15 Steps to Building Lasting Client Relationships

Customer service agent talking to client

Did you know that the cost for attracting new customers is five times more expensive than retaining current ones? Therefore, you should make every effort to build lasting relationships with your clients. In doing so, they will reward you with loyalty and their patronage.

Here are some key steps you can take to ensure lasting client relationships:

1. Treat Clients as Though Your Business Depends on Them

Always make your clients feel important from the first meeting to the hundredth. Give them respect and make them feel that they are your most important focus. This means:

  • Smile – Smiling is contagious. Even if a client has a pesky issue, you or your service staff should always face the problem with a smile and a positive attitude.
  • Eye contact – Look your clients in the eye and acknowledge their presence. Let them know that their issues and presence are important. Eye contact goes a long way in establishing rapport.
  • Focus – Train your service staff to give their complete focus to a client. Clients do not feel important when a service staff is talking to a co-worker while trying to handle their problems. Make sure that your staff gives deserved focus to your clients.

2. Get to Know Your Customers

All customers want to know they are important to you. Get to know them. Remember their name and greet them by name whenever they visit or call your business. Find out what else is important in their life. If you know that they have a dozen grandchildren, ask them how the grandkids are doing. Try to learn the business and personal needs of each customer.

3. Be Willing to Say Both “Yes” and “No”

Your clients will respect you when you say “yes” to their needs, but they will also respect your limits even if you say “no.” If a request is outside of your staff’s capabilities, be sure to tell the client what you can do, instead of simply what you cannot do.

Cody Rhodes, an expert from a company which offers a custom research paper writing service, says it is important to always try to solve a problem immediately when possible. If not, tell your client that the issue is important, and you will respond with an answer as soon as possible. Try to give them a time frame as to when they can expect your answer, and keep them updated along the way if it will take you more than a day to get them the requested information. Setting these proper expectations will show the client how much you respect and value their time.

4. Reward Customers with a Gift

Give an occasional gift to loyal clients. It might be a free dinner for two, a bottle of wine, or tickets to an event. Clients who receive gifts know that you value them and will reward your business with many returns.

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5. Stay in Touch

Keep a database of your clients’ contacts. Send a periodic newsletter to let them know you still are thinking of them. A newsletter is a great way to stay in touch and remind clients of your services and other new happenings to your business.

6. Be Honest and Sincere

A customer must know what they are purchasing, whether it is a tangible item such as a piece of equipment, or a service such as Physical Therapy treatment. By having a discussion about covered benefits and non-covered services in advance, a plan of care can be established and agreed upon prior to initiating services.

7. Exceed Expectations of the Customers

You may be aware about the cardinal rule of marketing, “Under promise, Over Deliver.” But, do you actually follow this rule? It is important that you do not go overboard in making promises to the customers that you won’t be able to fulfill. You should inform them about the tasks that you can perform for them. And then try your best to exceed the expectations of the customer by doing something unexpected like finishing the project early or checking in on them out of the blue.

8. Don’t Reveal Additional Costs as a Jolt from the Blue

Most customers make purchase decisions based on costs of the product or services. It is important to be open about the costs that you will charge to the customer. You should inform the customer upfront about any hidden or additional costs attached with your product or services. If you surprise the customer about such costs, it will lead them to think twice before availing your services again.

9. Solicit Feedback from the Customers

According to Mike Belford, from this executive resume writing service, you should always be aware of what your customers think of you by obtaining up to date feedback.

Feedback also helps in knowing about the likes and preferences of the customers. The customer service staff should contact the customers to get their input regarding the product or service. This will help you in assessing the satisfaction level of the customers. You can also take corrective actions in light of the feedback to sync the product or services as per the preferences of the customers.

10. Learn about Your Customer

Take the time to conduct some research regarding your customers, including their needs and expectations of your business, their most common means of communication and features that might make their lives a bit easier. Once you know what your customer needs from your business, you are in a better position to meet those needs.

11. Provide the Right Products

As customers’ needs are changing, the products to meet those needs are also changing. In today’s competitive market, your products must move beyond basic functionality and quality to features that differentiate your inventory from the rest. By learning about your customers and their needs, you will be equipped to provide the best products for your customers as well, which will encourage engagement as customers realize you are working with their best interests in mind.

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12. Use the Tools

There are many tools for customer engagement today, including the Internet, mobile devices and social networks. As you discover which tools your customers use most often, you can add those tools to your arsenal as well for more effective customer contact.

For example, if you discover that the majority of your customers spend time on Facebook, creating a Facebook page for your business might be a good way for customers to interact with your company.

13. Remember Traditional Service

Despite the move to technology in customer service today, it is important not to forget the basic niceties of customer engagement that your clients truly appreciate. Courtesy and professionalism are always in style, whether communicating with your customers by phone, online or in person. Listening to their problems and identifying the best solutions is what customer service is all about, no matter how it is provided today.

14. Integrate Your Options

Customers want multiple ways to contact a business and extended hours so they can handle transactions on their own terms. Whether your customer chooses to communicate in person, on the phone, through Facebook or on live chat, your service team needs to be ready to accommodate them. By integrating points of customer engagement, you encourage your customers to communicate with you more often.

15. Communicate professionally

A vital component of building any relationship is communication. Both verbal and written communication skills are needed by all of your team members if you are to create long lasting customer relationships. If you need assistance in the area of written communications, you may consider seeking help from a UK essay service.

Customer engagement creates a community and relationships that build customer retention and loyalty over the long term. When your customers can contact you easily, and they know you are putting them first in all your business operations, you are more likely to see those customers

The effort you put into improving your products or services will help in establishing a positive relation with the customers. This will lead to increased customer satisfaction. The customers will remain loyal to your firm since they will not feel it necessary go elsewhere to satisfy their needs.

Developing customer loyalty is akin to nurturing any type of relationship. By adding a positive human touch to each interaction, you can build long-term relationships that will add to your organization’s bottom line.

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