How to build strong relationships with customers

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Small businesses can often find it challenging to compete with the more established corporations, which can lead to a wide range of issues, such as struggling for customers and finding it difficult to achieve the growth you need. Still, small businesses can find the success they want by offering something different, and one way to achieve this is by creating a better connection and learning how to build strong relationships with customers. 

The intimate manner of home businesses will also be more approachable than large corporations that make the entire experience feel too impersonal. If you are running a small business and want to connect better with your customers, especially if you operate out of your home, consider these useful tips to make effective changes and attract more customers.

 How to build strong relationships with customers

Get to know them 

There is no better way to build a strong relationship with your customers than through regular interaction and getting to know them. In parenthood stores and local supermarkets, this is easy, especially if you see the same faces every day. As many businesses are now run entirely online, it can be more challenging for home-based companies to achieve this same sense of familiarity.

Treating your customers as people rather than commodities is a superb place to start. Your early interactions may be all business, but eventually, you will start to notice patterns in their purchases. You can take this opportunity to ask about how they are doing and show appreciation for their business, which will encourage them to use your service repeatedly in the future. You may also notice the same customers interacting with you on social media, which is a place you can begin to gain some familiarity with your customers, even if you don’t have a physical location.

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Give them something different 

The modern consumer is tired of the sterile nature you find in established stores, or they are sick of seeing the same tired marketing tactics whenever they scroll through their social media. Your home business may not have the financial might of others, but this doesn't mean you can’t offer something different.

Opting for unique promotional strategies will make your business stand out and it will make customers remember who you are. This is especially important for new companies who can work with an experiential marketing agency to make an immediate splash in the area. Your customers may not expect this, but it's something that will guarantee they remember what you have done, and this may draw them to your business. 

Related: 6 cheap ways to market your small business

Provide top-notch service 

Top-notch service is an obvious element, yet many businesses will start their existence providing excellent service only to let this slacken over time. Whether your business is new on the scene or established in the community, you must make sure you do not drop your standards. 

Providing excellent service means going above and beyond what is typically expected of a business owner. You should always be friendly and approachable, and make sure you make the experience something that will be treasured. Of course, you won't impress all customers like this, but if you’re welcoming to anyone who walks through the door, you’ll develop a reputation as an entrepreneur who cares. 

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Listen to their feedback 

Your business will also not be entirely perfect, at least not at first. This means you may encounter several issues, especially with feedback from your customers. It;’s important to remember that you do not take this feedback personally, as they just want your business to be as good as possible. 

Rather than feeling attacked by the feedback, show that you’re willing to listen and adopt the suggestions. If your customers see that you’re willing to make changes, whether to products, your website, or even prices, they will recognise that you care about them and their opinions. Although a degree of stubbornness can help you in business, being flexible when needed will make things easier for you to achieve the perfect company. 

Related - 3 best ways to expand your customer base

Be available as often as possible

A small business owner often has to work all through the day and well into the night. There is always something to do and something to manage, and this availability will also appeal to your customers, as it shows you’re always ready to help them. 

However, as important it is for business owners to make sure they can respond to any queries quickly, they must not forget the work-life balance, as this increases the risk of burnout. Doing as much as you can every day is admirable, yet you’ll soon find yourself exhausted, meaning you cannot connect with your customers like you want to. 

Perhaps list your working hours somewhere visible on your website.  On social media, if you often receive customer queries, then also list your working hours on social media in the bio, so customers know when they can expect a response and won’t get frustrated waiting. 

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Build a culture of trust

Transparency is always important in business, and as a small business, you have the opportunity to be as transparent as possible. This will help you to build a culture of trust with your customers as they will be able to see everything you do and demonstrate your dedication to your company and them. 

Being open and upfront with your customers means you don’t need to hide away or ignore emails. Instead, you can respond quickly and clearly. There may be some issues that mean you can't deliver the product when required, but as long as you’re upfront about this, you can generate plenty of goodwill. Mistakes happen, and delays are sometimes unavoidable. As long as you are honest about any problems before they become more severe, your customers should understand.  

Related - What does great customer service mean to you?

Reward their loyalty 

Everyone loves getting things for free, so identifying programs for small home-based businesses that will reward your customers is a fantastic way to keep them engaged in your business and keep coming back for more. 

Loyalty programs come in a range of different forms, including discounts or freebies, and you can encourage these by including discount codes for new orders in confirmation emails or any packages you send. The more these customers use your business, the more beneficial it will be for them, and you’ll find you become their go-to company for a range of needs. Ideally, this will translate into more customers as they will pass on the good words about your company through word-of-mouth, and referral programs can also encourage this.

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Better connected, stronger relationships with your customers

Connection is a crucial element of the business-customer relationship. With a recent emphasis on authenticity rather than faceless and nameless alternatives, many small businesses have embraced how important their customers are. The best way to thank them for this is to build a connection that benefits both parties. 

 

Want to make more money from home, online or need a side hustle? 

Find loads of ways to make money at home on my blog, as well as my favourite side hustle in my matched betting blog! 

 

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