For Business Owners

How to Build Better Customer Relationships

Heather Young
Customer Relationships blog header||Coffee shop customer relationships|Bartender Customer relationships

As a small business- or any size of business really- you’ll understand the importance of building and maintaining great customer relationships. Why? One study by SuperOffice shared with us the info that “86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience” and that “customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator”. With this in mind, surely building better customer relationships should be at the heart of everything we do?

A great relationship will lead to positive customer experiences, and therefore, higher sales and better retention. How do we go about creating the best customer relationships? We’ve gathered the tips we think are the best for building the best customer relationships so that you can continue to do what you do best.

1. Show your appreciation

What better way to improve your customer relationships than to simply say “thank you”. A study by Customer Experience Insight found that 60% of businesses have lost a customer because they feel the business is indifferent to them. Make sure your customers feel valued. You could add a personalised thank you note to orders delivered to the customer or give better benefits and discounts to long-time customers. A good example of the latter would be the Birchbox VIP program, where customers get a higher discount and more perks once they have been with the company for 6 months.

Customer Relationships at a fruit stall

2. Make customer retention your focus

Why put effort into having a good relationship with your customers if you aren’t focussed on retaining them in the long run? Focussing on customer retention will not only make sure your customer relationships are at the front of your mind, but it will also improve your profit margins. Did you know that the success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60 to 70 per cent? Meanwhile, the success rate of selling to a new customer is five to 20 per cent (Source: Invesp). Retaining customers turns them into more active and engaged consumers, meaning more sales.

3. Remember the little things

When making friends or new acquaintances, what really touches you is when people remember the little things. Like what you talked about the last time you spoke, or a new haircut you got recently. You can remember the little things about your customers too. On a smaller scale, you can remember their usual coffee order. For larger businesses, you can send discounts or codes on their birthday so they feel valued. It doesn’t take much!

Coffee shop customer relationships

4. Choose loyalty programs that do more

A loyalty program is a great way to keep your customers returning again and again, giving you the opportunity to build a great relationship over time. This could be the simple loyalty card that gives you your 10th coffee for free, or it could be a more powerful loyalty program like Swipii which will remove the need for any action at the till giving you more time to focus on getting to know your customers.

5. Make a connection

We mean a social media connection. Whether it’s Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter- social media can have a huge impact on how your customers see you and how you engage with them. A study by TBH Creative found that “companies that fully engage with customers on social media see an average 23% boost in growth”. That’s all it takes! Having your customers liking and sharing your content, while you like and share theirs, will help you immensely.

6. Use data to understand your customers better

Relationships are better when each party knows more about the other. If you’ve got any way of analysing data on your customers, from your busiest periods to your most visited pages on your website, use the data to learn what your customers like and are interested in. You can then use this data to inform how you run your next marketing campaign or when to have a sale.

Bartender Customer relationships

7. Create social proof for your brand

Social proof is showing people that many people already successfully use your product or service in order to convince them to become a customer too. How can you do this for your own business? One example that a lot of businesses use is to share their big milestones, i.e. “we’ve just passed 100,000 customers” or “Swipii turns 5 years old”. Other ideas including having social media influencers try your product, or turn your top customers into brand ambassadors. There are more ideas for building social proof in this Buffer article.

Still wondering how to build better customer relationships?

Running a loyalty program on the Swipii app will come with a tonne of added benefits to enable you to build great relationships with your customers. On our Grow and Premium packages, you can learn directly from your customers via our verified ratings and feedback. With a free version of our loyalty program, on the Basic package, you can still encourage customers to return again and again- giving you a chance to get to know them and their behaviours so that you can learn and grow. Check out all of our Packages and sign up for a loyalty program with Swipii in just a couple of minutes.

Try it today