Your potential customers are looking for more than just a transactional relationship. They seek a genuine connection, a sense of trust, and a feeling that you genuinely understand and care about their needs. Sadly, according to Salesforce, that isn’t the case for most. Seventy-one percent of B2B consumers say that most interactions with businesses feel transactional.
Why? Because these companies have forgotten the massive impact that developing customer relationships can have on their business. Many brands assume that providing the best technology and products will be enough to win them customers. But it’s not. Nearly 70 percent of consumers say that even if they love the product, they must trust the brand before continuing to invest in it. So, why is trust so important? And how do you build it?
Trust is Essential When Developing Customer Relationships
When customers trust you, they are more likely to make additional purchases, recommend you to colleagues, and be forgiving when you make a mistake.
But trust goes beyond satisfying your customers. It’s also a significant driver of brand loyalty and profitability. Customers who trust a company and its products are more likely to stick with it over time. Even if competitors offer lower prices or more features. This loyalty translates into increased customer lifetime value, making trust a valuable asset for any business. Studies have shown that increasing your customer loyalty (or “retention”) by at least five percent can boost your profits by up to 95 percent.
However, trust doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s closely tied to the concept of relevance. A brand can be trustworthy, but that trust can erode over time if it doesn’t remain relevant to its customers. To keep their trust, you must consistently provide products, services, and content relevant to your customers’ needs and interests.
How To Deepen Customer Relationships by Increasing Your Relevance
So, how do you do it? How do you deepen your relationships and become more relevant to them? Well, it all starts with an empathetic approach to understanding consumer needs. Here are a few questions we’d recommend you ask yourself:
- What customer needs are we meeting right now?
- Are we meeting those needs well?
- What problems or difficulties are they currently facing?
- How can we fix those problems?
- What are some things they wish they could do but struggle with today?
When you ask those questions, it shifts the focus from the company’s needs to the customer’s needs. Don’t misunderstand, profits are still important. But profits should never come at the expense of your customers’ experience. Especially because brands that prioritize consumer satisfaction and well-being tend to earn trust and loyalty more easily.
Relevance comes in two flavors: market relevance and personal relevance. Market relevance involves understanding and meeting the needs of your target audience as a whole. This allows you to position your brand effectively and expand your market reach. Personal relevance, on the other hand, is about tailoring your offerings to individual customer preferences.
For example, a business communication provider can cater to market relevance by offering various communication services (UCaaS, fiber, Wi-Fi). However, they can achieve personal relevance by building customizable plans based on their customers’ unique needs.
Brands that excel at both market and personal relevance can engage with a wide range of customers while making each individual feel valued. This approach often leads to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.
Common Challenges in Achieving Relevance
Don’t be fooled. Becoming relevant doesn’t happen overnight. Mainly because many companies have developed thought patterns that get in their own way. Here are the three biggest hindrances to relevance we’ve encountered when advising our clients.
- Hyper-narrow Customer Focus: Brands that focus too narrowly on specific consumer needs risk alienating others. Striking the right balance between personalization and inclusivity is crucial. Keep your focus narrow, but not too narrow.
- Awareness-Based Apathy: Many brands “rest on their laurels” after they’ve built awareness and a user base. But it’s not enough to merely establish a presence in the market. Consumers need to see acceptance and trust in your brand from their peers. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in this regard.
- White Space Thinking: While it may be tempting to seek out areas of the market with less competition and higher profit margins, this approach may neglect actual consumer needs. Genuine white space opportunities are rare and should seldom be the sole focus of brand-building.
Developing customer relationships can be complicated, especially if you’ve had a history of transactional interactions. However, it’s never too late to change course and start prioritizing trust and relevance! All you have to do is be agile and willing to adapt. Learn from your mistakes, solicit customer feedback, and evolve your offerings accordingly.
Start Developing Customer Relationships Today with P2P
Ready to unlock more secrets about developing customer relationships that build your business? Look no further than P2P. We have a proven track record of helping companies like yours deepen their connections with customers, optimize their operations, and drive sustainable growth. With a wealth of expertise in customer engagement, P2P can provide invaluable guidance that can help you go from plateau to peak. All you have to do is reach out and make our experts yours!