It’s important for brands to spend time acquiring and then retaining new customers, but it’s just as (if not more) important to find ways to expand relationships with the customers that they already have. Today’s conversation focuses on that very theme: how can brands deepen relationships with existing customers to drive better experiences and create a positive impact on the bottom line?
The following three strategies can help organizations achieve deeper relationships with customers:
- Creating Support Team Consistency
- Using Formal Relationship Surveys
- Leveraging Loyalty Programs
Strategy #1: Creating Support Team Consistency
It can be nerve-wracking when a customer submits a complaint, but such complaints can be opportunities for deeper relationships if they’re handled correctly. Make no mistake, brands should prioritize fixing whatever went wrong, but they should also seize the opportunity to do so in a way that makes the customer feel endeared to.
This strategy can only truly work, though, if every support team across the organization is consistent in eliciting those emotions from customers. That’s why it’s important for brands to invest the time and resources necessary for ensuring that all support teams endeavor to identify customer needs, create customized value and benefits, and leave customers feeling both listened to and that they are of high value to a brand. This strategy helps deepen the bond between company and customer (and turns the latter into brand advocates, a company’s best marketers).
Strategy #2: Using Formal Relationship Surveys
Surveys are no longer companies’ only means of acquiring feedback from customers, but that doesn’t mean that brands should forget about them. In fact, relationship surveys remain an invaluable means of acquiring insights-rich data from long-term customers.
While relationship surveys are great for seeing how customers are doing and what they think of a brand, their length and format makes them ideal for another purpose: spotting warning signs that are unique to your business. If enough long-term customers opine about the same problem or broken process, brands can take advantage of yet another opportunity to provide a better experience, create a stronger bottom line, and, of course, let customers know just how important they are to an organization. This is why, even in an age of multimedia feedback and multichannel listening, surveys are still a crucial component of any customer experience (CX) strategy.
Strategy #3: Leveraging Loyalty Programs
This is a big one. Though it hopefully goes without saying, organizations must constantly be vigilant for new ways to entice and reward long-term customers. Loyalty programs are a great way to drum up additional business while also deepening relationships with customers who have shopped with that brand for a while.
Loyalty programs vary wildly from company to company, let alone industry to industry, but brands should generally try to find ways to reward long-term customers with recurring benefits and discounts. More importantly, and to the point of this discussion, they should find imaginative, organic ways to just let those customers know that their business and brand advocacy is deeply appreciated. Gratitude keeps long-term customers coming back for more.
Strategies like these are effective for keeping long-term customers enticed and finding new ways to deepen relationships with those individuals. Juggling support consistency, survey design, and loyalty programs is no small balancing act, but the brands that invest in doing so can strengthen their bottom line and create an ever-better experience for the customers that sustain them.
Want to learn more about customer retention and effective customer recovery? Our webinar on this subject with experts Jim Katzman and David Van Brocklin is now available for you to view for free! You can find it here.