In the highly competitive business world, it’s important your current customers choose to stay with you. Even if your business is doing well, your customers can leave as quickly as they came.

A great business is more than just a transaction. Building relationships with your customers help you establish a bond. Most customers are willing to pay more for a product and/or service if they have a personal connection with a company. Furthermore, having a good relationship with a client endears you to them – whatever happens, whatever challenges, problems and issues take place, they will stick around and support your business. Some businesses may not realise this, but it is also difficult for a customer to search for a really trustworthy and reliable business to have full confidence with.

Your goal, therefore, is to be THAT business every customer can lean on.

How do you do this? Here are some tips.

Touch base frequently.

No client ever wants to feel ignored. If they recently placed an order or you provided a service, ask them for feedback. Showing you care about their satisfaction level speaks volumes about your commitment to them. It can also provide you with an opportunity to gain insight on other products and services that you can offer to gain new business.

If they have not done business with you in a while, check to see how you can help them. It may also serve as a reminder that they may need your product or service.

Become a relevant resource

Stepping out to assist someone doesn’t always mean you’ll get an immediate return on your efforts – but again – it shows people that you care more about them than you do about your own profits. Refer a customer to them, help with an event or offer suggestions. When they, or someone they know, are looking for a product or service that you offer, you’re more likely to be foremost in their mind. The more you get to know someone, the more you’ll be able to offer assistance by knowing their needs.

Think good karma. What goes around, comes around.

Listen more, talk less

Your customer may provide cues that might be your gateway to providing a personal touch. If they indicate that their child is heading off to their first year of college, or they are taking a long awaited vacation, jot these things down on a calendar so you can ask how things went when you do a follow-up call. Or they might state that it was their birthday last week. Put that on your calendar so the following year you can send a birthday greeting.

Ask yourself, if the situation was turned around and you became the customer instead of the business, what are the things you would like to experience? Perhaps attention to detail?A sincere display of concern? Small tokens, like a birthday card or cake? Take all these cues from your own experience as a customer yourself – they are valuable – not just personal and ostentatious whims of yours.