If you're looking for a way to keep your customers happy, there is only one answer: connect! Did you ever wonder why your customers faded away after their first initial purchase? Have you been looking for answers obsessively, but you simply can't arrive at any reasonable conclusion? It's probably because you didn't know, or apply, this principle rule:

The customer is always right, even when they're wrong.

The way a company treats their customers is a monumental core component of how a company is perceived. After all, perception becomes reality. Acknowledging that your customer's always right (even when they're horribly wrong!) is the way to build crucial long-term relationships.

Connecting to your customers should mean everything to your company. Take the time to sit down and think about how your ideal 'customer treatment' would look like. Once you've written down some of the basics, make sure you include these 3 essential elements:

  • Listen. No, REALLY listen!

listen

Like previously mentioned, listening to your customer and understanding what he/she wants is the number one rule in creating loyal relationships. Do what customers ask, go to great lengths for them, and give them credit when they have great ideas. Unfortunately, there's no secret formula to build long-term relationships. However, listening to your customer (and demonstrating respect) is a really underestimated value a lot of businesses neglect.

  • Trigger your customers on an emotional level

Connecting with your customer on an emotional level will increase the possibility for customers to recommend you by 300%. Ted Rubin, leading Chief Social Marketing Officer, believes, "the key to continued success for any brand is identifying with the customer". Listening is a good way to start with that, but being relevant and relating to their emotions helps your brand connect with them on a much higher level.

Go above and beyond for your customers by offering them a unique experience and adding a valuable personal touch. Emotionally engaged customers are more likely to become a repeat customer and are less likely to shop around looking for other alternatives. Customers won't mind paying more money for your product if they feel like your company invests a lot of time.

  • Offer what really matters to your customers

It doesn't matter what type of product your company offers, it's all about the experience. Provide superior customer service to keep your current customers happy. Creating a memorable customer experience doesn't mean overloading them with gifts or coupons. It's the little things that keep a customer coming back over and over.

The perfect example of a company who offers their customers benefits that really matter is the online retailer, Zappos. The company makes sure they're available 24/7 and provide a 365-day return policy. In that way, they clearly distinguish themselves from their competition. As 81% of companies with great customer service outperform their competition, your business could really benefit from rethinking your customer service approach.Schermafbeelding 2014-01-07 om 13.51.43

What happens when a customer disconnects?

Disconnecting basically means customers quit doing business with your company or bail out on the actual purchase. It's mostly due to a poor customer experience. In some cases, customers become very impatient and demand fast responses which can be difficult to keep up with. In the worst case scenarios, they may spread negative tweets about your company.

The key to keeping your current customers connected is offering excellent customer service, being pro-active by narrowing down the risk of creating disconnected customers, and reaching out to your customer on an emotional level.

This post originally appeared on the Engagor blog.