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Building Long Term Client Relationships

“To satisfy the customer is the mission and purpose of every business.” -Peter Drucker

Is the old saying “The customer is always right” valid? Some very successful companies would say that to the extent that it’s reasonably possible, Yes!

Netflix and Ritz-Carlton are among some very successful organizations known for their customer first business models, and their customers are fiercely loyal to their brands.

Netflix  “The streaming giant’s obsession with customers is based on knowing them very well. Netflix collects a huge amount of data on customers to create hyper-personalized recommendations. It uses that data to help customers find their new favorite shows and to create award-winning original content that is exactly what customers want to see. By understanding customers and putting them first, Netflix can build on its knowledge and provide them the entertainment they love.”

Ritz-Carlton  “The name Ritz-Carlton oozes sophistication, and the staff makes sure the service matches the brand’s reputation. Ritz-Carlton is known for putting guests first and for creating incredibly personalized experiences. The company’s main focus is to build an emotional connection between guests and employees for the best hotel stay possible.” (1)

“If our companies aren’t meeting the stated desires of our customers why should our customers desire our companies?” – JSP

Developing a culture that excels in providing customers with a positive experience, have always sustained long-term growth more consistently than a sales first methodology ever has. The number one reason for customer loyalty in the long run is trust. Consumers will always stay with an organization that consistently delivers what they want.

Companies with a high sales pursuit mentality often risk making customers feel unappreciated and unimportant. The initial increase in revenue from high pressure sales, eventually evaporates when consumers go shopping for a more customer friendly environment.

Build Long-Term Relationships

It’s universally agreed that acquiring new customers is always front and center for businesses. It’s generally understood that it’s less expensive to retain the regular customers you have than it is to acquire new ones. Some have suggested that the cost of acquiring new customers can be as high as seven times the cost of retaining your current ones.

A positive Customer/Client experience can all too often diminish when consumers feel the employees’ pressure to sell them. The quality for quantity tradeoff hurts relationships in the long run. Loyal patrons know that Netflix and Ritz-Carlton get it. Taking the time to understand their customer’s needs, Netflix and Ritz-Carlton use the knowledge gained to tailor their services to suit their clients desire.

Build Trust with a Personal Touch Did you know that Peter Drucker admittedly owed much of his success to the fact that he sent out twelve thank-you notes a day? That’s a personal touch! If you take the time to understand your customer’s needs, and work to serve them well, you’ll be developing profitable long-term win/win relationships.

7 Ideas that Build Great Long-Term Customer Relationships

  1. Always maintain relational integrity

  2. Openly communicate and model your company vision and values

  3. Respect and treat your customers as equal partners

  4. Your agenda is to help them reach their goals

  5. Provide quality service aimed at exceeding expectations

  6. Practice active empathic listening

  7. Send your good customers thank you notes and birthday emails

(1) Read about the other eight companies in “The 10 Most Customer-Obsessed Companies In  2018” by Blake Morgan at

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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