Turn Customers into Partners

by James Stoneham

With the right strategies in place, your customers can actually do the selling for you over time. From getting the brand’s name out there more to interviews of current and former customers, there are lots of ways to turn clients into helpful partners. 

Use content marketing. 

Happy Customer sign with clouds and sky backgroundContent marketing, through email newsletters, blog posts, or even videos, organically creates brand advocates. Shares, likes, and comments all serve as proof of endorsement to your audiences’ networks. Plus, you’ll be able to nurture leads and extend customer reach through distribution in a way that promotes thought leadership at the same time. 

Remember to always focus on providing high quality information that benefits your viewers in some way. The amount or length of that content varies greatly audience to audience so explore different options and figure out what works best for you. 

Have an open book policy. 

Transparency is one of the building blocks of customer loyalty. New and returning customers become partners when they thoroughly know and understand the information behind company products or services. You can even share where you’d like the company to grow to over time. Doing so helps customers become more actively involved in the expansion of your business in the long run. 

Make information like inventory, product details, and financial objectives publicly available. Open communication around these traditionally secretive areas keeps customers feeling appreciated and proud of their own contributions. 

Get feedback. 

Check ins and surveys provide a wealth of information on what your clients really want, how their expectations are or are not being met, and what you can do to improve. According to RightNow, 89% of customers switched to a competitor following a poor customer experience. 

This fact also points out how important it is to conduct exit interviews with clients who stop ordering so you can get a better sense of where there might be weaknesses in the business model. Once they see those changes enacted they’ll know how important they are to the success of the company.  

Schedule regular in-person visits or meetings at various points in the customer lifecycle. Knowing how every step of the process is performing pinpoints which areas need the most growth. 

A great CRM is also effective in helping business owners learn about and better understand their customers. Read more about ASPEN Business Management’s customer relationship tools here

Filed under: Best Practice

Written by James Stoneham