Five ways to boost your connection with clients

You probably know a lot about your clients and prospects—the industries they work in, their position within their organization, the organization’s key business sectors, and annual income. Having that data helps you create your marketing strategy and plan. But there’s more to building a strong relationship with clients than amassing key data points. These 5 tactics can help you engage your clients and prospects, which is one of the first steps towards strengthening customer loyalty.

  1. Respond quickly

When a client or prospect reaches out to you via email, social media, live chat, your website, or phone with a question, problem, or comment, don’t wait to get back to them. Even if you don’t immediately have an answer, it’s important to acknowledge that you received their message, that you’re working on finding the answer, and to let them know your timeframe for getting back in touch with the information they’ve requested.

  1. Offer loyalty perks

Everyone likes to get a little something extra. A loyalty program is your chance to strengthen your connection with clients who do repeat business with you. Loyalty rewards can take a wide range of forms—from discounts on future purchases or free shipping to free merchandise or services. The program should be simple to enroll in and provide lower-tier rewards quickly so clients don’t get frustrated by draconian rules or long waits to see results.

  1. Admit when you’ve made a mistake

If you’ve made a mistake—shipped an incorrect item, made a billing error, missed a deadline—be honest with your clients and offer not only a sincere apology, but also a swift solution. Clients aren’t just looking for you to correct your mistake, they want to see you take responsibility.

  1. Don’t overstep the boundaries set by clients

It’s tempting to take every opportunity to get in touch with clients and prospects, but that may not be the wisest or most effective strategy. Find out how your clients prefer you to be in touch—email, text, phone, sales call—and how often they’d like to hear from you. When they sign up to get emails from you, include a list of emails they can subscribe to or opt out of and how frequently they want to receive these emails. If you bombard them with too much contact, they may flag your emails as junk and see your organization as a nuisance rather than a resource.

  1. Meet your clients in person

Using email, social media, phone calls, and chats to stay in contact with your clients can be cost effective and time saving, but meeting them in person can have a stronger, more lasting impact. When it makes sense (see boundaries discussed in No. 4), take the time to travel to your clients’ offices. Invite them to events you’ll be putting on or attending. If in-person meetings aren’t feasible, host a webinar or video chat. Putting a face to the name can create stronger, more enduring client relationships.