Retaining customers is highly profitable, and the relationships you form with customers can really make or break your brand. It’s no secret that solid customer relationships are the foundation of a successful business.
A lot of businesses know they need to build relationships but don’t necessarily know how.
This post will cover the different kinds of customers, customer relationships, and how to build and manage those relationships.
Understanding The Different Types Of Customers
Before perfecting customer relationships, it’s beneficial to understand the different kinds of customers you’ll be working with. Of course, you’ll run into people that don’t fit perfectly into a category, which is expected considering we’re human beings. However, by distinguishing the type of customer you’re selling to, you’ll have a much higher chance of actually connecting with them.
This customer type is very information driven. They want straight answers and a thorough overview of everything involved to be able to make an informed decision.
You can expect the analytical to fact check you, and your information better be on point. Otherwise, they will not trust that your products or services are meant for them.
On the other hand, once you appease an analytical customer, they will become your most loyal customer.
The amiable customer type is very different from the analytical. These customers don’t care so much about the facts and figures but desire a sense of trust and belonging.
These people tend to have high customer service expectations and value consistency.
A great way to sell to the amiable is by making them feel included. But most importantly, creating a consistently positive experience that reflects your efforts as a business.
Similar to the amiable, expressive customers are the ones who love to talk. They’re validated and feel connected through social situations and appreciate out of the box ideas. Unfortunately, this customer type rarely goes through with anything; they’re rather Impulsive.
The best way to sell to the expressive is by getting to know them. Building a relationship is the only way your information will stick with them instead of going in one ear and out the other.
The driver type wants absolutely zero nonsense. They’re driven leaders who appreciate straight-to-the-point, honest service. When communicating with the driver, you can almost feel a sense of arrogance which can be frustrating but don’t feel discouraged.
If you confidently present facts and metrics and leave the fluff behind, these people will appreciate that you didn’t waste their time.
The 4 Types Of Customer Relationships
Now that we’ve covered the different types of customers, we’ll discuss the four kinds of customer relationships and which are the most loyal and profitable. This way, you know which kind of relationships will be worth time and recourses.
Strangers aren’t very loyal or profitable customers. They don’t shop regularly, nor do they connect very much with your brand. These are still valuable customers, but it can be a waste of recourses trying to retain the stranger, which is why picking your battles is important.
In essence, you shouldn’t invest in building a relationship with a stranger, but you can still profit from their transactions.
Barnacles may be loyal to your business, but they’re not profitable customers. With customers like this, you’ll find yourself giving and giving with nothing in return.
To make a sale to this customer, it’s a good move to offer products or services similar to ones they’ve purchased before.
Butterflies are the exact opposite of barnacles. Their profitability is high, but loyalty is low. There’s a good fit between the company’s offerings and customer needs.
You only want to invest in the relationship when you’re creating transactional satisfaction. Understanding when to pull out is an absolute necessity with butterflies.
4. True friends
Hold these customers near and dear because they’re loyal and profitable. Similar to butterflies, there’s a good fit between the company’s offering and customer needs.
You should be pouring your recourses into these customers, but don’t suffocate them. Create a delightful experience for these customers, and you’re sure to retain them.
The Importance Of Building Customer Relationships
A thriving brand is centered around creating meaningful customer relationships. My favorite coffee shop isn’t just my favorite because the coffee is good. It’s my preferred shop because the customer service is amazing, they make me feel appreciated, and I’ve built relationships with the baristas.
The goal of building a relationship is to foster trust and loyalty, which is essential whether in person or online. New customers are exciting, but without a retention strategy, you’re falling behind.
According to Bain and Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by up to 95%. There’s no denying the numbers when it comes to the importance of building customer relationships.
Difference Between Customer Service And Customer Relationships
While they do share many similarities, customer service is the immediate interaction with a customer, whereas the relationship is the long term experience. But both are equally important and work hand in hand when retaining a customer.
Customer service is the front line to creating meaningful relationships.
Excellent Strategies For Building Customer Relationships
Understanding customer relationships is the first step, but now it’s time to create an actionable plan to build these relationships. Below are some excellent strategies you can incorporate into your customer relations strategy to retain customers and create trusting and loyal relationships.
Provide Great Customer Service
As we talked about above, great customer service is a necessity if you want to build a relationship with a customer. According to Microsoft, 90% of customers use customer service to decide whether they want to do business with a company.
You can provide great customer service by being polite and helpful regardless of how busy you are. Going the extra mile for a customer can really mean a lot.
Following up after the sale is a great way to make your customers feel appreciated too. They won’t feel like you made a quick buck off them and don’t care anymore.
One great experience is not enough for customers to trust you and remain loyal to your business. Your brand needs to stay consistent across all digital channels and in-person experiences.
This way, regardless of what part of the sales journey your customer is in, they know what to expect.
Create An Attachment With Emotional Connections
Customer satisfaction is one thing, but creating an emotional attachment is where you’re really going to get customers hooked. Highly satisfied customers are great, but emotionally attached ones will become cheerleaders for your business.
Identify emotional motivators for your target audience and implement them into every aspect of your business.
Make sure you’re actually following through though! The quality of products and services should reflect everything you’re promising.
According to Hubspot research, 33% of customers become more frustrated by having to wait on hold. Anyone familiar with the customer service industry can tell you people hate waiting.
When you promptly respond to customers’ concerns, they feel appreciated and heard. This is an easy and quick way to set yourself apart from competitors and make your customers feel seen.
Remember to stay calm, take responsibility, offer productive solutions, and follow up after the problem is solved.
Take Advantage Of Social Media
Creating a community on social media platforms gives customers a chance to feel part of something. Customers can interact with each other and ask questions. Making social media a great platform to communicate with customers and alleviate their concerns.
Check out our blog on social media marketing for a more in depth explanation of how to build relationships through various different platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Happy Employees = Customer relationships
Employees play a vital role in developing the consumer’s perception of the company.
If your employees are miserable, your customers won’t be happy either because the service they’re receiving will be dry. Happy employees = great customer service, which equals happy customers.
Invest in your employees, create a positive work environment, and your customers will feed off the energy.
How A Customer Relationship Executive Can Help Nurture/Build Customer Relationships
We understand the busy lifestyle of a business owner. A customer relations executive can ease some of this stress by handling customer questions, concerns, and feedback. Not to mention develop marketing and sales strategies to support and nurture customer relationships.
Our relations executives here at Strategic Media Inc. possess the communication, problem solving, and relationship building skills necessary to maintain relationships and drive sales for your business.