9 Ways to Solidify Long-Lasting Customer Relationships

01/21/2016 02:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Whether you're offering personalized attention or customized solutions, it's up to you to determine how to separate your brand from competitors and ensure that your clients remain loyal customers.

A. Showcase Quality Work

2016-01-11-1452533807-5030997-TimGrassin.png

You can offer all the perks or follow-up services you want, but at the end of the day you will be judged on the quality of your product or service. Work hard to achieve excellence and your clients will follow. - Tim Grassin, Candy Banners

A. Deliver on Your Promises

2016-01-11-1452533788-4258232-MichaelRheaume.png

Having a great product or service will always generate new customers, but you must have great customer service in order to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. This starts with doing what you promise your product/service does, as well as answering questions and solving customer-related issues as quickly and effectively as possible. - Michael Rheaume, SnapKnot Inc.

A. Offer Custom Support

2016-01-11-1452533765-6617523-ZacJohnson.png

There is nothing worse than having a horrible user experience when trying to contact support for a product or service you have. As someone who relies on many different online marketing solutions, I always make sure my customer support is top notch. This is one area there is simply no excuse for lagging behind. Email, phone, online chat and knowledge bases are all critical components of support. - Zac Johnson, Start a Blog

A. Demonstrate True Understanding

2016-01-11-1452533746-1019035-CoyYonce.png

Every organization seeking a service partner is attempting to make some aspect of their business more efficient or effective. By demonstrating true understanding of the challenges they are facing and that you know how to address those challenges, you become a trusted partner. Our team achieves this through direct, honest and strategic conversations with all potential and existing customers. - Coy Yonce, Mantis Digital Arts

A. Be Transparent With Your Challenges

2016-01-11-1452533727-3518025-LisaCurtis.png

There are lots of challenges in creating a new company, and often you can't hide those challenges from your customers. Whether it's not delivering a product on your promised timeline or sending out a buggy MVP, the key is to be honest with your customers. Let them know what happened and make them feel as though they're a part of your team, joining you on this startup journey. - Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli

A. Listen

2016-01-11-1452533708-8008994-KatrinaGerman.png

We regularly reach out to our clients through personal emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings to get feedback about how we can improve our product. It isn't always comfortable to receive constructive criticism, but it's very important to listen and act upon our clients' suggestions. It makes for a better user experience for everyone. - Katrina German, OneStory

A. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

2016-01-11-1452533687-5766187-JessicaBaker.png

By communicating openly and regularly staying in touch with customers through email newsletters, holiday promotions, interactive quizzes and more, it enables my company to vocalize our thoughts. This way we can improve upon customer feedback and exceed expectations, thereby curating long-lasting relationships. - Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

A. Be Genuine

2016-01-11-1452533657-2097762-StevenBuchwald.png

It sounds cliche, but be genuine. If you treat them as human beings rather than as sales leads, you'll generate trust, which is at the core of every successful relationship. Of course, trust isn't all there is to it -- you also need to show you have the expertise necessary to provide them with the products and services they require, and that you can do so better than the competition. - Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates

A. Offer Personalized Soultions

2016-01-11-1452533638-5109558-BenGamble.png

There are few one-size-fits-all solutions, so your product needs to be or appear to be uniquely suited to your customer. Whether it's a personal follow-up call from the account manager, or that your web store delivers personalized recommendations, it makes the client feel important. Lots of this can be done easily, such as good mail merges, though completely personalizing your strategy is difficult to master. - Ben Gamble, Quincus

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.