Why Customer Relationships are Still Critical in the Digital Age


Building customer loyalty is becoming more difficult than ever. This is especially true in the digital age when many consumers have given up on personalized service and resigned themselves to being nothing more than a number. And while consumers may believe that personalized service is a thing of the past, that doesn’t mean that they are happy about it.

Sixty-five percent of Americans say they feel connected to a business when they feel valued by that business and almost 60 percent say trust is a key factor in why they remain loyal to a business. In other words, customer loyalty requires the establishment of personal relationships.

Smart businesses are using an overall drop in customer service to their advantage. These businesses realize that if they are willing to put in the time and effort to make their customers feel valued, they will be rewarded in the form of customer loyalty. This is especially true in the Ag industry. No matter how tech savvy a farmer is, that farmer still wants to feel a connection with those they do business with.

Ag businesses who adopt a strong customer service component can expect their customers to choose their brand over competitors. This is especially significant when you consider that repeat customers spend, on average, 30 percent more than new ones. They also are more likely to try new products from a business they already have a relationship with and become “brand ambassadors.” In other words, farmers who are loyal to a business will promote that business to other farmers through word-of-mouth advertising.

While many businesses today have resorted to promotional gimmicks or one-time special offers to obtain more customers, these tactics do little more than boost short-term sales boosts. They do nothing to build long-term relationships. Conversely, farmers who feel respected and valued by a business forge an emotional connection with that business. This connection is reinforced when a business continues to exceed customer expectations.

While it is true that farmers, and all consumers, want the ease and convenience that comes with doing business online, that ease and convenience doesn’t mean that personalized customer service is no longer necessary. Instead, engaging with customers, responding and acting on their feedback and putting their needs at the center of all transactions is the only way to build customer loyalty. It also is the best way to make sure that farmers choose you over your competitors—again and again.