It may sound a bit odd, but it’s hard to deny that marketing and dating are fairly similar. First impressions are everything, a website is pretty similar to a dating app—you only have so much time to capture someone’s attention before they move on to the next best thing—and a lot of the time, you don’t know when you should text vs. call. 

Building relationships takes work; both in your personal life and from a marketing perspective. But we’re here to help. Check out these 20 tips to successfully cultivate happy customer relationships. 

20 Tips for Happy Customer Relationships

1.Be authentic. In marketing as in dating, it’s important to be yourself. This includes transparency. You should always be upfront about your brand identity and product as well as the little things—business hours, possible supply chain issues, etc. Customers, like the people you date, tend to get upset not when there are issues, but when you aren’t transparent about them. 

2. Focus on the person. It’s all about them, not about you. When interacting with customers, they should feel like they are your number one priority and not just another opportunity for a sale or review. Showing real care through exemplary employee service and follow-up can lead to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

3. Know your type. In marketing, as in dating, you have to know who you’re catering to. You wouldn’t take every person you go on a date with to the same place; you’ll likely try and tailor the date location to fit their unique interests and personality. Similarly, each of your customers has a personal history with you that needs careful analysis. Young professional Toby in Denver does not want the same type of messaging as senior citizen Maren in Baltimore. The marketing strategies that work for him most likely won’t for her—and vice versa. If you cater correctly, especially when using digital ads or sending mass marketing messages, Cupid just might strike.

4. Put your best foot forward. Your website is often the first impression you make on your customers—it’s your first touchpoint to capture a prospect’s attention. So, you should put your best foot forward. Use website banners, pop-ups, and prompts to get customers to opt-in to your SMS marketing messages. Implement a Webchat so that customers can contact you easily and directly.

5. Communicate well. Communication is the key to a successful relationship—both in your love life and in customer marketing. So, how do you communicate well with customers? Text has a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook. 65.6% of consumers think texting makes working with a local business more convenient. If you’re in question about whether to call or text, opt for texting. Or, use the communication method that the customer opts to contact you with.

6. Push your comfort zone. There are many different ways to form customer relationships. Some you might not even know yet. Push yourself to explore new technologies, strategies, and methods to give your customer the best experience possible.

7. Meet their friends. This one might sound a bit creepy—but we promise, it’s not. Asking for referrals can unlock whole worlds of customers who are similarly minded and have similar needs. This is basically the perfect setup. In fact,  92% of people trust reviews that come from friends. And just like with a significant other, fitting into your customer’s friend group will earn you major points.

8. Know their preferences. Communication, and otherwise. You should keep careful track of your customers’ history with you to know what will be relevant for them. With so much noise online, you only want to contact your customers with information that will actually help them.

Text message offer example

9. Go online. Make sure to clean up your online presence and make sure that what people see about you online is a clear representation of who you are as a brand. You should be present on multiple social media platforms and easily searchable online.

10. Be contactable. Your NAP (name, address, phone number), should be consistent across all of your online listings. People should also be able to contact you through their preferred method. Being unable to contact a brand is a major barrier to entry. In this day and age, anyone should be able to text you from your GMB profile, message you online, or call you. Another big thing to keep an eye out for is voice messaging opportunities.

11. Keep it personal. When messaging, you should always address each customer by name. You should know their birthday, past purchase history, location, etc. You should also identify yourself. Identifying the sender of your communications makes your messages feel authentic and humanlike. In fact, 50% of consumers are more likely to respond to a text message from a business if they introduce themselves.

12. Stay conversational. One of the biggest turn-offs with marketing messages today is that businesses sound like they’re shouting, “BUY NOW! “OFFER ENDS TODAY!” In marketing, as in dating, you need to keep messages light-hearted, short, and conversational to connect with customers. They should feel like they’re talking to a friend. This means using emojis. 😘

13. Be clear about your purpose. Being unclear about your purpose? Ain’t nobody got time for that. While you should stay conversational, be clear about your intentions. In SMS marketing, you should include a direct call to action such as “Reply to get 10% off your next order!” or “Check out our new inventory!”

Customer communication

14. Don’t communicate too often. In marketing as in dating, you don’t want to flood your customers with communication. Customer interactions should be high quality and relevant if you want to keep customer retention high. Consider sending a message once a week or once every two weeks (just make sure your customers have opted in).

15. Ask permission. This applies especially to SMS marketing and promotions. 75% of consumers are OK with receiving SMS messages from brands after they’ve opted in. Consumers redeem SMS-delivered coupons 10 times more than other types of coupons. Getting permission is the key to success.

16. Ask for feedback. You won’t know if you don’t ask. When things go poorly, or even when things go well, it’s always wise to ask for customer feedback to understand what you can do differently the next time or what you can keep doing. Feedback is essential to any positive customer relationship.

17. Be polite. 59% of consumers have been texted by a business that they did not give permission to. 61% of consumers would unsubscribe from promotional messages from a local business if they received messages they didn’t recall signing up for. Make sure to play by the rules and respect people’s preferences.

18. Have a game plan. Just like when you’re dating, you should always have a customer marketing strategy that will help you court your consumers. When you contact customers, know what you’re hoping to give them and what you’re hoping to get, and plan accordingly. Additionally, keep a clear calendar of your marketing strategies across the board so that you and your employees all know what’s happening.  

19. Focus on the positive. In marketing, it’s always helpful to focus on the positive—what’s working. As you work out different bugs and innovate, take inventory of your strengths and strategize ways to emphasize them. These can become part of your brand identity and the main points of reviews your customers give you.

20. Keep going. Regardless of the focus groups you put together or the research you conduct, you won’t really know anything until you get your feet wet. Every customer success story takes some trial and error. Keep experimenting to see what sticks. No effort is wasted—and it’ll definitely be worth it in the end.

It’s All About Building Solid Relationships

It’s fairly straightforward. If you want a successful relationship with your customers, you need to nurture it. And those connections don’t form overnight. See how Podium can help you provide the modern, personalized experience your customers are looking for. With the right tools, they just might want to put a ring on it.

Logan Wooden
Logan Wooden Product Marketing Manager, Retail

Logan Wooden is a Product Marketing professional at Podium, the premiere marketing and communications platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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