Customer Relationships A Survival Guide
As a small business owner you already know that your customer relationships are a key driver for the revenue of your business.
And if you don’t, somebody may need to take you out back to the shed…
Building excellent Customer relationships are crucial for small business because they usually don’t have the luxury of a high volume of customers.
Therefore, they must maximize and make every customer relationship count.
How can they do this?
Before we get to some of the tactics of how to improve your customer relationships, let’s talk a little bit of why.
Why Focus on Customer Relationships in your Business
As small business owners we know customers are important. But how important? Let me count the ways.
Revenue- without building customer relationships we minimize the amount of revenue that our business can earn.
Some businesses can get away with a crash and burn strategy with the customer relationships.
But most small businesses cannot. They must help and serve their customers for as long as possible if they are to survive long.
Brand Loyalty- what is now called brand loyalty is just a simple term to say that your customers trust you and your business.
They trust that they will receive what they paid for how the paid for it, when they paid for it, and in a manner that resonates with them on some level.
This trust becomes brand loyalty, and like any relationship does not develop overnight.
You don’t want to be known for one- night stands treatment amongst your customers.
Where you're there one day, and gone the next.
If you approached building your customer relationships as you would any significant relationship a lot of the strategies involved become self evident.
If you base your customer relationship on love and respect, you will reap the fruit of increase business loyalty.
But if behave abusively towards your customers, and treat them like they are unimportant, and you can get a new one any time.
“To the Left, to the Left”,
You will soon find that your customers will leave you for greener pastures.
Long Term Business Sustainability- the more you build customers relationships that people enjoy, the greater the long term success of your business.
How do some businesses last for hundreds of years, and others cannot last a couple?
Customer relationships built around providing a superior product and/or service.
Customer relationship building works like compound interest.
Build a little bit here, and a little bit there, and over time, it will begin to compound on itself until it operates and builds on its own.
Think of building customer relationships like a savings account but with better interest rates than today’s rates. Lol
No .2% rates for your own money, but rates that in your business will pay dividends for years to come.
Customer Relationship Building Tactics
Tactic 1- Start from the inside out. Creating great customer relationships in your business starts from creating great relationships between your employees.
Great employees, and great teamwork is the blood of a great customer relationship campaign.
But if your own employees are not happy to be at your business, how could your customers?
Your employees rather you like it or not is a reflection of your business, they are the face that everyone sees.
Is it an ugly face? Or a snarky face?
A bad impression of your business lowers your customer relationship score, it doesn’t build it.
Thus, making your business excel in customer relationship building first requires that you build your employees up first.
Tactic 2- Increase ressonation between your customers and your business.
Resonation in music deals with rhythms and beats that merge together in melody.
Resonation in business is about creating an affinity between your business and your customer that just draws them to you business.
Businesses like Mercedes, Lexus, Louis-Vutton has crafted an image of their business that people gravitate towards.
People when they make purchases from these companies are buying more than just a car, or a handbag, they are buying the ability to resonate with that company, and the brand that it has built.
Brands such as these have went beyond simply creating a customer profile of its ideal customer, but had also created a profile of its business and what it represents.
When done well it creates resonation, and has a high value outside of the product itself.
Tactic 3- Get involved in your community. People can tell if you really care about them or if your are totally self interested.
This can come across as fake as totally self serving.
But I’m willing to bet that since you took the risk of becoming a small business owner you already care for your customers.
Because their are much easier and less risky ways to make money than opening a small business.
So if you’ve already took the leap, you already have what it takes to come across as authentically serving others.
You just have to know enlarge your footprint. Get involved in community programs that are seemingly unconnected to your main business proposition, but is connected in some way with your target audience.
Help your customers where they are, not where you want them to be, and you will be surprised when they show up when you least expect it.