How to Create Lasting Customer Relationships

Customer relationships, also referred to as relationship marketing,  is the difference between focusing on building lasting relationships between you and your clients or customers, and focusing on a one-time sale.

Creating lasting customer relationships take time.

In assessing the ways to create these lasting customer relationships, it does not happen in a vacuum. It incorporates a number of strategies.  These include:

  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Creating a memorable customer experience
  • Nurturing the relationship so that you create customer loyalty
  • Developing the Know Like and Trust factor so that your clients
    and customers come to know, like, and trust you with the ultimate goal of them becoming your brand advocates.

Providing Excellent Customer Service

In successful customer service initiatives, the goal is to promote customer satisfaction.  No longer is this done by attracting new customers and making the sale. Customer satisfaction is achieved by developing relationships.

Shep Hyken, one of the most highly-ranked Customer Service Experts, noted that in terms of people’s expectations and wanting their needs met, ‘nothing has changed in customer service.’  “What has changed is the way we go about delivering service.” He cautioned that rather than focusing on the methods of delivery, the focus should always be on how the customer feels when he or she walks away, hangs up the phone, or shuts off the computer.

Customer service is not just something provided in call centers.  Anyone interacting with the end-user of a product or service is involved in the delivery of customer service.  As such, everyone in the organization must work to ensure delivery of core business values. Of course, that assumes that the company, large or small, has clearly identified their core values.

Creating a Memorable Customer Experience

In my research, I discovered that Business at Trader Joe’s is often described as an experience for adventurous food and beverage shoppers.  Crew members, or employees, are recruited for their enthusiasm and energy; they are then trained to impart product knowledge, promote teamwork, leadership, and communication.

The Trader Joe’s product guarantee is ‘We tried it!  We liked it!  If you don’t, bring it back for a full refund, no questions asked.’  This underscores the store’s desire to establish a personal relationship with the customer.

Nurturing the Relationship to Create Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is not just about repeat business.  Customer loyalty exists when a customer chooses to do business with a company even when a less expensive, more convenient, or higher quality alternative is available somewhere else.

The foundation of this level of customer loyalty will be based on how well you took the time to create lasting customer relationships and memorable experiences.

Today, technology has changed the way companies interact with consumers. This interaction involves a much deeper level of engagement, which customers have come to expect.

Customer engagement is the journey that leads to customer loyalty–the destination. In other words, creating lasting customer relationships is the new way to keep clients and customers coming back for more.

The Importance of Customer Loyalty (This is a sub-heading of the H2 above – H3)

Following are four statistics that validate why customer loyalty is so very important to your business:

  • Attracting a new customer costs 5X as much as keeping an existing one (Lee Resources)
  • 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience (RightNow Technologies)
  • Emails targeted to customer loyalty programs have a 40% higher open rate (Experian)
  • 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience

(RightNow Technologies)

Developing the Know Like and Trust Factor

People buy from people they know, like, and trust.

As noted earlier, it takes time to create lasting customer relationships in business. Think of it as a journey that you and your customers are on.  The more you communicate with each other, the more you come to understand each other.

Whether you’re a business of one or a company that hires many employees, you must communicate often to find out the needs of your customers and clients, and clearly identify if you’re meeting those needs in the eyes of your customer.

Get feedback from them and implement these as needed, making sure to acknowledge your customers for their valuable input.

To help create these lasting relationships, you want to show the inside of your business, and in the case of Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs, you want to share something personal from time to time, as well as share stories so they get to know you on a deeper level and become emotionally connected with you.

Conclusion

Creating lasting customer relationships is one of the most effective strategies you can implement in your business.  This takes an investment of time, perhaps an adjustment in your mindset, as well as a commitment to your customers and to your business.  It’s well worth the effort.  By applying these methods, you will stop the customer chase and have more fun in your business.

To support you in creating lasting relationships with your clients and customers, I invite you to claim your copy of Relationship Marketing: Key to Small Business Success

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Yvonne A. Joneshttps://50andwisercoaching.com/
YVONNE is a Personal Business Coach | Relationship Marketing Strategist| Amazon Best-Selling Author| International Speaker. She is the Founder of the 50 and Wiser Community on Facebook – a Group of women who want to DO more, GIVE more, and BE more. As a certified Strategy and Accountability Coach, she helps Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Consultants, and Small Business Owners eliminate limiting beliefs, create a business they love, and have fun doing so. Her favorite client is a highly-motivated woman 50 and Wiser who has been in business for approximately one year and is ready to empower herself and move to the next level. Yvonne’s background is in banking, Human Resources, administration, and Customer Service. At 52 years she handed in her resignation and walked away from Corporate America to start her own business full-time. She has experienced the joys and challenges of owning multiple businesses. She was listed on HuffingtonPost.com as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter” and on GetApp.com: “One of the Top 15 Most Influential Customer Service Experts to Follow on Twitter.” Despite the recognition and promotions received while in corporate life in Jamaica and America, she now considers herself “unemployable” due to her love of being her own boss and inspiring others to pursue their passion and dreams. Yvonne’s mantra: “Focus on relationships; the money will follow.”

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  1. Absolutely agree. The suggestions seem essential to me.I would like add a consideration.

    The great opportunity of the imagination is to be able to speak to the emotions of those in front of us, to be in tune with his emotional life, to understand the messages that emerge from the depths of his being; the language of fantasy can lead us to the heart of the emotional experiences of an individual, a community, a nation. The imaginary indeed produces a network of meanings so dense that it generates a real culture, which in turn becomes a significant source of communication opportunities. Those who work in the field of interpersonal communication know how incisive the message conveyed through the use of metaphors, how this type of message reaches the heart of the person directly and is capable of evoking deep emotions. The imaginary, in this sense, is an opening towards the real, it is the ability to observe it according to new and different angles. It’s creativity.
    If science and technology allow us to dominate and control reality, the imaginary offers us the opportunity to penetrate the sense that animates experiences and interactions with the world.
    The imaginary is important, in particular, for the possibility of giving form to sensations, emotions, cognitive intuitions not yet clear and defined. It is a place of creation, of the emergence of experiences that have not yet reached the completeness and clarity of the logical-rational explanation and which also need to be expressed.

    • Joel,

      Thank you for you kind words.

      Customer Service has been a passion of mine since my first job right out of high school. It has served me well in my own jobs and I love talking and writing about it, as well as teaching the topic.

      I appreciate you.

      • My pleasure, Yvonne! I am constantly shocked by companies who think replacing a lost client with a new one is simple. For every client or customer, you lose you have to get two new ones to possibly break even. This is where good customer service becomes even more critical. In those times where your prices or rates have to go up customer service/customer focus gives you a fighting chance to keep customers from leaving you.

          • I agree with you, Yvonne. If you have to spend :”X” amount of dollars to replace clients you lost due to poor customer service when you could be using that same money to build your client base and increase profits you are wasting and losing money.

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