How to Build Long-Term Customer Relationships

As a new or business owner, you are probably eager to gain as many clients as possible to bring in business. While gaining new customers is a great accomplishment in itself, it’s equally important to maintain healthy and lasting relationships with those customers to keep your business thriving. Help develop and sustain your client relationships with these 5 tips:

1.       Be honest

They say “honesty is the best policy” and this definitely applies to how you should treat your customers. Being honest, even when it’s not easy, will show your customers that you respect them enough to tell them the truth. When things don’t go right, it’s better to own up to mistakes and assure your clients that the problem will be resolved as soon as possible than to leave them hanging until the mess is cleaned up without any word. 

2.       Stay true to deadlines

Failing to deliver by deadlines not only frustrates clients, but it also jeopardizes the integrity of your company. Committing to a deadline and fulfilling what you promised your clients sets the foundation for your relationship. The more deadlines that you meet, the more confidence your customers will have in you and what your business can accomplish.

3.       Engage with customers
When it comes to customer experience, service matters. Having an unbeatable product won't be enough to keep customers around if they feel mistreated or unimportant. Making sure you stay engaged with your clients and being aware of their needs is paramount for customer satisfaction. It should be a goal to be sure they are receiving all the support they require without even having to ask.
4.       Monitor customer behavior
Monitoring customer behavior will help determine the right amount and kind of support your customers need. Tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) integration is key for tracking where your clients are in the process, and what “last touch” your company has given them. Having things such as automated emails sent out after a specific amount of time can provide customers with “next step” actions to stay engaged with what your business has to offer.
5.       Reward loyalty
When you do reach the point of obtaining a long-standing client relationship, it’s easy to believe that client is content with your product or service. Don’t fall into the trap of complacency when things are going well. It’s important to stay engaged with current clients and the best way to do that is to honor their continued business with rewards. Free small gifts or rewards programs are great ways to keep customers wanting more. Thank those who continue to stay with you and remember that they can choose someone else at any time, so it’s in your best interest to give them an incentive to keep coming back.

Customer relationships are like any other relationship in the sense that to keep them alive and well you need to make them a priority. Stay in touch with your customers and ask them about their needs. Show them your business cares about them by meeting or exceeding their expectations. If you do – you’re guaranteed to build trust with a lasting customer.