At the end of the day, your customers are the most important part of your business. They are your greatest assets and without them, your business is in trouble.

There has been a focus in recent years on improving customer services and techniques that help to make customers feel special and rewarded for their loyalty.

A new concept that many companies are taking seriously is the notion of Return on relationship (ROR). This put simply, is the value that accrues by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. It is the modern day version of treating your customer like a VIP.

There is a common misconception that great customer services require endless resources and complex systems. This is simply not true. It’s easy to make your customer feel valued and heard and there are many easy ways you can nurture your relationship with them and benefit from your return on relationship

Here are six strategies for making customers feel valued:

1 Say thank you

It sounds obvious, but so many companies get it wrong and forget to properly thank their customers. There are plenty of ways that you can thank them from sending them a card, or an acknowledgment of a birthday to a special discount coupon. If you can personalise the thank you, it becomes more meaningful. Sending a card via snail mail can make your customer feel recognised. Doing business is not always about brining in new customers, it is also about making existing ones feel remembered.

2 Respond to inquiries immediately

Responding quickly to your customers inquiries sends them a very clear message that you are listening, engaged and willing to go above and beyond. People often think that replying within 24 hours is great customer service and this may be true but it is good to go that extra mile and try and respond very promptly, occasionally. This might not always be possible, but when it is, make sure that you do it! Also, remember that customers use a variety of channels to communicate with you, so you need to track them all equally and be responsive.

3 Listen to your customer’s feedback

One of the best ways that you can improve your business is by listening to the feedback that you get from your customers and actioning it. Your customers are your target audience so what they think and feel matters. Try to find out what your customers like and don’t like and if you can update your product or service accordingly, then your business will improve. It is also vital to communicate with your customer about the changes and improvements you are making based on their feedback so they know that they are being heard.

“One of the best ways to make sure that your customers feel special is by communicating with them.”

4 Create a VIP list

If you have a small number of customers who give you a lot of business and who have remained loyal to you then you need to reward them by putting them on a VIP list. Having a VIP list simply acknowledges the volume of business that key customers have given you and allows you to acknowledge their patronage. It could be as simple as hosting a VIP event, hosting a preview sale just for them or offering them a VIP discount.

5 Stay presentable

If you want to make your customers feel that they are special, you need to make sure that you are special too. Ensure your business is always in the best shape and is looking clean and well displayed. Ensure you have the correct music, lighting and special touches that give your business an extra sparkle. Enforce codes of conduct and appearances so that your staff is always well presented and professional. Do everything and anything to make your business top notch special because at the end of the day, your customers deserve only the best!

6 Communication is key!

One of the best ways to make sure that your customers feel special is by communicating with them. Let them know what is happening, not only in your business, but also within your industry. Let them know if you are launching new products, having a sale or a special promotion. Advise them of changes in the industry that might impact them. A monthly customer newsletter is a great way to keep customers in the loop.

The recurring theme throughout the above strategies is simply to treat your customers well. By putting real effort into making your customers feel special you will find that your business will be reap the benefits. It will not only make your customers feel special, but will make your business really shine.