3 Ways to Maintain Customer Relationships for Startups

Despite all the challenges to being new on the market, startups actually have an advantage in terms of creating and maintaining customer relationships. Their youth and innocence make it easy for the locals to like them, and their relatively small network keeps them relatable.

It is, unfortunately, an advantage most startups outgrow as they expand and dip into new territories. Although they grow as a business and gain a larger customer base, many of them tend to lose that extra little spark that made them special, to begin with.

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Here is how you can maintain a strong relationship with your very first fans so that they can make your small business even bigger.

Remember to communicate

Way too many small businesses lose touch with their first customers because they stop communicating. If you’re not talking to them, you’re not listening either — and they won’t be able to tell you what’s missing or what you happen to be doing great.

Your earliest customers are, after all, the ones you have up to 70 % chance of reselling your products to — they know your quality and service, so don’t let it drop. Social media is a great way to keep the channels of communication open, for example.

Let them reach out to your Twitter or Facebook profile if they have a problem, and make sure you have someone there to answer their questions as soon as possible.

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Keep in touch

Even when your customers are no longer experiencing any problems and have no reason to reach out to you, it’s good to keep in touch once in a while. Don’t just sit around and wait for the questions to pour in; if there is none, it might mean that they simply have nothing to say about your company at the moment. We need to give them something to get the conversation started, in other words.

Birthday greetings through email or Tweets, holiday cards, discount offers — the list goes on, so unleash your imagination and figure out the best way to reach out to your existing customers. Have a read around the web as well, by the way, such as this blog post here, and you should be able to get some great ideas on keeping your business’ core in shape.

Focus on customer success

The more you’re able to help your customers solve their problems, the more they’re going to like your business. Make it a part of your company culture to focus on making them better by assembling a small support team through social media, for example. That way, you’ll be able to concentrate on running your business, while your existing customers are taken good care of.

It sends a strong signal of quality and care to them as well, so they’re likely to spread the word if they keep having positive experiences with you.

Growing your company and gaining a larger network doesn’t mean that you have to give up on those who made you so great, to begin with. Focus on quality and customer support, and make sure you stay in touch with them — that way, they won’t really forget about your existence.

Making Customers The Priority Is Difficult, But Worthwhile

Your customers should be at the center of everything you do. If they are not, this can soon lead to some serious downfalls within your business. Most business owners are aware of the importance of putting customers first, but relatively few really know how to properly ensure that they do it. Fortunately, there are some basic ways to make sure that your customers are always the priority in your business. In this post, we are going to look at some of the essential things to bear in mind if you want your customers to be at the heart of your processes.

Strong Service

No matter what else you try to achieve in business, providing a strong customer service has to be the baseline. This is the starting point and the end point, and it is the clearest way of showing your customers how important they are to the entire procedure of doing business. Most of all, you should be careful to work on developing customer service skills which people are likely to appreciate. This means training up your customer services staff as well as possible. As long as that is done, your customers will feel a lot more as though they are in the right hands.

Take Their Needs On Board

In everything that you do, you need your customers to know that they are of central importance to it. But it is not enough to just tell them that this is the case. Instead of saying it, you need to show it – this is likely to be much more effective. As long as you are genuinely taking their needs on board, this will shine through eventually. You can really do this in everything that you do, not least in the way that you design your online services and website. Using a process like user centered design, you ensure that you are keeping their needs at the very heart of what you are doing – the whole step of the way. This will then result in them feeling much more taken care of – and that is essentially what you are going for here.

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Image Credit: Pexels
Make The Changes They Want To See

If we are honest, this process must at least partly be about making the changes they want to see, even if it is mostly for show. There needs to be a little give-and-take, otherwise your business is unlikely to get very far in terms of its customer relations. Above all, make sure that every change you make is the kind of thing that your customers would want to see in your business. If it isn’t, consider taking another route instead.

Ask and Deliver

What a lot of this boils down to is this: ask your customers what they want, and then make sure that you deliver. This can be achieved probably much more easily than you think. You just need to make sure that you are keeping an open ear on your customers, and reacting when they want you to.

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