Whether you’re after loyal clients/customers and repeat business, or a dedicated, productive team who is loyal to your company, the key is to show how much you care. People never forget the way you make them feel: good or bad. Therefore, it is important not to ghost them after you’ve won their business or hired them. The following four tips will help ensure you create loyal clients and employees.
Tip #1: Camp out in their minds and know what makes them tick.
Not only should you know your customer’s full name, job title and the role they play at their company, but you should get to know them on a deeper level. Understand their fears and their challenges. Know what keeps them up at night. What do they need from you in order to get the most value from your product or service? Or if it’s an employee what does she need from you to be more effective at her job?
Take an interest in them personally by asking questions about their family. Find out what their hobbies are so that you can engage in conversations other than business. Learn their birthday, anniversary, and any other special days and be sure to email them or send them a card or text.
Tip # 2: Be in the relationship business, not the transaction business.
It’s difficult to win loyalty from your clients or your employees without a having a relationship with them first. People are more likely to ask for refunds from transactions, but seek to find solutions from relationships. Consider a boutique owner who knows her clients so well that she calls you or tags you in a post when she gets in a blouse that you might like. Even better she calls your significant other just before your birthday and offers to help pick out something special that she know’s you’d love. When you become more interested in building a long term relationship than a one time sale, more times than not you will be rewarded with repeat business.
Tip #3: Add value beyond expectations and without asking for anything in return.
Always find a way to deliver more than you say you will. Maybe you create a report or a tutorial that helps them train others in their organization how to use your product or service. Perhaps you call a week or two after they purchased from you to find out if they have any questions or need any help in using your product or service. Send a hand written note thanking them for their business, not just after the initial purchase but at a time when they least expect it and include a gift card. Refer business to them if appropriate.
Tip #4: Don’t assume you know how they feel or think.
Assumptions don’t build relationships. They may not be true. We’ve all received that email that seems abrupt or even rude. Don’t take it personal and don’t try to read into the tone of any email. You never know what’s going on behind the scene. It could be that a last minute project with a quick deadline as been dropped on their desk, they have co-worker out sick, and the phones are ringing like crazy. Ask good open ended questions to better understand their requests. Above all assure them that you want to be part of their solutions and not part of their problems. Your desire should be to help them however you can.
Bottom line, loyalty begins with relationships and relationships require initiative and effort to cultivate and to grow. The time and work put in upfront is like and investment. When you sincerely invest in people, you can expect to gain respect and loyalty that will not just reward you financially, but benefit you on a deeper personal level as well.
How to you build long term relationships with your customers and employees? Let us know in the comments below. If you find this post helpful, then please share it!