It is a generally accepted fact that the key to having a long-term sustainable business is to have a lot of returning customers, the key to most companies is the power to keep their current customers coming back, e.g., Apple Inc. is not a stranger to this concept as at least majority iPhone users will always change their phones for another iPhone and understandable at that. It is the same ideology most car dealers use that hospitals use. Now having the knowledge that the ‘key’ to having a long-term sustainable business is through having a high percentage of returning customers, how does one build a sustainable relationship with the customers to always have them coming back.

Here are a few tips that we believe can help you out in bringing those customers back:

1. Have a positive attitude:

Having a great attitude when doing business has been a time proven essential skill for any business to run. So many businesses lose customers every day due to the poor value placed on interactions between employees and customers. This is a much-needed skill that has to be emphasized. Regrettably, looking at the clime today, the interactions between business owners and customers have been so detached, with very little respect shown to the customers.

If customers find you difficult or aggressive, they go elsewhere.  It is as easy as that. The best way is to be open, honest and transparent in everything you do. (sales-i)

2. Always be open to communicate:

Word of mouth is an effective tool in advertising but it is also a reflection of how open the business owner is to his customers.

Advertisement, while it is putting the word out there through agents and sales men, is mostly done through referral of customers. Elon Musk grew Tesla to be a formidable auto industry, and this is because of his effective communications with his customers (though his business acumen is also to be praised), this is a proven form of guaranteed advertisement as seen by Benz, Adidas, Steve Jobs and various others.

In addition to timely and thorough communication, you can also build a strong client relationship by making your clients feel comfortable being open and honest with you. They should feel that their ideas and concerns will be taken seriously. (https://www.mbopartners.com/blog/how-manage-small-business/6-tips-for-building-and-maintaining-client-relationships/)

3. Be trustworthy:

A business owner should know that the most important thing for long-term growth is through having a reputation of being trustworthy, no back channels, no time overlap, no dilly-dallying over customer’s request, but by building a strong relationship by having a pact with your company and the clients/customers to always give them what they need, when they need it, if it can be afforded by your company.

Sometimes a frictionless customer experience is frictionless and forgettable. But being honest and showing that your business can resolve an issue can be very beneficial in the long run. (https://www.tidio.com/blog/customer-relationship/)

4. Listen to your customers:

Whether they’re feeding back on recent service, telling you about an issue they’ve had or just offering ideas for improvement, maintain customer relationships by really listening to what your customers are saying and not what you think they are saying. When you’re talking to a customer, ignore any distractions and process what they are saying carefully before offering a well-thought-out response. (https://www.sales-i.com/blog/maintain-good-customer-relationships)

5. Always be progressive:

When MTN SIM cards initially arrived at the borders of Nigeria, they were big, expensive but with time, they have progressed, giving out customer-friendly rates for their data and call bundles, the sizes of their SIM now fixable to the size they need. They saw the importance of the need to progress and listen to their customers. A good business owner should always be progress-induced, never relenting on his/her efforts to provide the best service necessary.

6. Have a good customer service department:

Consumers worldwide mentioned they have stopped doing business with a brand after a poor customer service experience. This makes integration of customer service etiquette crucial in every facet of your business as delivering superior service is the best way to strengthen customer relationships. (https://www.revechat.com/blog/importance-of-building-customer-relationships/)

7. Always appreciate:

Reward long-time customers with a loyalty discount program, with a loyalty program, customers earn points for buying your goods or services. After earning a certain number of points, the customer gets a reward. For example, you could reward a customer with a discount on their next purchase.

Also give away inexpensive branded items, such as pens or notepads, or even expensive items, like shirts, hats, or jackets with your logo on them. It’s a small yet effective way to say thank you to customers while keeping your business top of mind. (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282364)

Reference:

1. https://www.tidio.com/blog/customer-relationship/

2. https://www.mbopartners.com/blog/how-manage-small-business/6-tips-for-building-and-maintaining-client-relationships/

3. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282364

4. https://www.revechat.com/blog/importance-of-building-customer-relationships/

5. https://www.sales-i.com/blog/maintain-good-customer-relationships