First-time buyers are essential for business, so first impressions matter. But turning these individuals into loyal, repeat customers is arguably an even higher priority. To do that, you need to make a good first impression while also focusing on your follow-through.
Follow-through is checking in with your customers with personalized follow-ups. It’s producing information and experiences that deepen your audience’s trust in your expertise. It’s paying attention to the little details that make people feel remembered, respected, and rewarded.
By offering exceptional experiences implemented through thoughtful strategies, you can cultivate strong, long-lasting, and profitable relationships. Read on to learn about a few ways you can start developing your customer relationship strategy today.
Personalize Post-Purchase Communications
Enhancing someone’s experience begins the moment they decide to walk in the door. After all, it’s obvious that someone who’s stepped inside has some level of interest in your offerings. Transitioning a potential buyer into an actual one, however, can be tricky. And because the first sale is often the most difficult to land, many businesses allocate a huge amount of their resources to ensuring it. This is also how many businesses shoot themselves in the foot.
Repeat customers tend to be far more lucrative than first-time buyers. This is because repeats are already convinced by what you’re selling. The best businesses know that the first purchase is just the first step of the dance. The next step is to facilitate positive post-purchase communications that encourage one-off buyers to come back. And personalization is one of the most effective ways to do this.
Personalizing your interactions, both in person and online, is a game-changer. By leveraging a customer relations management system, you can store customer data so you never forget important facts about a customer’s life. You can also use a CRM to personalize automatic thank-you emails or messages after each time they buy. Furthermore, a CRM will track their purchase history so you can recommend products and services tailored to their needs. Even if you’re just getting started, a CRM or other business communications tool will give your business the personalization capabilities it needs to stand out.
Produce Useful Content
Whatever your industry, you will likely need to allocate resources to content development. High-quality, informative content positions your business as an authority in your industry. Producing it is a powerful strategy for incentivizing business growth and fostering strong relationships. Keep in mind that content marketing is not just about selling products or services. It’s also about providing meaningful experiences and information that address your audience’s needs and interests.
When customers find valuable information on your website or through other media channels, they are more likely to trust your expertise. And trust is the foundation of any lasting relationship. The challenge is that most media platforms and channels are full of competitors clamoring for your audience’s attention as well. So you need to invest considerable resources into developing content that’s not only interesting, but also engaging.
Different audiences respond more positively to certain marketing channels. Older audiences, for example, tend to appreciate long-form print and televised content. Younger audiences, on the other hand, gravitate toward short-form video content they can easily access on their phone. This could mean setting up an Instagram or TikTok account or optimizing your website for mobile. Consider the needs of your audience and how you can address them in interesting and engaging ways.
Loyalty programs are a tried-and-true method for encouraging repeat business. The best programs give first-time buyers powerful incentives to return. After all, if a customer has enjoyed doing business with you once, they’ll likely enjoy it even more with bonuses.
Some of the simplest loyalty programs to implement are point-based systems. These reward customers with points for each purchase they make. They can then redeem these for discounts, free products, services, or exclusive access to events. If you do pursue a point-based system, though, be sure your rewards are actually enticing and not just a gimmick.
Tiered systems are excellent complements to point-based systems, as customers receive greater rewards the more they spend. This incentivization further familiarizes them with the experience of buying with your brand. They’ll likely feel more comfortable buying with you and recommending your brand to others. This will be even more true if you develop a referral program to further incentivize spreading the good news about your company. After all, word of mouth is one of the strongest ways to build and spread trust throughout your audience.
Putting Your Customers First
In some ways, building relationships with your customers is like building relationships with anyone. That’s because every relationship, no matter what form it takes, is built on trust. And one of the most effective ways to build trust with someone is to put their needs first.
People will notice if you go out of your way to provide them with a good experience. They’ll notice if you reward them for trusting you. They’ll notice if the rewards they receive from you are more substantial than those of your competitors. All of this trust building will increase the chances they come back for more. By putting your customers first, they’ll return the favor the next time they want a product or service you offer.