9 Ways to Build Rapport with CustomersSmall Business Tips and Tools•Feb 11, 2022• 3 min read
An important goal of small business owners is customer retention. Did you know that it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer versus retain an existing one? And loyal customers often spend 67% more than new customers? (1). By offering the best customer experience to everyone you interact with, your brand can be more profitable and loved.
Here are nine ways to build rapport with customers:
1. Be authentic
Firstly, the best way to build long-lasting relationships with customers is by being consistent and authentic. Establishing trust with customers requires you to be open and honest. It’s important to say what you do and do what you say. From sharing specifics about ingredients, services, pricing, branding, and beyond — you need to ensure your customers know who you are and what to expect. Be true to your mission!
2. Make them feel valued
Customer love is all about showing customers you care. It’s the difference between saying hello and greeting someone when they walk into a store, responding to correspondence in a timely way online, and offering real value for loyal customers by offering something special like a discount. The little things go a long way and will be remembered.
3. Get feedback
Listening to what customers want and getting feedback on their experience with your company is an essential part of growing your business. You can learn about things that went wrong, things that went well, and you can correct mistakes. Make sure to ask for feedback often, and respond with appreciation when it is shared.
4. Solve a problem
When you start a business, there is an intention to make someone’s life better or easier. The key to building a business that matters is by determining what problem you are solving for your customer, and either fixing it or making it better with what you offer. Talking to customers along the way will help you stay aligned with their needs, and ensure that what you have created is adding value.
5. Deliver more than what’s expected
Always go above and beyond for your customers. This is how you build memorable experiences with loyal customers. Make them feel special by going the extra mile, whether it’s offering more time, fulfilling their needs, collecting their feedback, creating something bespoke, or correcting a mistake, always making sure to communicate and over-deliver on what is expected.
6. Train your employees
You aren’t always going to be the only one interacting with customers. To ensure that your customer experience is consistent, create processes and training guidelines for employees to follow when they interact with customers.
7. Say sorry
Nobody expects perfection. We all make mistakes as business owners. But a genuine apology and validating a customer’s concern is important in order to demonstrate that you are listening and value your customer.
8. Say thank you
Don’t forget to express your gratitude and appreciation for customers. Say thank you and smile, celebrate their milestones, write a note, an email, or send something special. Show customers you care by saying thank you!
9. Automate your marketing communications
The tools we have at our fingertips these days allow business owners to automate marketing emails to welcome new customers and share updates. Social media, Yelp, and other online platforms give you an opportunity to interact with customers in real-time and deliver an experience that is personal. Customers have come to expect communication from brands, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming.
Ultimately, showing customers you care is not just about creating value-added products and services — it’s about building a connection and exceeding expectations, every step of the way.