Customer love is important! Whether you’re working with clients, customers, or just trying your best to build your network, being able to make others feel loved is key. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Squishy Peanut Marketing team wants to share some tips on how to make your business connections feel loved. 

# 1: Respond quickly

We all are connected all the time so there’s no excuse to let a message go unanswered for more than 24 hours. If you don’t have an out-of-office message, make sure you’re responding within that 24-hour window. It helps people know you care. 

Keep in mind, this isn’t just about email anymore. How quickly you respond to social media messages or comments is also important. Even if that response is just something like “I don’t know, but let me find that answer for you, I’ll be back in touch soon.”

Social media makes people feel like they have a direct line to a company. You wouldn’t ignore phone calls all day long so why would you ignore people sliding into your DMs? Make sure your customer love is translating to your social media plan.

# 2: Be extra helpful

Go above and beyond whenever you can. Sure, some people might be asking you a question that they could easily Google or find the answer to on your website. That being said, they reached out to you. They want that personal connection. You might think they’re just being lazy and not doing the research, but not everyone is as savvy as you. They might just want a real person to give them an answer. 

Try to answer the question beyond the question too. For instance, we might get a question from someone about their website’s SEO. Maybe they feel like they’ve gotten fewer visitors and they want some SEO tips but when we visit their website, we find that the biggest issue is load time. If we just answered their question by giving SEO tips, we would be doing exactly what they asked but we wouldn’t be very helpful. Instead, try to get to what someone really needs and explain why. 

# 3: Give something for free

Some companies might cringe at this idea. If your bottom line is struggling, why would you give away a product for free? Now notice, we didn’t say you’d give away any product for free. While people love free swag, there are plenty of other things you can give for free. 

Knowledge is going to be the big one that you can give away. Maybe you have a checklist that you think your audience would find helpful or a spreadsheet that you use that others might have a use for. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just think about what your customers would find helpful and give it to them. 

Speaking of giving something away for free, we do it all the time! Check out our free download for our social media editorial calendar template. 

# 4: Remember people and check-in

It can be hard to remember everyone you meet but do your best to keep track of the people that you meet and check-in with them when appropriate. A CRM (customer relationship management) system can be helpful in this regard. When you meet someone, add them to your CRM software. You can add notes to refresh your memory and schedule when you want to follow-up with them. We use OnePage CRM but feel free to find a CRM system that works for you. 

This also works to keep track of phone calls, emails, and online messages. Add contacts into your CRM and create a plan of action to followup with them. 

If you have a business where you’re dealing more with customers vs. clients, consider implementing a customer loyalty program to keep them in-the-know about your business and get them engaged. 

customer love

# 5: Do good work or have a great product

This hopefully goes without saying, but schmoozing only gets you so far. If you’re not delivering a good product or service at the end of the day, people will notice. Make sure you’re always learning and trying to improve what you offer. No matter how many years you’ve been in the business, there’s always something new that you can learn. 

If you’re struggling to find what areas you could explore more in your industry, reach out to us for a market research report.

# 6: Know your customers

You know when you run into an old associate at the grocery store and they ask you how your mom is doing because they remember you mentioning your mom’s health issues? When someone cares like that and truly listens to you, it can make you feel amazing! Your customers and clients have plenty of things to share too. You want to make sure you’re listening to them. That’s really key to customer love!

If you need help finding out what your audience has to say, a survey or a focus group can be a great tool. Reach out to us if you need help with getting that done. Reading through your reviews and sharing something on social media asking for feedback can also be helpful. We’d recommend encouraging people to send feedback in a private message though. If someone had a bad experience, you want to be able to handle that privately.

# 7: Give back to your community

We work with a lot of small businesses and one great thing about being a small business is that you work with the people that you live with. That means the community is more important than it is for big businesses. Find out ways that you can give back to your community. That might mean giving discounts to non-profit clients or spending some time as your company volunteering. Not only is it a great way to network but it shows people that you care about more than just profits. That’s really what makes people feel loved.

Why you want customer love

Now, there might be some of you who are thinking that it sounds great to make people feel loved, but you’re running a business at the end of the day so profits should be more important. We’re here to tell you that building customer love is going to help your bottom line more than you expect. It’s a long game but getting people who are advocated for your business means more customer loyalty. When a competitor comes to town and undercuts your prices, that love will keep your customers returning even when they could find a cheaper alternative. 

For more exclusive tips or to ask questions, join our Squishy Peanut Storytellers Facebook group.