How to Build Strong Customer Relationships

A small business without customers is like summer without the beach, winter without hot chocolate, spring without flowers, and fall without pumpkin spice flavored... well, everything. The customers make small business possible. And accordingly, small business owners spend a lot of time thinking about how to gain and keep customers. Forming strong relationships with your customers from the get-go is the best thing a business can do. If a customer feels a strong attachment to your business, they will certainly return for more. 

Here are three tips for forming the best customer relationships:

Be responsive with social media.

One of the best things a business can do for customers that shows that they care and that they do listen is to answer any and all questions on their various social media platforms. If someone tweets at you asking about one of your products, respond! Social media is a great place for customers to ask questions and find out more about your company, so don't ignore them when they are talking to you! 

Have genuine conversations. 

When your sales team picks up the phone to talk to a customer, make sure they do it with the intention of having a normal conversation with an everyday person, not a target. I always remind my team to treat customers as people. I encourage the sales floor to have real, genuine conversations. From my office I can hear "Oh you grew up in Jersey, too?!" It's conversations like these that will form a connection with customers. 

Follow up. 

It never hurts to follow up. Once you work with a customer, don't be afraid to send a follow up email in the next couple of days. Even if you're not checking up on anything specifically, just to see how they're doing and if your business could help with anything is a nice gessture. It shows that you care and that, to your business, a customer is not just a number, but a face and personality that will be remembered.