As a new business or a small one, your profits rely on whether or not you establish good relationships with customers. In other words, customers can make you or break you. So, it is up to you to ensure that your customers will come back to you.
However, now there are more ways than ever to connect with your customers, and before you break your bank on only one, or a few of them, here is a list of smart ways to build better customer relationships.
Be active on social media
Staying active on a variety of social media means more reach. It is important that you broaden your horizons, and not advertise only on one social media platform. Different people use different sites, and it is in your best interest to reach most of them.
That being said, simply having a social media account is not enough. You have to be actively present, to present new merchandise on the platform, have customers leave reviews, and comments.
You also need to advertise on the platform, explain your product, and dream big. Your business is a reflection of you, and people need to see that on social media.
Survey your customers
If you are unsure of how to request feedback from your customers, and cannot get them to leave one on their own, you can try to send out a survey asking for feedback. You can send it to an email address if you have one, a home address if you know it, or simply ask a customer to fill out a survey upon finishing with a purchase. Be prepared that not everyone will want to fill out your surveys, or that some people will simply put anything in them, just to get it done.
It is your job to filter the feedback to see what is useful, and what is not.
A little goes a long way, and you would not believe how much people cherish when they are appreciated. Make sure your customers know just how much you recognize their importance. They pay you, and they keep your business thriving, and by showing appreciation, you are making a life-long customer.
However, if you have employees, do not forget about them either. Even if you are not some multimillionaire company that takes their employees on holidays, or on business lunches, simple corporate gift boxes are a great way to show them how much you recognize their worth. They can say ‘thank you’ or ‘good job’, or you can start giving out one each month for the employee of the month. The more effective your employees are, the more will your business thrive.
So, keep in mind to always appreciate all those who keep it booming.
Add a personal touch
Whether you are crafting, or making something with your own two hands and selling it, or working in IT and owning your own company, adding a personal touch to a sale is essential. When you do that, you show your customers they are valued. And when they feel valued, they will stay faithful customers, and refer their friends and family.
Therefore, no matter which type of business you have, always try to add something from you personally. It can be a little note showing appreciation, or you can send out an email thanking them for their purchase. You can even write a nice thank-you note, and send it by regular mail.. small things like that are what makes a customer – a lifelong customer.
This century is colored in the words ‘instant gratification’. people are accustomed to getting answers almost immediately, to any type of questions they may have. And it is your duty, as a business owner, to be available.
This is not to say that you need to get up in the middle of the night to answer any and all questions, but try to answer your customers within one to two hours during business hours, and first thing in the morning if the question has been sent after hours. This way, you are ensuring that your customers will have all the necessary information to decide whether they will make a purchase.
Respond to concerns
If by any chance, your customers are not happy with the product they received, and they write to you about it, you need to respond. Do not try and ignore the message, because that can only leave a very bad impression of you and your business.
Instead, try to communicate in the most effective way, asking them what went wrong, what you can do to help, how you can fix the situation, anything that you feel could potentially solve the problem.
You should not lash out, blaming the delivery system, the customer, or something else. Just do your best to try and fix the issue.
Stand your ground
However, don’t let the customer bully you, either. If they are unhappy with how the product turned out, and you did everything they asked you to, politely remind them that it was their idea, just your execution. Try to remind them of certain parts of the conversation, and do not apologize. You did your job well, you need to get paid for it, and if they do not like the product because of one aspect you did according to their wishes, it is on them.
Sure, you can try to give them a discount on the next purchase, or offer a complimentary (small) item, but do not let them bully you into giving them a product just because.
You need to protect your business and you as a creator.
Working with people, while sometimes exhausting, is very rewarding. Showing people your appreciation, and maintaining a good relationship, even after they buy your product, can pay off in the future, in ways you cannot foresee. So, stay on your customers’ radar, keep your buyers interested, keep them notified, answer all their questions, and your business will be thriving before you know it.