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How To Build Long-Lasting Customer Relationships
The key to successful customer relations lies in focusing on the long-term. It’s one thing to give customers a decent experience to date, but something else entirely to retain them indefinitely.
Unfortunately, there’s a tendency among many businesses to focus too heavily on getting as much money as they can out of their customers as quickly as possible. Playing this kind of short-term game can be dangerous, as it’s effectively like treating customers as a disposable commodity.
Contrary to popular belief, building long-lasting customer relationships doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s simply a case of modifying your strategy accordingly, which is where the following basic guidelines could help:
1. Create A Welcome Sequence
First up, creating a welcome sequence means finding ways to provide value and build connections with your customers from day one. A sequence of two to five welcome emails will provide you with the opportunity to generate engagement and nurture their interests.
Show them who you are, what you do and tell them what makes you great in your own voice and tone. Show off testimonials and case studies in a non-salesy way, alongside generous deals and incentives to keep them coming back for more. Make it real, make it honest and make it impossible for them to forget you.
2. Prioritise Value Over Selling
Don’t go to town doing everything you can to extract as much money as you can from every new customer. Even if they spend little and buy infrequently, they’re still an invaluable prospect worth investing in.
There’s every chance they could buy from you regularly, or start spending more further down the line. This is where it is important to prioritise value over selling - look beyond their initial monitoring value. Don’t make the mistake of giving them the impression you’re only interested in their money.
3. Reach Out Regularly
There’s a difference between contacting people regularly and spamming them with junk. In fact, the worst thing you can do is fall silent and leave huge gaps between your communications.
Use a diverse outreach strategy to contact your customers regularly via multiple channels. If they’re following you on social media, they’ve chosen to do so for a reason. Publish useful content, DM them with personal messages and (again) focus on value - not selling.
4. Join the Community
Still with social media, there’s nothing more engaging than a brand that takes the time to join the conversation and become part of the community. This means being as active as you can on social media, embracing the ‘social’ aspect of the whole thing.
Reply to comments, submit your own comments, join discussions and generally keep yourself as visible and audible as possible. Open communication is essential for generating engagement and interest, building towards long-term customer relationships.
5. Embrace Every Criticism
Lastly, ensure all negative feedback you receive is used as an invaluable form of constructive criticism. If you receive a direct complaint, use it as an opportunity to ‘wow’ the customer in a way they never expected. If you receive a complaint on a public platform, show the world how honest, transparent and proactive you are where customer satisfaction is concerned.
Encourage customers to share their thoughts and never shy away from negative feedback. Ask customers for their comments, questions and concerns, along with any suggestions they have as to how you can better fulfil their needs.