Long-term customer relationship means that you work on building a relationship with your customers to create high-level loyalty for your company. That’s the best that your business can get on the road to success.
Long-term customer relationship can boost your sales, increase the number of customers and improve your overall business potential energy. So, you need to start implementing strategic decisions when it comes to building a long-term customer relationship. Here I will share my 50 recommendations related to this topic. You can use them all at once, or start implementing them one by one.
It is much more comfortable and cost-effective to sell to existing customers than to bring new one as a first and then sell to them. Probably you already spend a lot of money to bring new customers into your sales funnel. So, why you put all your efforts to maintain them as customers and use them to grow your customer base.
If your business has a large customer base, and you keep them as customers, then they will become more and more profitable for your company. That is something that will bring the exponential growth of your small business. Think for the moment about the possibility one customer can bring to your company if you have a long-term relationship with him. For example, that one customer trusts you and start recommending your brand, products, and services. Let’s say that he can bring three additional customers to your small business. If you continue to build the long-term relationship with them, and the results of such a process are the same as from your first customer, you will get nine new customers. If you continue with the same math, you will understand why I say that you will achieve exponential growth.
So, here are my 50 recommendations for long-term customer relationship.
1. As a first, put yourself in their position. Think like your customers think. It is important for you as an entrepreneur to know how customers think for many different topics. Only in such a way, this can become the foundation for your customer relationship programs.
2. Design long-term plan and strategy for building customer’s loyalty. You can have great customer relationship if you succeed to build the loyalty of your customers to your small business. So, don’t only start building loyalty, this is the strategic question and require the strategic approach. For example, if you plan to organize an award for your customers (a great way to increase loyalty), make sure to use the right award software to implement this plan.
3. Start implementing the plan and the strategy. Why you want to have strategies and plans if you don’t implement them. So, when you create the strategy and plan related to customer’s loyalty, you need to start with the implementation.
4. Work on continuous improvement of that plans and strategies. You need to understand that nothing can be perfect. There will always be the improvements possibility. This is especially true when it comes to your customers and what they want and think.
5. Don’t expect to sell them something from the first time you meet them. I have seen many entrepreneurs make a mistake on their first meeting with potential customers. They simply try to sell them something without previously to try to build the long-term relationship with them. Don’t make such a mistake.
6. Don’t construct a static offer, give them options to choose. Your offer is something that will be evaluated by your customers. If they cant chose from different options, or your offer is not adjustable according to their different needs, they will abort all relationships with your company.
7. Be patient when it comes to building the long-term customer relationship. You really need patience. Sometimes building the long-term relationship with customers will require more time than you think. But, believe me, it will be worth for you and your small business.
8. Be honest as much as possible with them. Remember that honesty is one of the most important things you need when it comes to your customer.
9. Become their friend. If you really want the great relationship with your customers, you need to become something more in their eyes. So, why not your company become their best friend.
10. Inform them in timely about most important things in your company. You need to continuously inform them and stay in contact with your customers. If you don’t do this, they will easily forget you and your company.
11. Implement two-way communication channels in all your communication tools. Probably you already use different communication channels to communicate with your customers. But, check if all of them have the possibility of two-way communication. You don’t want you, customers, to not have the possibility to communicate with you when they want to communicate, not you.
12. Use social media to talk with potential customers. You probably already know about the power of social media when it comes to reaching and building the relationship with customers. Find where they are and become part of their social media presence.
13. Ask for ideas about possible improvements to your products and services. Customers have their secrets, and if you don’t ask them, they will not tell you. They can become the biggest innovation source for your company.
14. Start using surveys to get feedback from your customers. You can simply use surveys and questionaries to get valuable information from your customers
15. Use contact or feedback form on your website. The contact form or feedback form on your website is something you must have. Give an easy option for your current or potential customers to contact you.
16. Use the database to track what customers tell you about your business. Today, using different tools you can collect different information related to your customers and your company. You need to organize and use this data.
17. Tell them about your improvements that come from their mouth. Always tell to your customers when you do something based on their information or initiative. You will show them that they are valuable to you and your small business.
18. Tell them about everything that is improved and ask for their feedback. Even the improvements don’t come from their mouth, tell them what you have done and ask for their feedback.
19. Be one of them. Simply be and show them that you are not different from them. Become one of them and part of their own crowd.
20. Build your business on strong trust. Trust is important for the development of strong and long-term customer relationship.
21. Contact them regularly. Contact your customers on regular basis. You don’t want they forget you.
22. Use personal language when you talk with them. You don’t want to use language that will be nonunderstandable for your customers. You want to have clear communication with them.
23. Be human, not a business, for the moment. You really need to be human, not the company. Why you want to hide behind your company. It is easier to build strong customer relationship as human instead of the company.
24. Be yourself. It is important to show yourself as a real human person. So, don’t use roles to hide behind them. Be yourself.
25. Ask them for help when you need it. Remember that you are building the long-term relationship. So, ask them for help when you need it.
26. Be focused on most profitable customers. Don’t lose your money, time and energy on non-profitable customers. Focus on most important customers for your small business.
27. Use 80/20 Rule to identify the most critical customers. Yes, use Pareto principle to identify and group your customers according to their importance for your small business.
28. Show your respect for most important customers. If you show them that you respect them, they will also respect you.
29. Reward the most critical customers. Develop different rewarding systems for your most important customers.
30. Don’t tell them, educate them about differences between your business and competitors. Instead of telling things, educate about different things related to your business and your competitors.
31. Listen to your customers. Listening is the most important thing in building the long-term relationship with your customers. You will learn many things about them.
32. Respect them. Respect your customers if you want to be respected entrepreneur and company.
33. Understand them. Your job as an entrepreneur is to understand your customers. If you listen to them, and understand their needs and wants you will succeed as an entrepreneur.
34. Let’s your business be a real problem solver. You need to understand that your business exists to solve your customer’s problems. So, do your job.
35. Solve real problems, not the symptoms. If you solve only the symptoms, your customer’s problems will not be solved. You need to solve problems, not the symptoms.
36. Educate your staff about different relationships with your customers. Your business includes your staff members. They need to prepare themselves for the different customer relationship you want they build with your customers.
37. Invest in people who are the best. Your business needs the best people. Your customers want to be with the best. So, invest in the best people to be the part of your small business.
38. Equip your employees adequately to do their jobs. Be sure that your business is equipped with the best equipment to satisfy the customers.
39. Use the YES instead of NO. In conversation with your customers always start your answers with YES and then make explanations. Never begin with NO as an answer.
40. Customer satisfaction policy. Use customer satisfaction policy to provide quick ways for a solution to their problems.
41. Include your customers in product development. Ask them to participate in product development. Their ideas will help you a lot.
42. Add value to each contact point with them. You are the value creator. So, try to add different values to them whenever you have contact with them.
43. Use customer-friendly marketing campaigns. Redesign all your marketing campaigns to be more customer friendly.
44. Consistency is a way to success. Be consistent in everything that you are doing.
45. Learn. Continue learning everything about your customers.
46. Always deliver your promises. When you promise something, always deliver what you have promised to them.
47. Thanks. Always thanks them for their purchases.
48. Knowledge. Share your knowledge with them.
49. Become useful. Always think how you and your business can be more useful to them.
50. Strategic thinking. Always think strategically to build long-term customer relationships.