Why being customer-focussed is essential for your business
When it’s done right, a focus on customer satisfaction isn’t only a business strategy, but a company culture. No company can exist without a solid, happy customer base and putting the customer first is essential for customer-retention and customer-loyalty. An ability to adapt as your clients’ requirements change is also crucial for an organisation to be successful. But how does one achieve this and not lose sight of this goal in the midst of day to day business operations? Consumer-centred businesses focus on building strong relationships with their consumers by identifying their needs and providing a consistently great brand experience to them.
How to build long-term relationships with your customers
- Provide value: At the core of your business should be the fact that you are offering a meaningful service or product to your community. Adding value to your customers’ lives and asking “how can we help”, rather than “how can we sell” will foster a much better relationship with clients in the long run.
- Show appreciation for their loyalty: Reward customers who buy from you regularly. Thank them for their business, offer loyalty cards or rewards programs to incentivise them to keep coming back.
- Understand your customers’ relationship with your brand: Use analytics tools to discover how customers interact with your brand. What do people click on or which pages on your website get the most traffic? Having this kind of information can help you to improve the experience for customers in the future.
- Make consumers feel special: Your customers don’t want to be a number. In a small company, it’s easy to give each client personal attention, but as the business grows this becomes more challenging. Personalise your interactions with each client and use records of their purchase history to understand what they are interested in.
- Respond to all concerns: All customers are bound to experience issues from time to time: Problems with a delivery, a defective product, or struggling with a service. Always do your utmost to assist customers (especially long-term ones) in resolving the issue as quickly as possible. Clients will be appreciative and far more likely to stick with your company in the future.
- Engage your customers: A key component of retaining clients is keeping them emotionally and mentally connected to your brand. This can take many forms and involves an understanding of your clients’ interests and needs. Below are a few simple ideas for encouraging engagement.
How should you engage with your customers?
- Always offer quality content: useful, educational, inspiring or entertaining.
- Build an online community or forum around a topic relevant to your business.
- Get creative by holding a contest, hosting an event or running a campaign.
- Ask questions, find out what customers like and want.
- Personalize your customer experience
- Keep your customers informed of changes
- Be accessible and easy to reach on various platforms
- Experiment with multiple mediums and channels
Why understanding your audience matters
When creating messages, it is essential to know who you are talking to. The idea is to develop strategic content aimed at a specific audience, rather than just churning out generic messages. Targeted online advertising is an effective way of achieving this. Talk to us about digital marketing campaigns (for example, on Google Ads or social media channels). Being aware of who your ideal customers are, also helps when adjusting the type of keywords and topics you choose when applying SEO to your website.
Channels and platforms to cultivate engagement
Are there different channels and platforms you should be using to reach and talk to your customers? Apart from an informative website, there are many other online channels to use for interacting with consumers. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are probably the most common at present, although new ones emerging. Research which social media platforms your customers like to use and build a following. Social media channels also allow customers to share positive messages about your brand with their circle of influence. Sending e-newsletters or posting blog articles are also useful channels for connecting with your client base. In certain industries having a presence on specific directories can also help to put your company on the map and allow happy customers to write reviews about you.
Keeping customer satisfaction and engagement as a top priority affects the long-term success of your business significantly. Investigating what makes your current and future clients excited and understanding their habits and preferences will enable you to reach them in a much more effective way. Building on this strong relationship is what will ultimately make both the company and its customers thrive.