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How to Make Your Customers Feel More Like Friends and Less Like Faceless People

One of the problems that many big businesses face is that they lose that homey feel that makes small businesses so appealing. Small businesses go out of their way to create relationships with their clients, whereas big businesses typically fail at that. Customers tend to get lost in the shuffle and can be left feeling as though they’re just another faceless number contributing to sales and not a real person with feelings. Social media, however, has opened up an opportunity to interact with customers in an entirely new way, making them more like friends. To give your customers a sense of appreciation and foster a greater loyalty you should use social media to:

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  1. Interact with your clientele – Social media allows you to open up threads of communication that previously were unavailable. Consumers can interact on your Facebook and Twitter pages, leaving comments, connecting with other customers, and engaging in conversation with you. These are all things that help solidify a closer customer-to-business relationship.
  2. Listen to their suggestions– Now that we can connect with customers via social media, they are more willing than ever to tell you when something goes wrong or if something isn’t up to the standards they expect. This is the perfect time to really listen to what they have to say, and prove that you care by not only responding to their suggestions, but actually doing something about it as well.
  3. Ask their opinion on improvements – If you’re about to roll out a new product or service or you’re updating an old one, ask them via social media what they think could be improved or changed. In today’s instant gratification world, social media is the quickest way to reign in responses. Not to mention, people appreciate being asked their opinion, and love to see when their opinions turn into a reality.
  4. Host events centered around customer appreciation – Hold an annual customer appreciation event where they can come in and have cocktails and appetizers and schmooze with people in your company. Honoring their commitment to you will only further develop that commitment, and make them feel more valued. Live-tweet throughout the event and then post pictures and encourage feedback after. This way not only are you helping solidify their relationship, but you’re also reaching out to potential new customers who can see the high level of commitment you demonstrate to your clientele.

Don’t fall into the same trap that so many businesses do once they move past the mom and pop stage where the customers become secondary to the money. While making money is important, it can’t ever be done without a loyal customer base, and regularly interacting with your customers and going out of your way to make them feel appreciated is the first step toward maintaining that loyalty and roping in new customers. When your customers feel more like friends then just clients, you are much more likely to succeed, and they are much more likely to favorably spread the word about your business.

Author Bio:

 Ken Myers is the founder of http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need; instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

Post By Praveen Rajarao (469 Posts)

Praveen Rajarao is a Software Tech Lead and in his spare time blogs on his website –http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.techivy.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.

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9 Responses to " How to Make Your Customers Feel More Like Friends and Less Like Faceless People "

  1. Adrienne says:

    Hey Praveen,

    I have a perfect example of this that might help some people.

    I have a friend who loved a certain product and she was chatting on Twitter about it with some of her friends. You know, just back and forth comparing notes somewhat. Being the smart company that they are, they saw the hashtags they were using when talking about this product.

    The company offer to send her some samples since she was bragging on it so much. Several days later she got 4 huge boxes on her doorstep and she was jumping with joy. You can’t beat work of mouth marketing and that company was there to speak with she and her friends and answer any questions that they had.

    That’s the way you make happy customers who will spread the word and keep them coming back for more.

    ~Adrienne
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  2. Mayura says:

    Hi Ken,

    This is a timely topic :)

    Obviously, Social media is critical in building the bridge between businesses and customers as it’s very convenient for both parties and cost effective too. But sometimes I see businesses are being idle enough there without interacting with customers. I think it’s a best way to lose customer interest on ‘em :) Same goes for blogs too.

    Suggestions and opinions are very effective, though they are good or bad :) It’s about improving, not criticizing. I did make use of such for my own blog too.

    Hosting event is a great idea and a way to show appreciation for customers :) That’s highly effective as I think.

    Very nice tips Ken :) I think #1, #2 and #3 are MUST do by every business.

    Have a NICE week, Ken and Praveen :)

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted…Create a Simple Android Application for Your Site with AppsGeyserMy Profile

  3. Ken,

    Nice subject an valid points.

    A good business always refers to great customer communication and care. That’s the base line. Either we consider small business or lead corporate brands, the growth chart height clearly underlying on top it.

    I would like to share my personal experience. During my 90’s marketing time, I work at Xerox corp and use to meet multiple customers for office automation product marketing, and had great clientele from different segments, who prefer to place orders not specific to our product quality and most important factor, was our close communication and customer care.

    At business, customers always expect trust, Reliable, friendly and more important care communication. Imagine, If Product return policy, damaged goods replacements and price related issues not handled genuinely with customer care, Do we shop at Walmart, Sams, JC Penny or Khols kind of outlets? Big NO! The key factor, They trust you and their business that takes their brand image. Decades..!

    When you draw frame work for any business, remember to add core Agenda, as how you are going to communicate? That’s very critical. Its dynamic world and everybody is busy. So, your communication is very important to reach your customer when they really expect your help. Be there..and always!

    Social Media, online, web podcast, news paper adds, monthly customer meeting, followup calls, solution corner programs, opinion polls, festival greetings, service upgrade updates and so on. All these just a transporter for great customer communication. So, Just stay focused. You can surely see the growth.

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful article.
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  4. Carolyn says:

    Hi Praveen, This is a wonderful post by Ken. He’s right, valuing your customers/clients but asking for their input is a fantastic way to develop relationships and build loyalty.

    Many companies are afraid of negative feedback on social media, but instead they should view these comments as opportunities to gather feedback and respond to customers in a positive way.

    How great would it be if every company took Ken’s advice here?
    Carolyn recently posted…Which Tablet is Right for You?My Profile
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  5. Philip A. says:

    Hi Praveen,

    Awesome post, thank you for sharing this info. I think making people your friends first and building a solid relationship with them is what will determine the results when you will be promoting to them.

    This is the difference between successful business owners and the rest.

    Have a great weekend, all the best to you.

    ~Philip
    Philip A. recently posted…How to start a successful blog that stands outMy Profile
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