As a business, your customers are your number one asset. No matter how great your brand, messaging, website design, and products are, your brand won’t get far unless it’s effectively connected with customers. With a bit of foresight and some effective scheduling, your brand can help foster long-lasting relationships with customers. Here are just a few ways you can let your customers know they are appreciated now and forever.
- Work to Retain Customers
One of the first steps that should be taken to increase customer retention is to utilize customer-relationship tools. Often called customer relationship management (CRM) tools, CRM tools can be effectively used to keep track of customers. In particular, CRM tools are useful in tracking when customers return to your website and what reasons led them there.
CRM tools are most often used to send emails out to customers that are part of your subscription service, wherein they can be offered emails that let them know of new products, sales, brand messaging, and more. Analytics taken from these emails can be used to inform you more about your customers’ interests, which can be used for future targeting. This allows you to effectively reach customers to continue fostering relationships.
- Know Your Audience
Sometimes brands can get set in their ways, acting as if they know what’s best for their customers. But, truthfully, your audience will inform your brand.You should take the time to research your audience to better understand what it is they want to see and hear. Once you know what interests them most, you can craft content that can more easily garner their attention and continue bringing them back to your brand again and again. Moreover, you can craft your messaging to fit in with your customer base’s ethos, keeping them coming back for more.
- Go Above and Beyond for Them
Your customers come back to you not only for the content you produce and share but also for the products and services you provide. You should never settle on whatever happens to work with your customers; you should aim to regularly exceed expectations. Customers enjoy novelty and choice. The idea of change is necessary when it comes to most businesses, whether it’s a different regional origin for roasted coffee or numerous colorways released for your products in accordance with the relative season.
It should never feel as if your brand and its projects are lagging. Your brand should regularly feel as if it is on top of its game, delivering the results your customers want most. And if a customer ever makes an order, make sure to stay connected with them, providing fast shipping while responding to any messages in due time. Making your customers feel as if they are valued will keep them coming back to your business for future services.
- Give Them Agency, Ask Them for Feedback
Customers will give you their opinion, whether good or bad. You should appreciate their honesty, as it will provide you with great insight as to how to improve your business to your customer’s liking. Consider regularly asking your customers for feedback, whether after a purchase or once receiving their item. Their comments can provide you with notable information that can be used to fine-tune your current services.
For more serious, repeat customers, you should consider offering them a yearly survey to provide personalized feedback. Questions can range from their general opinions about your website to what they would like to see out of your branding and messaging. It’s a great way to stay in touch with customers, all while keeping your finger on the button regarding what they most want to see from you.
- Forming Affiliate Relationships with Trusted Customers
One of the best ways to foster positive customer relationships is to seek out potential affiliates.
Affiliate marketing is a method in which affiliates—trusted customers and partners—send followers from their social media channels to your website through targeted marketing campaigns, branded content and more. Certain long-term customers of your brand can be scouted as potential affiliates.
By converting customers to affiliates, you’re not just offering them a contractual partnership wherein they can earn some money on the side; you’re telling these customers that you trust their judgment, seeing their interests as aligned with your own, all while letting them showcase their passion to others. Putting your trust in customers is a great way to entice them to bring similar customers to your website. Furthermore, it increases your chances of creating recurrent customers who will put their trust in both your brand and your products.
- Stay Connected
Similar to reaching out to customers with surveys and CRM emails, you should ensure your company responds to customer questions as quickly as possible. Whether it’s an on-hand bot and on-screen popup which prompts potential customers to ask frequently asked questions (FAQs) or an instant messenger service that notifies one employee who can respond within a set period of time, you can have a system set in place that allows for your company to regularly answer questions in due time. It’s imperative that you engage with your customers online, whether through your website or social media. Consider having a response plan laid out so you can effectively respond to customers, making them feel valued.
- Provide Rewards When Earned
Long-time customers should be rewarded every now and then. For some brands, rewards are offered through loyalty programs. Whether it’s points earned per purchase or a subscription-based loyalty program that offers particular deals, it’s a great way to reward customers who stick around with your brand.
Such loyalty programs are a great way to encourage customers to come back to your business. Furthermore, it’s a wonderful tactic to continue letting them engage with your website, checking in on new products, updated designs, new blog posts, and more.
As a brand, you should let your messaging and products speak for themselves. With some added incentives and features, you can encourage customers to continue returning, keeping them interested and engaged in your brand’s future.
Nick is a digital strategist with over twelve years’ experience in planning and executing marketing plans for B2C/B2B brands. Currently, he’s the Marketing Manager for Refersion, the advanced affiliate marketing platform that helps brands manage, track, and grow their affiliate network.