When you are looking to build top quality customer
relationships, you need to recognise these consumers are confident of what they
do like and what they dislike.  If
dissatisfied, they are happy to shop around the crowded marketplace and seek
services or products elsewhere.  At every
point of the customer journey, one wrong step could lose this prospect.  Therefore, any marketing that seeks to appeal
to the consumer must be relatable. 

Personalised shopping experiences, uniquely tailored
communication around Christmas time in the form of a seasonal card, can be
highly compelling.  There may even be
room for fabric printing,
offering bespoke gifts for those vital clients. 
As a result of such personalised experiences, 40% of consumers bought
something that they hadn’t planned. 
Loyal customers emerge from experiences where you offer personalised

The main message from this is that businesses must invest in
the relationship with the customer if they want to win the coveted prize of
lifelong loyalty. 

Here are some essential tips for building a great customer
relationship and strengthen your brand in the mind and the emotions of the

Make retaining customers a central focus of your marketing plan

The retention of customers should be a significant priority
in your marketing.  It is easier to keep
a customer than it is to win a customer. 
Therefore, the return on your marketing investment will be more
powerful.  Also, with increasing trust
and a stronger relationship, this customer will come back more often and will
likely feel able to make larger purchases.

Your first step should be to employ a customer
relationship management tool
.  This
tool will allow you to track your customers who return to you and why and to
explore any group that needs your marketing attention.  Using this tool, you will be able to target essential
customers that it would benefit your company to retain or who might be willing
to expand their relationship with you. 
You could entice them with the first offer of a new product or service,
emphasising their value to your company.

Personalise relationships through your tailored communication

You should not just communicate with your customers through a mass email.  You will only end up unpopular if you bombard previous customers with nonstop offers. Try to utilise more convenient and effective customer communication tools like live chat, chatbot and CoBrowse to enhance your customer's experience. It is better to wisely use analytics to target customers, customising the message accordingly.  Your analytics could catalogue past purchases and browsing patterns of customers.  From this data, you can send only relevant offers to specific customers.  Equally, you can use past purchase data to level up a customer – or take them to a more expensive product.

Imagine how simple it would be to send a happy birthday
message to one of your known customers on your CRM. 

You should hope to exceed expectations

Strong customer relationship is premised on
expectations.  It is vital to move beyond
customer expectation, so you delight and surprise them.  Relationships are an emotional experience;
therefore, you need your customer to feel something positive in response to
your actions.  Not only is this an
excellent way to guarantee return business but also that they will refer you to
friends and family – the much valuable word-of-mouth testimonial.

To make sure your customer walks away more than satisfied
each time, you should be sure to listen, acknowledge request or concern and
then act or correct promptly.  If you
work this way, you will stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Not just points but programs

A lot of companies run points schemes to encourage
loyalty.  The popularity of such programs
has watered down the power of such projects. 
The better companies will be more creative with the loyalty programs
offered.  For instance, there could be a
gift card for all customers who referred to a friend.  You might offer a mystery gift for customers
who exceed a certain spending amount or on a set visit.  A lot of credit cards and banks have become
creative in creative partnerships with companies who offer a money-back into
your account.

Relationships are essential

Ironically, in a digital age, where the customer may be on the other side of a computer or smartphone, you need to be more active in building relationships.  The strength of the corner shop is that the owner could learn the name of regulars and become the centre of a strong community that assured the business.  Now, a business leader still needs to create this sense of community but instead across a divide.  Making an effort to bridge this divide is essential to the continuous success of companies today.

Extended reading resource:-
- Top tips to increase retail footfall in your retail store