Many business owners take current customers for granted. They should build relationships with current customers. If they don’t they will lose them.

Too often, they simply assume that if they provided a good product or service, that their job is done and that the customer will automatically return to them when they need another related product or service. This is not the case. Just because you leave a business card or a sticker with your phone # with your customer, chances are that is gone in a few days or weeks. You might be a business that goes a step further and leaves some cool promotional item like a fridge magnet, bag clip, or pen. This is a great first step and will keep your name and company in front of your customer for a long time, and may at least guarantee that they will call you the next time they have needs. However, it is not enough and it will not usually result in any testimonials or referrals.
To get the all important referrals from existing customers, the lifeblood of your business, you need to build an ongoing relationship with them. What are the easiest and best ways to build relationships with customers?

1. Do leave some type of promotional item and your contact information.

2. Give a follow-up call thanking them for their business.

3. Send them an email confirmation and thank you if applicable and you have their information.

4. Send them a REAL thank you card within 7-10 day, thanking them for their business.

5. Keep customers up to date by posting at least 3-4 FB posts a week, some offering specials, others asking for referrals, others just giving good relevant information or tips.

6. Continue to send a mix of email/FB information and referral requests, as well as at least 5-10 greeting cards a year.

7. If you are in a high end business where the products or services are high dollar, then also send a thank you gift, and holiday gifts.

8. Always ask for referrals a few times a year, and acknowledge the customers who send them to you.

While there are many more ways to build a relationship with your customers, these are critical and they mix all the classic and new age technology and trends in communicating and building a relationship with your customers.

Seems to Complicated?

If you think that the list above is too overwhelming, think again. First of all, almost all of those tasks can be automated or outsourced to an office staff or even a virtual assistant at very little cost to you. Greeting cards and gifts can be set up to go out personalized to your customers, months in advance just like email responders. It is worth setting up these semi automated systems to build relationships with your customers and to treat them right, so that they also help you build and grow your business in a fun and stress free way!


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