10 strategies to effectively improve customer intimacy

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 26 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Since businesses offer different products, it's beneficial for a company to be distinct in a crowded market. Developing a deeper connection with customers and improving their satisfaction helps preserve customer loyalty. Understanding how to use different strategies to enhance customer relationships and interactions is beneficial to the growth and performance of companies and can make you a more valuable professional. In this article, we discuss the meaning of customer intimacy, explore 10 strategies for effectively improving this area and provide tips for measuring intimacy.

What is customer intimacy?

Customer intimacy is a term that defines the effort a company puts into satisfying its customers' requirements. It describes strategies or approaches a company may take to ensure it prioritises the requirements of its customers and helps them achieve their goals. These strategies aim to understand customers better and what they need from a company. Building intimacy with customers also fosters loyalty, allowing companies to maintain their customer base while trying to attract new clients.

When customers feel like a priority during interactions and transactions with a business, they're more likely to return and inform their network about their experience. Strategies to build intimacy with customers are most beneficial when they involve every part of a business. The following are aspects a company may consider when building intimacy:

  • customer service

  • user experience

  • branding

  • customer feedback

  • technical support

  • e-commerce

  • sales

  • event marketing

10 strategies to help improve intimacy with customers

Building intimacy with customers requires deliberate and consistent actions. You can consider the following strategies when formulating your customer intimacy approach:

1. Use a loyalty programme

Once a business builds a stable customer base, creating a loyalty programme is ideal for rewarding and keeping them excited. Most businesses use this strategy to reward their loyal customers. A loyalty programme is a system that seeks to reward customers for performing certain actions or spending a specific amount of money.

Companies can reward customers for various activities, such as purchasing products, sharing and engaging with social media posts, leaving customer reviews and referring individuals to the company's platform. The rewards for these activities may include customer discounts, prizes and tokens or points they can convert to cash for making purchases.

Related: What are the benefits of a customer loyalty programme?

2. Improve customisation options

Customers usually value customised or personalised rewards, and companies can appeal to them by enhancing the available options. Instead of making decisions that impact the general market, companies can customise some aesthetic or practical elements of their products that appeal to a particular section of their customer base. For example, a brand that sells T-shirts can offer a product in various colours and designs so that customers can select those that best suit their personalities. It's beneficial to create options for customers to make personal choices based on their preferences.

3. Create and enforce customer-centred policies

Create customer-favouring policies that can improve the value of the products they purchase and their overall experience with the company. Besides creating policies, strategies for their enforcement are important. Customers tend to trust a brand more when it commits to doing what it says. Here are some examples of policies that may help to improve the customer experience:

  • Free shipping: This may be especially effective for international online shops. Including free shipping, where possible, may encourage customers to make a purchase.

  • Return policy: Sometimes products may be defective or unsatisfactory to customers. Being able to return a product smoothly improves the customer experience.

  • One-year guarantee: Including a guarantee informs the customer that if a product develops a defect within the guarantee's lifetime, they can return it and receive a solution without extra cost.

Related: How to be customer-centric in your organisation (plus tips)

4. Write case studies about customers

Companies can build intimacy with their customers by sharing some positive customer stories on their platforms for regular and prospective customers to see. These testimonies may help customers decide whether they require a particular product or service and if it can meet their personal goals. Reading about how a customer can achieve their goals using a company's products may encourage them to make a purchase.

Related: Case study: definition, types, elements and examples

5. Host events for customers

Most businesses operate digitally. So, customers can perform business transactions without personal or physical experience with a company. Hosting physical or digital events and gatherings allow customers to interact with a brand, ask questions and meet other clients. Companies can organise events, such as webinars, product launch parties, trade shows and training to connect with their customers and build brand awareness and loyalty with existing clients. Encouraging customers to post about their experiences at these events online may also boost brand awareness.

6. Share free educational resources

Create and share free educational resources with customers to get more value from the brand and its products. Providing customer value in the product or services a company offers is a great way to build intimate customer relationships. Companies may decide to share educational resources with their customers through blog posts, social media content, videos and webinars.

7. Create a brand ambassador programme

A brand ambassador programme allows customers to share information or create awareness about a business with their network. Rather than recruiting professional speakers or marketing agents, companies can liaise with regular customers and pay them to advocate for their products. Some social media influencers with a large audience receive monetary compensation from companies to advertise or post their products. These influencers may reach more individuals on these pages than on the company's platforms. They might also receive samples of products before a launch.

Related: How to become a brand ambassador (plus benefits and salary)

8. Build an efficient customer service model

A comprehensive and efficient customer service model is important for companies to understand their customers' requirements and complaints fully. Including various departments in customer service is beneficial because they can work together to solve complex customer issues and provide satisfactory explanations. Collaboration can help a company provide its customers with current and consistent information concerning its brand. Organising regular teams can also help with reviewing customer interactions and discussing ways to improve.

Related: What does good customer service look like? (With examples)

9. Organise contests and giveaways

Organising contests and giveaways is also an effective strategy for improving interaction and building customer relationships. Contests often trigger interest and excitement because customers compete or complete specific tasks before they can emerge as winners. Also, organising contests may be exciting for company employees since they can participate by judging and performing other roles. Giveaways allow lucky customers to win exciting prizes to preserve their interest in the brand.

10. Build a customer advisory board

Developing a customer advisory board is an excellent way to build deeper customer relationships. An advisory board usually comprises top customers in the loyalty programme or leaders in related online communities. These individuals are so interested and connected with a brand that they're willing to contribute to a business's improvement. The company determines the board's activities and how it can help improve its performance. They may also seek input before making decisions or introducing new products.

Tips for measuring intimacy

It's important for a company to measure its level of intimacy with customers. The following are some metrics to consider:

Use oral sentiment

This process involves directly interacting with customers to determine how they learned about a brand and their experience. Companies that offer professional services can easily access their customers and interact with them to determine if they're satisfied and willing to continue their relationship with the brand. Smaller retailers may not be able to use this metric easily. Still, any business can employ strategies to understand its customers.

Monitor product adoption

A brand's relationship with its clients usually determines how fast these customers adopt its products or offerings. Product adoption is a great way to measure customer relationships. Customers are more likely to accept new products from a brand they relate well with and trust. When a company launches a new product and its existing customers are eager to make purchases, it means the company has an intimate relationship with its clients.

Limit customer churn

Customer churn describes the time it takes for a customer to decide they no longer wish to purchase or use a company's products. A low customer churn rate means a brand successfully maintains its customers. While it's great to continue reaching new customers, maintaining relationships with them and forming a stable customer base ensures a company's financial growth and performance.

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