If you’re a business owner, you know how important your customers are to your success. Whether your customers are regular or occasional, creating and maintaining a healthy and balanced connection with each one is important.

However, this doesn’t just happen on its own. As with all solid connections, they need to be nurtured and set as a priority in order to become long lasting. While there are countless ways to go about doing this, there are some that stand out due to their simplicity. Read on for four effective yet simple ways you can strengthen and build connections with your customers.

1. Have Solutions That Work for Every Situation
One of the most effective ways of connecting with your customers is to show that no matter what the situation may be, your company has emergency communications plans in place and ready to go when necessary. This is important because reliability goes a long way when it comes to customer loyalty and retention. As a result, your base will feel valued and respected.

Whether it’s a weather event, in-house issue or a widespread situation impacting everything in its path, showing your customers that you’re available, reachable and aware of their needs will make all the difference in the world.
This is also a good time to consider how important word-of-mouth is, remembering that much of your future base could come from hearing positive things from your current customers.

2. Keep Your Promises, but Be Realistic
Creating a relationship where reliability and accountability are held in high regard is another no-fail way to develop a great connection with your customers. The key to success? Sincerity, dedication and remaining realistic when (and if) you make promises of any kind.

While it would be great to promise the world to your customers and have it all work out, there are going to times when it’s not possible, smart, realistic or fair. This is why being able to strike the right balance while working with a customer is essential. This can be done by under-promising and exceeding expectations whenever possible, but remember that this isn’t always the best route to take. Proceeding with caution at all times will help keep both your business and your customer relationships on an even keel.

Not only can broken promises lead to disappointment, frustration or anger, they can also be very damaging to your company’s reputation and bottom line.

3. Gather Feedback and Learn From It
Your customers are one of the best ways for you to determine how well your company is doing or where improvements need to be made. Interacting with them on a deeper level — more than just during a purchase or service parts of the transaction — will allow you to gather feedback. Including surveys on receipts or following up on services with a phone call are fairly universal ways to go about doing this.

However, the feedback received is only as good as the feedback that is given, so requesting that your customers are transparent and honest is paramount.

Even though chances are you won’t use every bit of feedback you receive, pay close attention to any trends in what’s collected. This could alert your company to any larger issues that are having a positive or negative impact on your customers.

4. Keep In Touch
Staying relevant with your customers is one of the most important parts of building and maintaining connections. Thanks to technology, accomplishing this has never been easier. However, it’s important to go about this in more traditional ways as well. Try setting a goal to strike a good balance between the two.

Email blasts, newsletters and social media are all excellent and effective ways to create and make your presence known. Investing in a good marketing specialist or team will make all the difference here. Since some customers don’t always turn to technology as their main source of information, quality pieces of mail or special invitations to in-person events should also be considered. Remembering birthdays or making small gestures showing appreciation will also go a long way.

Additionally, don’t forget to regularly request contact information updates to ensure customers who wish to keep in touch remain reachable.

Doing this will be a different journey for everyone, but the goal of building connections is a universal one. Finding what works best in your situation will be invaluable for your company’s reputation and success, so making sure it remains a priority is essential.

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