Successful customer acquisition and retention are processes that consist of several important steps. From creating a buyer persona and purposeful targeting to personalizing your email campaigns, there is a lot that can be done to attract new clients and keep the loyal ones happy.

That begin said, it’s important to remember that even the best of strategies can fail if you don’t address (potential) clients in a way that makes them feel respected and close to your brand.

How can you approach your target audience and speak to them as a friend would? Here’s what marketing, sales, and customer care experts have to say.

Real friends always listen and always care

There is no good communication without empathy and mutual respect, and it all starts with attentive listening. 

A real friend knows what troubles you because they are there when you need them, but they’re also able to draw conclusions from your behavior even when you don’t tell them everything. Your business should aim to become such a friend, the one that knows their customers very well and is always there to help when they need it:

  1. Pay close attention to customers’ reviews, comments, messages, and other verbal expressions on your (and your competitors’) websites, social media channels, and shop;
  2. Organize open events hosted by your company, so you can speak to your audience and learn about their needs in person;
  3. Invest in customer acquisition and care campaigns and analyze the results thoroughly, so you can make these efforts more successful in the future.

Friends keep in touch to preserve and improve relationships

Would you consider someone a friend if they only called you when they needed something? It’s the same when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. If you only reach out to push a sale, your emails will soon end up in the trash, and your sponsored posts will be hidden and forgotten about.

Real friends cherish the relationship as something worth their time, rather than focus on what they can get out of it. To make your customers feel like your friends, reach out to congratulate their birthdays, to offer them perks for being loyal, or simply to let them know what’s new with your brand.

Always address each customer by their first (Dear Andrew) or last name (Dear Mrs. Vaughn) and keep the tone that’s respectful, yet not dry and sales-y.

Nobody wants a friend who’s ghosting them

If your customer support agents are active and responsive only when your company initiates a contact, yet disappear into thin air when a (potential) customer asks a question or provides information, you are being that friend who’s always around, but nobody keeps them close or takes them seriously.

Respect your customers’ time as you’d like them to respect yours. Always put their needs first and be prompt to respond to their issues, praises, and critique, and the relationship will blossom.

Fail to give them the attention and genuine care, and your (potential) customers will soon leave your brand behind and run to your competition, if they’re able to provide what your business missed out on.

Integrity and consistency are key to lasting friendships

Respect, heartfelt care, open communication, and responsiveness are the stepping stones of success in customer onboarding and maintenance, but it’s the integrity of your brand and consistency in your tone and quality of service that will keep clients interested.

Customers are always right and might be worthy to have in mind at all times, but it doesn’t mean that your brand should be quick to alter its core values and vision every time you get feedback that suggests you do so. Most clients will rather buy from a business aware of its worth and willing to take a stand on what’s important to its team than stick with a provider that changes any way the wind blows.

Additionally, make sure to provide consistent quality all year round: provide a fantastic service once, and a mediocre or bad one when the same customer returns, and you’re on your way to losing them forever.

A friend who gossips broadcasts insecurity

Talking badly about someone behind their back is a dangerous pastime, and even more so if you engage in such activity as a brand. Even if your customers start badmouthing your competitors openly, don’t partake in this activity.

Nobody wants a friend jealous of someone else’s other or former friends, or someone who’s on the lookout to offend their predecessors. State your understanding of your customer’s frustration and offer assistance to make their experience better with your business, without badmouthing the competitors in the process. 

Show your security in your business’s ability to wow the customer with what you can offer (explaining what makes your brand different from others), but never put any other brand down (and especially not in writing).

Be yourself: everyone else is already taken

Although it’s smart to keep a close eye on what your competitors do to keep on friendly terms with customers, be careful not to steal their approaches mindlessly. Individuality and sincere care always shine through, while copycats are easily recognized.

It takes time to inspire trust and build strong friendships, but when done right, it’s always worth the invested resources. Treat your current and future customers as you would your friends, and your business will grow and prosper like never before.

About the author

John Peterson is a journalist and an MBA essay writing service provider with 4 years’ experience. He works in London magazine “Shop&buy” and is a professional mini-tennis player outside the working hours. You might also know John as the author of the novel “His heart”. To connect with John, find him on Facebook.