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
1. Greet every customer who comes through your door.
2. Give your customers your undivided attention during each interaction and put personal conversations on hold.
3. Respond to your customers’ emails, voicemail messages and social media messages as soon as possible.
4. Personalize your emails with each customer’s name and preferred language… and make sure to have them 5. proofread! Mistakes can make your business look bad.
5. Send your members a birthday ecard or message. Discounts and freebies work too!
6. 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
7. Help customers learn more about your business with a complete website and social media page.
8. Update your opening hours online (i.e. on your website, social media pages and search engine listings), especially on holidays.
9. Make sure that your most recent menu and prices are posted online. Incorrect information can negatively impact people’s perception of your business.
10. Let your clients book appointments or make reservations online, 24/7.
11. Accept several payment methods. “Cash only” policies aren’t very convenient.
12. Provide your customers with an easy way to treat their friends and family and give the perfect gift: sell gift cards.
13. Opt for a flexible exchange and return policy and send purchase receipts by email.
Don’t Take Them for Granted
14. Thank your customers for their online reviews and ratings. It takes only a few seconds.
15. Use negative customer feedback to improve your business, and stay polite, even if you disagree with their comments.
16. Apologize to your customers if you’re late or make a mistake. Unhappy clients are more likely to take their business elsewhere.
17. Try not to run out of your bestselling products all the time, or your customers may just give up and stop coming.
18. Treat all customers equally and with respect, …no matter who they are or how much they spend.
19. 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
20. 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.
21. Share your knowledge and ideas by giving useful, expert tips in a member newsletter.
22. Offer member-exclusive perks, like sneak peaks at new products or skip-the-line privileges.
23. Invite loyal clients to private events. Opening a new location or launching a new collection or menu? Send out invites!
24. Provide discounts to clients who refer a friend to encourage word of mouth, the most genuine form of publicity.
25. Surprise clients with a free gift when they make big purchases.
26. 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.