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Business Philosophy

How to Turn Customers Into Friends and Why It Benefits Both of You

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
How to Turn Customers Into Friends and Why It Benefits Both of You

Customer loyalty and retention are central to business success and profitability. Quite simply, selling more to current customers costs less than advertising to attract new buyers.

The issue: In these competitive times, offering a decent customer experience is often not enough. Instead, you must turn your customers into friends to ensure loyalty. This guide explains how.

Why You Must Turn Your Customers Into Friends

Consider your relationships with good friends. They are people you like spending time with and you look forward to your moments together. You share things in common with them. You tell them about the good things that happen to you. You are always there for each other through struggles and challenges. If they need support, you’re always available to help. You also treat your friends well, and they do the same to you in return. It's a relationship that’s mutually beneficial.

Doesn’t what we just described seem like a great model for operating a business and building customer relationships?

How to Transform Customers Into Friends

It’s easier than you may think to build friendly relationships with buyers. Leverage the same principles at the foundation of your personal friendships and apply them to your business relationships. They should be based on support, encouragement, empowerment, and love. You should love your customers for supporting and sustaining your business's vision.

You may not realize it, but you already support your customers. They have a need or challenge that you help them solve. They believe in you enough to pay for product or service solutions.

Think about how you interact with your friends when they come to you with a problem. You encourage them to tell you everything about what’s going on so you can figure out how to help them best. You provide them with your best thinking and support based on your knowledge of them.

In your best interactions with friends, you not only help them out by picking up the pieces, you empower them and make their lives better.

You should apply this same strategy to your customers and their experience with your business. Carefully listen to what they say. Take time to understand what their struggles and challenges are (their pain points). Check your customer relationship management system to see what else you know about them, such as what they’ve purchased from you in the past.

As a business person, the next thing to do is consider all this information and all your product and service offerings to devise a solution that will solve your customers’ problems and hopefully improve their lives.

By putting your all into helping your buyers, you inspire them to be their best. When they know they are at their peak because of you, they will become loyal customers and advocates for your brand, recommending it to their friends.

Do your customers like you? Use data to find out for certain.

Friendships Are Symbiotic Business Relationships

Your ultimate goal should be to build customer relationships based on trust and respect, similar to how you build friendships. When your goal is to establish a real connection with your audience, the following starts to happen:

  • They know when they feel valued and respected.

  • They are aware when you genuinely try to support them through their struggles.

  • They can feel it when you love working with them.

When all these factors come together, your customer “friends” will reciprocate and direct their friends to your business because of the help you gave them. Your customers become an unpaid marketing team that will make your business more profitable and successful than any promotion you have done in the past.

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