What makes a customer fall in love with your company? In almost all cases, it’s not simply thanks to your great products or services; it’s also about your people. People buy from people. Great business relationships increase customer retention. According to a study by Fred Reichheld, a mere 5% increase in customer retention can produce more than 25% increased profits.

Picture this, your type of customer has many companies or vendors to choose from, selling similar products for competitive prices. The price will be the ultimate decider if a purchase is solely transactional. But it’s not.

Being a customer is an ongoing experience. By focusing on building lasting customer relationships, you will stand out from the crowd as a company caring for each of your customers.

In this article, we’ll share the five key principles specifically designed to empower CEOs to build great and long-lasting customer relationships.

1. Exceed Customer Expectations

How do you react when you get more than what you paid for? Everyone loves being positively surprised. In business, under promising and over delivering is a sure way to get repeat business. Let your customers know how happy you are that they chose you. When they have questions, go the extra mile, and make sure they feel valued, appreciated, and understood.

A great way to build customer relationships is to acknowledge significant events. Maybe you heard your prospective customer just had a baby. Send them a gift basket to show how happy you are for them. The same goes for birthdays or even holidays—details matter. Thoughtful gifts are a great way to be remembered.

2. Learn and Improve from Feedback

The best feedback is constructive. But don’t wait for things to go wrong—be the first to ask your customer if they have any feedback or recommendations. That makes them feel appreciated and tells them you value their opinion.

Seek to understand customer feedback and complaints. Put yourself in their shoes. When you get feedback, don’t stop there. Work hard to form a new bridge and make any necessary changes a reality. If it’s an uncommon complaint, see what you can do to improve that relationship.

By constantly seeking out customer feedback, you take a proactive approach to guaranteeing your business is the best it can be. Establish processes to ensure your customers have voices heard—make changes in your products, services, or support, when needed.

3. Keep in Touch

Staying in touch with your customers is a key part of great relationship building. People know right away if you only contact them to upsell them on something. Instead, reach out as a friend and offer to help, maybe even with things outside of your industry.

Check in to see how your customer’s day is going and if you can do something to make it better. Again, details matter. Your gesture doesn’t have to be grand; a quick, personalized email or message on LinkedIn can work wonders for building strong relationships.

It also goes the other way around. When your customer wants to contact you, regardless of their matter, make sure they can reach you. Give them several ways to get in contact with you and keep your direct messages open.

4. Know Good Customer Service

You may have a great idea of what perfect customer service is, but the best way to make sure you are delivering the right service for your customers is by asking them. Learn and understand their common challenges, objections, and specific pain points. Learn more about what your competitors lack so you can outshine them.

Great customer service is extremely valuable. While many companies have hard-to-reach and problematic ways to get in touch, you have a great opportunity to outdo them. Be the perfect match by understanding your customer’s needs.

5. Show Empathy

Being empathetic shows your customers that you care. It immediately warms your relationship and moves you to a brand with a heart. When talking to customers, use statements that tell them you understand and feel for their challenges. Ensure them you will do anything possible to deliver the best and most satisfactory solution.

Combine an empathic and warm approach with over-delivering on promises, and you have a sure way of forming long, lasting customer relationships.

Stand Out in a Crowded Market

From an internal perspective, every company’s products or services are the biggest, greatest, and most future proof. It’s the companies that form deep connections with their customers and improve buyers’ journeys that end up becoming the winners in an increasingly digital world.

Pivoting to a customer-first approach requires an organizational shift in mindset. Everyone must be on board, and it starts with you. As a leader, you must inspire and clarify why delivering a fantastic customer experience is key for business growth in a competitive market. See this article for leadership inspiration to get a head start.

Want to leverage technology to improve your customer experience and build long-lasting customer relationships? Contact us today.