As a business owner, it’s crucial to create a strategy that builds healthy, positive customer relationships. Doing so results in increased customer retention and, therefore, increased sales and growth. It’s easier to maintain these types of relationships when you create customer-centric strategies catered to their needs.

For new businesses especially, it takes lots of time, money, and resources to grow an active customer base. It costs approximately five to six times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. If you neglect the customers you already have, you’re missing out on lots of potential revenue.

Let’s take a look at three ways your business can build long-lasting customer relationships that keep both parties happy.

Put the customer first

If your business model relies on putting the product or the revenue first, you’ll see how difficult it is to boost conversions. Think about all the competition that’s readily available at your customers’ fingertips. All they have to do is perform a quick Google search and endless ecommerce options pop up.

Unless you’re selling a completely new product or concept, you need to make your business stand out from the competition and set you apart from everyone else. How do you frame your customers within your business? Instead of looking at them as the problem, think of them as the solution.

How can you better tend to your customers’ needs? What can your brand do to solve their pain points? Does your business prioritize customer support as part of its conversion strategy?

Employ customer relationship management (CRM) tools to help you track and monitor the relationships you’re building with current and potential customers. CRM software will also help you keep up with customer demands, improve communication, and collect user data.

Provide value

Consumers have many options when it comes to where they spend their money. If they aren’t happy with the relationship they have with you, they’ll go elsewhere. That’s why your business needs to provide value to each customer based on their individual needs.

Create buyer personas to have a clear understanding of your target market and what they need from you. Knowing what problems they face and where their interests lie helps you create content and products suited to their needs.

Knowing your audience also helps you create a content marketing strategy for your blog to spread brand awareness and improve engagement. Around 47 percent of buyers consume three to five pieces of content before making a purchase decision, and they’ll feel more comfortable buying if you provide value.

You can create and send a customer survey to see what your current customers think about your brand and what they believe needs improvement. It’s also a great way to see what part of your customer retention strategy works well so you can continue to implement it in the future.

The Hilton Hotel is known for its customer-centric surveys that gather pertinent information about their guests’ stay:

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There are a lot of ways to frame your customer survey to receive the answers you’re looking for. Some of the common areas to touch on include:

  • Demographics: Basic information about your target market that helps you create content and products they need
  • Product usage: How customers view your products and services, how helpful they are, what you can improve
  • Satisfaction: How satisfied they are to browse your website, purchase products, consume content, and more
  • Open-ended questions: Asking questions where users can divulge their true thoughts in detail, allowing for more honest feedback

Create a loyalty program

There’s a lot of competition readily available to your customers if they decide your business doesn’t give them what they need. Sometimes it takes a little incentive to convince customers to keep coming back, which is why creating a loyalty program increases customer retention rates.

A loyalty program rewards customers for continuous purchases through various discounts and other offers. It persuades people to return so they can rack up rewards after spending a certain amount.

Loyalty programs come with many benefits, such as:

  • Attracting new customers
  • Improving user engagement with your brand
  • Increasing revenue through repeat business
  • Gathering valuable user data to implement into future marketing strategies
  • Giving customers a personalized experience and making them feel connected to your brand

Starbucks created a successful loyalty program that lets customers pay through the app and collect points for each purchase:

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Over to you

If you don’t take the time to learn about your customers, then it’s impossible to create content and responds they’ll enjoy. Your business needs to cater to its target market and without solid customer relationships, that market will be nonexistent. You need to ensure that your brand is actively collecting user data, providing value, and rewarding repeat customers.