Recently I was reading an interesting article on the new up and coming social media company Pinterest. For those of you who haven’t heard of Pinterest it’s basically an online mood board for women where you can pin pictures of things that you love and are inspired by.
The article claimed that there a few key reasons why this site has succeeded rapidly. The main contributing factor is that women trust recommendations from other pinners more than any other social media platform. 97% of the users of Pinterest are women, and it’s fast becoming an online community where the essence is decidedly feminine.
We trust our friends and will usually call them first when we need advice on a proposed purchase. Yes, we love to search the internet for answers to our questions, but usually our first port of call will be our immediate family or our close circle of friends.
Relationships are important in life and in business.
If you want to build your business, whatever that may be, you need to build strong relationships with your customers. Relationships that are meaningful and valuable. Relationships that will last. It is better to find a small core of very loyal customers than a large base of impulse purchasers who do not have brand loyalty. Your company will grow faster and stronger from a small group of mindful consumers than a large group of non-mindful ones.
It’s important to get volume in the beginning so you can find the important relationships.
But when you recognise a customer who is willing to go the extra mile for you, has recommended you to their friends or promoted you through their social media platform, be sure to take care of that customer. Not because you want to use them to market your business, but because they are your tribe. They speak your language. They loved your products or services enough to promote you to their friends, without you asking. In essence, you share a value, which is the most powerful marketing tool you can have.
Try these five strategies to build better customer relationships:
1. The Pareto Principle applies in most businesses, including yours. 80% or your business will come from 20% of your customers. Identify your key 20% and reward them for their valued custom.
2. Build strong relationships. Go the extra mile for your customers. Always aim to over deliver, to give more than is expected.
3. Never choose short-term financial gain over long-term relationship reward. Expand your mindset beyond your next revenue dollar. Ask yourself “Will saving this money now actually serve me in the long-term?”
4. Never forget that you are in business to provide the customer a solution to their needs that is good for them. If your product does not serve their needs you are doing them a dis-service if you persuade them to buy.
5. Never be afraid to ask for referrals. Most satisfied customers should be more than happy to pass you on to their friends but may not think to do it unless you ask.
Question: As a consumer, how do you like to be shown thanks? I would love to hear your views.