When it comes to client relationship building, there’s no set formula. From shifting customer demands to changes in brand loyalty patterns, relationship-building is truly an art form.
Tack on the desire to form long-term customer relationships and you now have an even bigger challenge: nurturing and keeping those clients for years to come.
But all isn’t lost. Regardless of what happens in the global economy, there are still strategies you can use to establish long-term relationships with your clients.
Formulas? No. Techniques? Yes. Let’s dig into seven strategies you can start using to build nourishing, long-term relationships with your customers.
1. Add value to their lives
Adding value to your clients’ lives is paramount to building long-term relationships with them.
Think about it, would you shop with a brand that didn’t give you value?
Would you keep going to the same grocery store even if its produce was bland? Would you continue hiring the same graphic designer even if they didn’t implement your feedback?
The truth is, we’re all looking for brands that’ll make our lives easier, better, or fuller. We’re not looking for brands who ignore our needs or don’t provide value.
So, share knowledge and helpful tips like this article on the best stock advisor websites:
Remove barriers to entry by publishing an FAQ section on your site like the Connected Operations Cloud company, Samsara, does in this government fleet management software page:
Here are some other ways you can add value to your clients’ lives:
- Tailor your offers with them in mind
- Understand their needs and find ways to meet them better than the competition
- Show empathy and care in your branding and communication
- Give them what they want, when, and how they want it
2. Show up for them consistently and exceed expectations
You’re booked for one month and on vacation the next month.
You post consistently one week and then give up on social media the next.
To keep your clients long-term, you need to make them feel seen. You need to establish a level of professionalism. And you need to become a trusted brand.
And that all happens by showing up for them consistently and exceeding their expectations time and time again.
So, be memorable. Be the kind of brand someone never forgets.
Even unique companies can find creative ways to show up and exceed expectations.
Take moving companies for example.
While customer retention may be challenging due to the nature of the industry they’re in, they can still show up and exceed expectations by:
- Showing up consistently on social media and in email marketing campaigns
- Offering consultations before the move so customer expectations remain clear
- Making a list of customer demands and exceeding each one
- Offering healthy discounts and cash vouchers for referrals and brand mentions
- Sending occasional snail mail and swag to all of the customers they’ve helped move
- Collecting and implementing feedback regularly
- Sending “check-in” emails to keep up with their clients’ future moves
3. Ask for and implement feedback
We can’t stress the importance of collecting and implementing feedback enough. In fact, you may have noticed that we’ve already mentioned feedback in this article a few times.
And the reason for that is simple.
Asking for feedback shows customers you care about their needs.
And implementing that feedback proves to customers that you care about meeting their needs.
What’s more, implementing feedback is one of the top ways to add value to your customers’ lives, so don’t skip it! Hire a team who will help you collect feedback, and give your employee software for virtual assistants, if they work remotely.
Think about it, how valued would you feel if you told your favorite restaurant that you’d love to see cheesecake brownies on the menu … and they actually listened?
How valued would you feel if you told your business coach you’d love mini-session packages … and they actually created them?
In other words, asking for and implementing client feedback is customer-centricity at its finest.
Take product-led growth strategies, for example.
Product-led growth strategies focus on solving real customer problems in two ways:
- They promote active listening to understand customers’ core needs
- They aim to offer solutions and create new product features based on specific customer feedback
Whether you offer products, services, or both, you can use the foundation of product-led growth to promote customer-centricity in your business.
And that brings us to …
4. Keep your tone positive and friendly
Speaking of customer-centricity, do you know a lot of clients that appreciate a negative or stand-offish tone? Do you know many customers who’d enjoy doing business with someone who was crass or short?
While there are many kinds of personalities in the world, it’s natural for customers to expect warmth from the brands they work with.
Here are some ways to keep your tone positive and friendly across all of your business channels:
- Establish a brand voice that’s hopeful and inspiring
- Sprinkle in thought leadership bits in your social media posts, email marketing, and client meetings
- Speak in your client’s preferred messaging style
- Make sure your marketing copy and blog content points to the reader in a positive way
- Never make a client or prospect feel bad about an idea or question they have
- Acknowledge and show enthusiasm for your clients’ ideas and feedback
- Share inspirational quotes, lessons, and experiences
- Humanize your tone but still remain professional
5. Take care of them
If you’ve made it this far then you know just how important it is to take good care of your customers.
There’s a reason the phrase “para servirlo” (meaning to serve) is still alive and well in Mexico.
From beach vendors offering reflexology massages to famous restaurants known for their delectable seafood, you’ll hear this phrase spoken by all kinds of business owners.
So, whether you sell TV packages or you claim to offer the best bank accounts for students, get to know your customers’ demands so you can take care of them as best as possible.
Everything comes full circle when you focus on serving your clients with care. 🙂
6. Prioritize the customer experience
From running into snags on your website to having trouble with your checkout process, there’s nothing that annoys customers quite like poor experiences can.
When looking to improve your customer experience processes, put yourself in your clients’ shoes. There are multiple ways to do it. For instance, larger enterprises can use real customer data in its synthetic form as test data to upgrade operations and provide customers with a highly personalized experience.
Imagine what it’d be like to go through your onboarding process, initial client meetings, and ongoing project work as the customer.
Do you see any kinks in your processes? Are there any systems you could speed up or improve? What about technical issues? Do you see any lags or inactive pages on your company site?
Go through each process one by one to see where you can course-correct.
Whatever you do, make sure to avoid:
- Slow processes
- Slow response times
- Too many barriers to entry (i.e., tons of onboarding forms to fill out)
- Long or glitchy check-out processes
- Poorly designed and/or slow websites, landing pages, blogs, etc.
7. Get on the same page about communication
And finally, it’s absolutely crucial to get on the same page about communication.
Some clients like to over-communicate, some loathe correspondence, and others may want to just shoot you an email here and there.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to set expectations with each of your clients so you don’t run into misunderstandings later down the road.
Here are a few ways to get on the same page with your clients:
- Set expectations around response times, i.e., commit to responding to emails within 48 business hours
- Be sure to notify your clients in advance about any upcoming time off
- Mirror your clients’ communication style
- Be transparent, honest, and respectful when communicating
- Establish communication values and stick to them
- Use your clients’ preferred communication channels — for instance, they might prefer messaging on Slack, over communicating via a client portal or email
While client relationship building is an art form, there are still techniques you can use to nurture your customers for years to come.
By remaining customer-centric, we’re confident you’ll become the dream brand your ideal clients can’t get enough of.
And that’s it for today.
Are you ready to build lasting relationships with your clients? We hope these tips have inspired you to make changes that honor your customers’ core needs.