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Are your current customers your best untapped market?

Customer Experience

5 min read

Most business owners know the challenges of winning new customers. It takes time and resources to find your market, message your products and services in a way that speaks to their needs and offer a way to buy from you that’s affordable and convenient.

Having made that investment and won a new customer, it’s only logical to keep every customer engaged so they’ll want to do business with you again.

Creating and maintaining quality buyer relationships is the secret to attracting loyal returning customers. But how?

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Turning one-time buyers into loyal repeat customers begins with your mindset. Don’t assume that delivering a great product or service is all it takes to create a happy customer who’ll keep coming back. In a crowded marketplace, unless you differentiate yourself from your competitors, even satisfied buyers might not remember who they actually did business with, or care enough to choose your business the next time they have a need.  

Differentiation isn’t just about having a catchy marketing message, good branding and the right price. It’s much more personal than that. Make it part of your business systems and practices to get to know your customers as individuals, to let them know you recognize and remember them as people. 

Cultivate a mindset and culture that invites people back.  People thrive on relationships, and creating good relationships makes the difference between a satisfactory transaction and an experience people will remember, trust and look forward to again and again.

Simple Steps for Great Customer Relationships

1. Personally acknowledge every customer.

In person, on the phone and even online, make a conscious decision to personally acknowledge your customers. It makes them feel seen—literally. Don’t make the mistake of assuming they’ll ask for your help if they need it, and otherwise it’s hands-off. No one likes to be ignored or overlooked. So, welcome people into your world with a warm greeting. Be personal and authentic. And that goes not just for you, the owner, but for your employees too. Teach them how to treat your customers the way you would treat them yourself—as people you’d never take for granted and always want to help.

2. Make it easy to do business with you. 

Customers shouldn’t have to work to buy from you. And they shouldn’t have a fight on their hands if they need to return your product or are unhappy with your service. When you listen to and absorb the feedback your customers give you—even when it hurts or seems unfair—you can learn something that will help you improve your business and your relationship with a customer who might otherwise move on to a competitor.  

Going the extra mile to listen to and work with a dissatisfied customer may cost you something in the short term, but it can gain you customer loyalty and valuable feedback about how to do it better next time.

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3. Be trustworthy.

Refuse to engage in gimmicky or deceptive practices to lure a customer. Instead, attract customers by treating them fairly with honesty and openness. 

Loyalty comes when your customers  have reason to believe what you say and trust you’re not trying to pull something over on them. We all live in a world where there’s reason to suspect we’re at risk of being duped, so go the extra mile to show it’s not risky to do business with you. 

Making a first sale is important, but it’s only the first one. Turning a one-time customer into a loyal repeat buyer is even more important.

4. Be reliable and predictable, but not stale and boring.

Customers need to experience consistent quality and excellence. Especially when they’re repeat buyers, they want to see that what they’re buying today is just as good as what they bought last time. 

Being reliable and predictable is not, however, the same thing as being boring and stale. Customers expect innovation because it shows your business isn’t stuck or uninspired. They’ll like to be surprised—as long as the surprises are good ones.

5. Listen to your customers—even the unhappy ones.

No one looks forward to customer complaints. It doesn’t feel good to find out that you haven’t delivered a good experience for someone. Even so, complaints are often a gift. It’s better to know what went wrong so you can decide whether it’s something you want to change. 

If you can move past the sting of a bad review, and focus on what it might take to win back a dissatisfied customer, it’s possible that everyone wins. And, by the way you respond, you show others who you are and what they can expect from you. 

There’s value in listening to your customers who have no complaints, too. When you invite their comments and feedback, they’ll tell you what mattered to them and what they liked about doing business with you. 

You may be surprised to find out that what you thought was the best thing about your business isn’t actually what matters to them. Listening to your customers is a good way to remember that you aren’t your customer, and you shouldn’t substitute their opinions with your own.

What a customer wants

The needs, wants and wishes of your customers should be front and center when you develop  your business’s processes and systems.  It’s normal to think about systemization from the standpoint of what would work efficiently and profitably for you, for the business and for the people who will actually do the work. 

And, there’s an intersection between what makes your business work well and what best serves your customers and gives them an experience that will encourage their loyalty. If you build in a regular practice of asking for and listening to customer feedback, you’ll find that intersection.

Customer relationships are a Super-power.

Customer relationships can be a super-power for small businesses. You can get to know your customers in a much more personal, authentic way than a big business ever could, or than your competitors may even be thinking about themselves. So, what will you do to leverage your super-power? If you’d like some help thinking it through, consider a Free Coaching Session. We’re here to help. 

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EMyth Team

Written by EMyth Team

We share free resources and stories from our clients, Coaches and team members about how to build a business that serves your life. Our posts will give you updates on our business insights and free educational content.