When you think about the people closest to you in your life, you probably think about those with whom you have spent a lot of time. That’s because investing time and energy into a relationship shows you value it and your connection. The same thing can be said for building connections within your business, where long-term loyalty is built through personal connections with your customers. Here are some critical retention tactics that you can use to start forming lasting personal relationships with your clients.
When you engage in regular, meaningful communication with your audience, you are setting yourself up to stand apart from the competition. Customers are often more willing to buy from people they have a personal relationship with, even if there are cheaper alternatives.
But how can you possibly form a personal relationship with every customer you serve? While it’s impossible to maintain contact with every customer you’ve ever served, it’s important to stay in touch with as many as possible in a meaningful way. But how?
Keep An Eye Out For Your Regulars.
If you are going to invest time building in-person relationships with your customers, you should definitely prioritize your regulars. The reason is self-explanatory — regulars typically have a higher lifetime value than casual customers and have already invested in your brand. In fact, regular customers spend 31% more on average and are 50% more likely to try new products, so make an effort to socialize with them when you see them.
For example, if you own a boutique and notice you have a customer who consistently comes in every Thursday, you should make an effort to learn that person’s name as soon as possible. Being on a first-name basis with your most loyal customers will make them feel valued and also makes socializing with them easier.
Create A Conversation-Friendly Environment.
In the same vein as the previous retention tactics, you must take advantage of opportunities to chat in person with your clients. These conversations don’t need to be related to your business, although they can be centered around products and services at the beginning of your relationship. But if you find a shared interest with a customer, it is perfectly fine to talk about that, too.
But conversing with strangers is easier said than done. Talking to your customers does naturally get easier with practice, but knowing some basic conversation starters doesn’t hurt, either. Here are some of our favorites.
For Your Occasional Customers:
- “I see that you enjoy x product/service. That is one of my favorites as well.”
- “That’s a lovely handbag. Where did you get it?”
- “How is your day going?”
For Your Regular Customers:
- “What did you think of the game last night?”
- “How was your vacation?”
- “Did you see the season finale of [show]?”
Your level of conversation will vary depending on your level of familiarity and knowledge of the person. That being said, maintain a high standard for how you expect your employees to interact with customers so their experiences can be as positive and friendly as possible, even if they aren’t interacting with you.
Collect Contact Information.
Beyond forming a relationship with your customers in person, one of the best retention tactics to implement is an excellent direct marketing strategy. In order to do this, start with collecting as much client information as possible and organize it accordingly. This will allow you to segment your list into interest groups and provide each segment with curated content they will find valuable.
Supplement Conversations With Content.
Once you have collected your clients’ data, you can then start working on a content marketing strategy that will work for your business. Ideally, you will want to give your content marketing a personal twist that allows your readers to better connect with you as a business owner. While they’re not as direct as a face-to-face conversation, sharing personal stories with your audience allows them to get to know you better as a person. They will then associate that connection with your business and feel a stronger sense of loyalty toward your brand.
By taking the time to make personal connections with your audience, you are using retention tactics that will result in long-term loyalty. That loyalty will result in more sales, higher profits, and maybe even a few friendships along the way.