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How to keep a long-term relationship with your customers

May 13, 2014
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According to KISSmetrics, it can cost up to seven times more to acquire new customers than to retain them, which means if you are not working towards keeping long-term relationships with your customers, you are losing money. In fact, customers actually desire a long-term relationship with a branda survey by Responsys showed that nearly three out of four people look for that relationship with a brand that is appreciative of their business. However, your customers don't want to be bombarded with sales pitches and irrelevant information. In fact, Responsys found that 34 percent of the people surveyed say they leave annoying brands. How, then, do you successfully communicate your brand to keep a long-term relationship with your customers without losing them along the way? Here are a few customer retention tips that will help your brand keep in touch without annoying your customers.

Personalize your approach.

According to the survey by Responsys, out of the 34 percent of people that leave annoying brands, a third of those say it was the generic approach of the brand that turned them off. Personalizing your marketing approach can help show that your brand cares about individual needs and preferences. Get to know your customers in order to personalize your message and their preferred method of delivery. Think about these questions: Are you sending offers that are relevant to your audience, or are you sending one mass message that only applies to some? Are you using direct mail for an audience that prefers digital? Are you reaching customers that have the ability to respond to your call to action? By answering these questions and taking a deeper look into your approach, hopefully you will get an idea of where you can tweak your message to make customers feel that your brand has tailored it to them.

Keep your promises.

Whether it's through a print advertisement or an email marketing campaign about your brand, make sure you only make promises that you can keep. Saying one thing, but doing another is a sure way to lose a long-term relationship with your customerand potential future ones. Customers that have been cheated by a brand will be sure to let everyone know through online reviews, social media posts and word-of-mouthharming your credibility and decreasing your brand's potential.

Thank your followers.

While it can be detrimental to your brand if you break your promises, you have an opportunity for great success if you go above and beyond your brand promise. Give your loyal customers something extra to thank them for being with you for the long-term, such as a discount, gift, or first look at a new product. The Responsys survey also states that 72 percent of people say loyalty rewards are what makes them want to be long-term customers. Think about thanking your top brand ambassadors with a giftthey might share your kindness with their friends and will most likely continue to purchase your brand. A little can go a long ways when it comes to making your customers feel appreciated for their long-term relationship with your brand.

Remember that not all of your customers are the same, and it is important to personalize your approach to keep your customers feeling appreciated. It is also important to remain loyal to the promises you make in order to maintain your brand's credibility. Not only does valuing your long-term relationships with your customers keep them around for longer, but it also helps you gain new customers as they hear and see positive interactions with your brand.

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