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Competitive marketplaces and fluid economic conditions make customer loyalty a number one asset to keeping and building a loyal customer base.

Fostering relationships with customers and clients for business success involve singling out the customer or client and making them feel special and providing customer care that gives clients that over-the-top feeling and again, makes them feel special.

Effective Small Business Strategy

A business can use several different methods to engage clients and customers that will gain them a profitable return on investment.

Survey Your Customers and Clients

Don’t assume anything. It’s the customer that knows what they want. The most effective marketer or marketing plan is based on the actual wants and needs of the client and not the ideas of the marketing personnel. Customers speak in code and it’s important for a business to know this language and speak it. Surveying customers identifies the client’s needs, wants and preferences and can identify the way client’s speak.

When a business adopts the client’s language and uses it to craft their marketing materials, design customer appreciation programs and deliver customer service, they expand their influence over the customer and clients. To the client, it feels like the business is entering the conversation that the client is already having in their head. Speaking the client’s language makes them feel heard and understood.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

It shows gratitude to deliver a little more than what was expected. Practically, from a business perspective, this strategy circumvents the receipt of negative feedback and costly returns or requests by the client. Psychologically the customers feels appreciated and the unexpected delivery is seen by them as a gesture of good will and builds the know, like and trust factor.

Show Respect, Be Polite

Treat the client as if they are your only customer. Be patience and understanding when interacting with clients and promptly acknowledge their presence. It is the customer’s choice to use a service or product. They can easily choose a competitors. Giving the customer full attention with consideration shows respect. Resist the illusion of thinking that your cliental will always remain with you or could be easily replaced. Continued business success is gained from increasing business not recycling business.

Reward Customer Behavior

People like to buy and not be sold. Having category levels such as gold, silver and bronze that represent a client’s buying behavior makes the client fell rewarded and in control as they spend. It also gives them a sense of belonging which builds an emotional attachment to the business brand and makes it less likely that the client will detach themselves from the program to join another competitor’s program.

Public Acknowledgement

Social media can be used cleverly to increase business success. Add a Twitter roll to the company website or give the client a shout out on Facebook. This singles out the client and makes them feel special. It also encourages others that see this to want the same recognition. Survey the clients to see what in the form of public acknowledgment they appreciate most and implement it.

It’s a competitive marketplace and rapid economic changes force companies to foster their relationships with customers and clients to ensure continued business success. Fortunately, there are a myriad of methods and opportunities that a business can implement to give customers what they want and in return provide the business the success it seeks.

Frank writes about everything from business success through to digital marketing, working with companies like Aon. In his spare time he networks locally and likes to cycle.