***Contributing Post***

Establishing a relationship with your customers is vital for businesses in this day and age. However, thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to get to know your customers. Whether it’s email, social media, blogs or more, your customers can see your every move. But, a relationship that stands the test of time can be difficult to hold on to. So, how do you create a lasting relationship?

Ask Your Customers 

One of the best ways to find out how to create a lasting relationship with your customers is to ask them how they would prefer to be contacted. Many people feel like phone calls are a hassle and would prefer to be texted. Some are more responsive to social media messages than emails. Creating a survey and asking your customers to take part is a great way to get the feedback you need. Not only can you figure out your customers needs via a survey, but you can also attract prospective customers to the business. 

Blogs 

In recent years, blogging has become ever more popular. For businesses, a blog is essential when it comes to connecting with customers. If your blog is relevant to your audience, it should be able to grasp their interest. Your customers engaging and responding to your blog is a great way to build a connection. How often you post and how long your posts are is entirely up to you and generally depends on the type of industry you’re in. For example, a photographer may want to keep posts to no more than a page in length, but a plastic surgery may need to go into more detail for their audience. 

Newsletters 

Newsletters have been a tried and tested method for bonding with customers for decades. From paper newsletters sent through the post to email newsletters that customers can subscribe to. Unfortunately, many people go through their emails and automatically delete them if they don’t instantly seem of interest. So, to grab the attention of your customers, your newsletter has to be worth reading. The title of the newsletter should be punchy and your articles should be intriguing. You should also be able to separate your target audience into categories so you can create something that will be of interest to each person reading. 

Email Response 

More than ever, people are looking for fast response and convenience. Customers want their queries answered at the drop of a hat, which is why so many businesses are investing in chat boxes on their websites. When customers receive a fast response, it goes a long way to impressing them. Impressed customers continue to buy products and refer friends and family to the business too. If you haven’t got time for this kind of response, you may want to invest in customer success software to give you insights instead.

Personalised Thank You 

It’s important to let your customers know they are valued. When customers feel like a statistic or unappreciated, there’s nothing stopping them from visiting your competitor. Sending a personalised thank you is a great way to let your customers know they are appreciated. Whether it’s a thank you discount via email or a personalised thank you card via snail mail, it’s always the thought that counts. As a customer, knowing that your thought about is all you need to continue using the business. 

Active Social Media 

Social media is one of the top chosen methods for customers to contact businesses. Without an active social media, it’s easy for customers to think you aren’t trustworthy or professional. It’s also one of the easiest ways to connect with your customers. You can keep the conversation going when you’re using social media, so gaining feedback or suggestions should be a constant. You can also use social media as a form of customer service, responding to good reviews or complaints quickly. It’s important to respond to any criticism so potential customers visiting the page know you’re willing to resolve problems.

 

Instagram 

Although Instagram falls under the category of social media, it’s a world of its own when it comes to connecting with customers. Many people haven’t got the time to read lengthy social media posts or blogs that businesses create. However, studies have shown that people sit up and take notice of images. So, posting images of new products, customers using products and offers, or discounts is the best way to grab your customers attention. You could even use images to go behind the scenes and show customers how your business is run and what you stand for. 

Webinars 

You may be putting all your effort into writing blog posts that just aren’t being picked up by the numbers you want. That may not be because your audience isn’t interested; it could just be they haven’t got the time or energy to put into reading a post. Hosting a webinar once a month is an ideal way to keep your audience engaged without them having to make too much effort. You could even invite a speaker well-known in your industry to make an appearance and talk to your audience on a particular subject. 

Train Your Staff 

Most business owners rely on their staff when it comes to making a lasting connection with customers. After all, it’s the staff that have the most contact with them. If your staff aren’t equipped with the right knowledge or haven’t got the answers to customers questions, it could mean a loss in sales. You have to empower your staff to make the connections with your audience. Whether it’s a social media manager or a sales person on the shop floor of a retail business, knowledge is power. 

Don’t Ignore Mobiles 

The majority of people have their phones within reach and sight all day, every day. Not making use of that statistic would be foolish. Make sure your emails are mobile friendly and you use text services to connect with your customers. Creating an app is also an ideal way to stay connected. 

Making sure your customers are happy is making sure you stay in business.

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