Business Longevity is All About Building Lasting Relationships
Written by YapStone
Ask anyone in a long-term marriage or friendship what the key to their success is and you are sure to get a mixture of answers. Mutual interests, trust, a shared sense of humor, attraction and other qualities may make up the foundation of a solid relationship. But rarely do you ever hear anyone talk about a successful relationship without the mention of how much work goes into keeping it strong. You simply cannot have a successful marriage without effort and any two people who have been friends for a decade or more will tell you that it takes time and energy to stay connected.
Yet, when we talk about succeeding as a business, we sometimes forget about the importance of building and nurturing long-term relationships. Finding long-term success in business often begins with developing lasting relationships with your customers. Unlike a spouse, your customers will never take vows or sign a legally binding document to remain faithful to you. And unlike a lifelong friend, if a customer is upset by a business decision, marketing strategy, or customer retention plan, they aren’t always willing to talk it out or forgive you after an apology.
Instead, they might give you negative public feedback and then leave. Or worse, they’ll just leave and you may never know the real reason why.
Building and sustaining relationships with our customers is a cornerstone in the foundation of our business strategy at YapStone. We know that creating the right payment platform for each of our unique clients requires one-on-one collaboration and a deep understanding of their specific needs. This collaboration is just one of the ways we incorporate customer relationship management (CRM) into our strategy.
Having a focus on CRM is essential to the longevity of your business. All relationships require work, but if you’re ready to improve the relationships your business has with your customers, here are some ways you can make it happen.
Be an Active Listener
Communication between your business and your customers is a two way street. You already offer a lot of outgoing communication through your marketing, advertising, website, social media, and other outlets. But you can improve your communication by creating opportunities to listen to your customers. There are many ways you can accomplish this. One is by providing opportunities for customers to give feedback. Use email marketing to ask for direct feedback or provide a space on your website for customers to give suggestions and offer insight.
Incorporate Face-to-Face Communication
There is simply no replacement for face-to-face interactions when it comes to getting to know your customers and forging genuine relationships. One of the best times to do this is during the customer acquisition process. Provide excellent customer service and an onboarding process if applicable. If your business allows, you can also set up community events around a holidays or other special occasions. Take the opportunity to mingle with your clients and really listen to what they have to say.
Another way to communicate face-to-face (or face-to-screen) is through video. Video is rapidly taking over social media, and Mark Zuckerberg has gone on record to say that Facebook will be “mostly video” in five years. If you have a company Facebook page, you can use live video to host Q&A sessions, product explainer videos, or employee interviews.
Reward Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty programs encourage customers to visit you more often and provide an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with the people who will stick with your business for the long haul. Consulting firm Bain & Co. estimates that a 5% increase in customer retention rates correlates to a 25%-100% increase in profits. So, adopting customer loyalty programs can not only make your customers happier, but can also massively increase your profits. Sounds like a good deal to us.
Lasting relationships between you and your customers don’t just happen automatically. They take long hours and focused effort. But your loyal customers will appreciate the effort and help lead your company into longevity. And that’s really what being successful in business is about: providing the best customer experience possible for as long as possible.