A 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 relationships can boost your sales, increase the number of customers and improve your overall business potential energy. So, you need to start implementing strategic decisions to build long-term customer relationships. 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 a new one first and then sell to them. You already spend a lot of money bringing new customers into your sales funnel. So, why do you not put all your efforts into maintaining them as customers and using them to grow your customer base?
50 Recommendations for Long-lasting Customer Relationship
If your business has a large customer base and they stay as customers, they will become more and more profitable for your company. That is something that will bring exponential growth to your small business. Think 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 starts 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 a 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 relationships.
1. As a first, put yourself in their position.
Think as your customers think. As an entrepreneur, you need to know how customers think about many different topics. This can become the foundation for your customer relationship programs.
2. Design a long-term plan and strategy for building customer loyalty.
You can have great customer relationships if you succeed in building the loyalty of your customers to your small business. So, building loyalty is a strategic question and requires a strategic approach. For example, if you plan to organize an award for your customers (a great way to increase loyalty), use the right award software to implement this plan.
3. Start implementing the plan and the strategy.
Why do you want to have strategies and plans if you don’t implement them? So, when you create the strategy and plan related to customer 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 possibility of improvement. This is especially true for your customers and changes of 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 mistakes on their first meeting with potential customers. They try to sell them something without previously trying to build a long-term relationship with them. Don’t make such a mistake.
6. Don’t construct a static offer. Give them options to choose from.
Your offer is something that your customers will evaluate. If they can’t choose 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 long-term customer relationships.
It would be best if you had patience. Sometimes building a long-term relationship with customers will require more time than you think. But it will be worth it 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 for your customer. Be honest with them, and they will return to you with excellent relations with your company.
9. Become their friend.
If you want a 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 a timely about the most important things in your company.
You need to inform them and stay in contact with your customers continuously. If you don’t do this, they will quickly 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 relationships 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 most significant innovation source for your company.
14. Start using surveys to get feedback from your customers.
You can 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, you can collect different information related to your customers and your company using different tools. You need to organize and use this data.
17. Tell them about your improvements that come from their mouth.
Always tell 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 if improvements don’t come from their mouths, tell them what you have done and ask them for their feedback.
19. Be one of them. Show them that you are not different from them.
Become one of them and part of their crowd.
20. Build your business on solid trust.
Trust is essential for the development of strong and long-term customer relationships.
21. Contact them regularly.
Contact your customers regularly. You don’t want them to forget you.
22. Use personal language when you talk with them.
You don’t want to use language that will be non-understandable for your customers. You want to have clear communication with them.
23. Be human, not a business, for the moment.
You need to be human, not the company. Why do you want to hide behind your company? It is easier to build strong customer relationships as a human than a company.
24. Be yourself.
It is essential 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 a long-term relationship. So, ask them for help when you need it.
26. Be focused on the most profitable customers.
Don’t lose your money, time, and energy on non-profitable customers. Focus on the most important customers for your small business.
27. Use the 80/20 Rule to identify the most critical customers.
Use the Pareto principle to identify and group your customers according to their importance for your small business.
28. Show your respect for the most critical 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 the 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 crucial in building a long-term relationship with your customers. You will learn many things about them.
32. Respect them.
Respect your customers if you want to be a 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 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, you will not solve your customer’s problems. 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 different customer relationships you want them to 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 join 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 contact 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.
Continue learning everything about your customers.
46. Always deliver on your promises.
When you promise something, consistently deliver what you have promised to them.
47. Thanks to them.
Always thank your customers for their interactions with your business.
Please share your knowledge with them.
49. Become a helpful person.
Always think about how you and your business can be more helpful to them.
50. Strategic thinking.
Always think strategically to build long-term customer relationships.