Four Steps to Building Lasting Relationships with Your Customers
Whether your focus is B2B or B2C, there is a common denominator to being successful: emotional connections. Building emotional connections with customers extends your relationships, fosters potential new ones and demonstrates that you are engaged with your customers on a deeper level.
Harvard Business Review researched hundreds of brands and concluded that, “the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken, emotional needs.”
Building that kind of relationship with your customers and their businesses can go a long way toward enhancing your customers’ journey and help you reach your goals. Our top four steps to achieving this are outlined here.
1. Create a positive and personal experience
Creating a positive and personal experience begins, first and foremost, with truly knowing your audience. When you know who you’re speaking to, you can anticipate what they really want, understand its importance on a deeper level, provide a personal touch and create something they will value. You can find out more about your audience preferences by scanning your Google analytics, conducting a social media audit or doing market research.
2. Learn to Listen
Becoming an active listener will WOW your clients and strengthen your relationships. When you’re actively listening, you have a clear understanding of what your customers’ needs are and how you can achieve them. Listening to a customer’s deep-rooted requirements, concerns and aspirations will allow you to find their triggers and target them specifically and strategically. When you take it even further and know your customers’ pain points, triggers, trials and discomforts, you can then take this one step further and create personas to help you explore other meaninful ways to serve them. This allows you to show your capabilities as a company and prove that you understand their business on a deeper level.
3. Provide a sense of order
Have you ever gone to the doctor for a flu shot then received a flu shot reminder from the same practice two weeks later? This can be frustrating and show that you have not done your research. Most customers thrive on structure, reminders and genuine interactions. By knowing your audience, listening to their needs and adhering to them you can connect with them more effectively and provide a sense of order or structure to their lives. To play off of the health care example, a successful sense of order and certainty provided by a company is sending out an annual postcard to families prior to flu season to let them know it’s around the corner, or a flyer congratulating them for getting their flu shot and preventative safety measures they can take to stay clear of it. Structuring your messaging based on the customer personas you created or identified is ideal. Your personas should reveal what your target customer’s lifestyle is, their demographics, pain points, social preferences and more. This will allow you to hit the mark every time when reaching out to your audiences.
4. Trust is earned
Trust is huge with most people, especially your customers. When you say you’re going to deliver results, you’ve set the precedent of completing the task within that time frame and generating the results that meet the customer’s expectations. Ideally, our customers should view us as an extension of their marketing team, so successful delivery of commitments regarding timing, budget and campaign management are key in building trust. Honor the promises that have been made and go the extra mile to hit customer goals, and they’ll notice your efforts and all you do to forge a solid foundation with longevity.
An emotional connection between customers intertwines on various levels, as mentioned above, and can be detrimental if not achieved. Create a valuable, lasting relationship by building a framework of being personal and genuine, listening and providing timely results will pave the way for you to be invited by your customers to stick with them for the long haul.