Building customer relationships is one of the most important parts of building a business. Without customers, there is no business. And without repeat businesses, the bottom line of any business will falter.
1. Make Your Business Personal to Your Customers
When you do a lot of business online, your face and what you do can sometimes be lost. To build relationships with customers, you need to give them a face to be loyal to. They need to know more about you and more about your business. Putting a face on your business doesn't mean giving them humdrum details about your life. Instead, simply brand your business so that your name and an identifying detail about you are made a part of the brand. The identifying detail may be your picture, the part of the country you are from, or one of your interests that can be used to make you seem more like a person and less like a faceless company.
2. Give Great Customer Service
Everyone knows how important customer service is, but for building customer relationships, you need to distinguish yourself. Always go that extra mile to make sure that every customer you have is satisfied. Getting just one bad review online can make a difference in how much business you do. Always strive for customer satisfaction, even if it eats into your bottom line at first. Eventually, it will add to that bottom line with customer loyalty and increased sales.
3. Reward Customers for Being Loyal to Your Business
Give customers a way to get rewarded for their own loyalty. Think about how many times you've gone to a store or purchased an item because you had a discount card or because buying the 10th one would earn you one for free. Consider providing some incentive like that for your own customers. The customer incentives that you provide may be a discount code, a coupon, some extra services that are given to repeat customers, or just special care given to sales made to loyal customers.
When you have particularly good customers, let them know that you appreciate them. Send them a card during the holidays or send them the occasional email letting them know that you are handing their order with care. You can build customer relationships by simply letting your buyers know that they are appreciated by you.
4. Remember Your Customers
Keeping customers in mind when you make changes to your site or introduce a new product is important, but really remembering customers involves actually remembering the individuals behind the sales. Make an effort to remember your best customers and to recall what they like and what they don't. Building customer relationships often depend on the personal relationships that you build.
The customers that buy from you most often should be remembered by name. If you interact with them personally, remember the small talk you've had and inquire about the customer's life by using specific examples. Just knowing that you remember the person may be enough to keep a customer loyal to you and your business.