Let’s face it – consumers today are empowered. The internet marketplace is officially their playground and resourceful consumers hunt relentlessly for the best deals and satisfying user experiences. In pursuit of the most attractive deal, they’re armed with devices that allow them to search, monitor and purchase, on their terms, at any time, from anywhere in the world. In order to remain competitive and grow a larger customer base, companies need to look beyond transactional relationships. For both parties, the destination should be an ongoing, mutually-beneficial relationship.

Building relationships with customers is a lot like… well, dating. There are several key phases and cues that must be observed for cultivating a successful, long term relationship. For example, first dates. A first date typically has some pretty high stakes. Both parties should seek to be attentive and attempt to absorb as much detail about their date as possible. When a customer is shopping with you for the first time, they take note of the ease of use and their overall experience. They test the waters and decide if they want to come back for more. And just like a first date, you’ve got one shot to make a good impression.

So on your first interaction with a customer, are you taking notes and making keen observations? Are they on a smartphone? Are they shopping for a family member or making arrangements for business travel? When are they shopping and for how long? When you offered them a seat upgrade, did they click to learn more?

Gathering this information and more will ensure that you and your customer’s courtship is off to a good start.  Additionally, did they purchase on the first visit? If not, follow them along the journey, from device to device, on each subsequent visit to ensure that you’ve met the needs for their trip. Paying this level of attention to the buyer’s interactions are what it takes to turn them into repeat customers.

After a first date, a good follow-up is required to solidify the connection. Whether or not the customer purchased the trip ticket or ancillary offering, you have an opportunity to establish a relationship through targeted follow-up efforts. Take these chances to show the buyer what you’ve learned about them and the way they like to shop.  Our solutions at Fusion focus on leveraging this kind of interaction analysis through data and testing to create personalized online experiences that resonate with a customer. It’s also a good idea to keep a customer engaged by showing consistency and maintaining an interest in earning their business.

Winning over new customers might be fun and exciting, but you’ll still have to put in the extra effort if you intend to keep them around. Continue to improve the ease of their shopping experiences. Focus on providing the customer with experience-based offerings that match their interests to enhance their trips and ultimately their relationships with your company.