How to build relationships with customers who bring repeat business

The following is a press release from the Better Business Bureau.

IDAHO FALLS – When it comes to long-term success, building relationships with customers can be more important than creating new business.

Figures show that the probability of selling to an existing customer can be as high as 70%, while the probability of selling to a new customer can be as low as 5%. These existing customers are also 50% more likely to try your new products.

Positive customer relationships directly influence the bottom line of your business. The better your business is at making its customers feel appreciated, the more likely it is that customers will return to your products and services. You become their first destination.

These relationships don’t just happen, however. Businesses need to establish a foundation of trust with their customers in order to keep them coming back. Better Business Bureau offers the following tips for building lasting relationships with customers.

To stay in contact

Like any close relationship, genuine communication is the secret to staying together. Your relationship with your customers is no different. They want to hear from you, but when you step in, the conversation needs to be about more than the latest deals your business is offering.

Some of the best ways to speak on a deeper level is to leverage tools like email marketing and social media platforms. For example, sending newsletters that provide information about the products offered by your company. Social media also allows you to proactively provide updates on upcoming or ongoing issues related to your services.

keep replying

Responding to reviews and complaints should be an essential part of your company’s approach to customer relations. Show your appreciation after a great review and be sincere when receiving reviews. These follow-ups add to customers’ attachment to your brand.

A recent BrightLocal survey stated that “89% of consumers are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ likely to use a business that responds to all of their online reviews.” Don’t lose customers by failing to acknowledge what your customers are saying.

keep your word

It might seem obvious to deliver on your promises to customers, but it’s not always that simple. Mistakes happen, and when they do, reputations and relationships suffer.

It’s important to do your best in these situations: get it right. If your customers’ expectations might not be met, let them know immediately about your plan to fulfill your part of the deal. Identifying and then correcting a problem can even bring you closer to your customer.

Keep on thanking

Don’t take your relationships with your customers for granted. Your business relies on these relationships to succeed. Take the time to let your most loyal customers know how grateful you are for their dedication.

These expressions of appreciation can come in many forms. Depending on the size of your team, literal thank you notes serve as nice, personalized touchpoints. Offering free items or installing customer loyalty programs are also effective ways to say thank you.

Keep collecting feedback

Much of what was shared previously regarding responsiveness also applies here. Customers want to know that you care about their experiences with your business. What’s different about collecting and acting on customer feedback, however, is that it can proactively alert you to their expectations.

How you collect that feedback — and how often it’s collected — depends on what works best for your business (online surveys seem to be the way to go for many businesses). The important thing is that you activate the comments you receive. Use it to improve processes, interactions, and results that ultimately strengthen your customer relationships.

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About Madeline Powers

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