the image.

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