Top 10 ways To Build Better Customer Relationships
By Deepesh KotwaniMar 17, 2020
Businesses are built on relationships. These can be internal with employees or external with clients. Though both are equally critical, here we shall be discussing means to build better customer relationships.
Before we get into that arena, let us look at what exactly are customer relations. The varied approaches that a business uses first to engage a customer, then to involve the customer, then to bring the customer on board, then to retain the customer.
Gradually, the business seeks to improve the customer experience in order to strengthen the bond. It should be remembered that customer relations do not end once the sale is made, in fact they start from there.
Businesses which depict staggering customer relations, are indicative of the fact that they shall not only survive but thrive. Customers which are satisfied stand the chance to be the most powerful advocates of your business.
Benefits of solid customer relationships
Brand loyalty gets developed: Positive relationships breed respect & value amongst each other. As time progresses trust also gets cultivated.
Once trust is imbibed, the customer knows that their needs will be fulfilled from this business, why will they feel the urge to look anywhere else for their requirements.
The customer can also be rewarded for their firm association with a loyalty program. Such marketing ploys have the potency to reinforce the relationship, which makes the customer come back to the business for discounts, coupons & other promotions.
1. Distinction from competition
A stronger footing with the customer than the customer will encourage the customer to spread the word with pride. The business can even poach customers from competition with ease. Additionally, the business can even generate more leads and convert them with the positive backing of their existing customer.
A distinctive position in the industry is beneficial for the brand imagery of the company. This shall ultimately lead to reaping more profits.
2. Savings in marketing
It is known that 80% of business comes from 20% of customers. These are mainly the existing who dutifully give their loyalties to the business without any hesitation.
This thus saves the marketer from heavy investments in marketing campaigns to acquire new customers. As for existing customers, low budget marketing activities such as newsletters, loyalty programs, efficient customer support activities also do the trick.
The probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-15% whereas the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of firm customer relations, let’s look at the methods of getting to that level.
1. Open channels of communication
Keeping the customer abreast of any new product launches, ongoing promotion activities, customized offers that benefit the customer should be aligned. When the channels of communication are open and genuine, these are bound to build trust & loyalties over the long term.
2. Problem Solving
Like in any relationship, conflicts are bound to occur. The customer is likely to complaint at some point of time when expectations are not met with completely. Now it is humanly not possible to keep all the customers happy all the time.
Whenever there is a customer argument, redress the issue as prompt as possible. Leaving loose ends is only going to make matters worse. If the business has made a mistake, their representatives should admit and resolve the matter.
3. Positive Approach
As is known, the customer is king; so being in the good books of customer is imperative. Sometimes a compromise in attitude can go a long way in serving customers and along the way one’s own business.
It is always in the good heed of the business to oblige the customer with the promises made. Doing otherwise can go against the company and negative news can spread like wildfire.
Being mindful of not hurting the sentiments of the customer serves well to be in business.
4. Deliver more
Now this does not mean that the business should incur losses and satisfy the customer – not at all. What we mean to say is that if we were a customer then being pampered is ofcourse a big boost. However, even a small surprise or a tiny proactive customized delivery can leave us amazed at the caring thought.
Go out of the way, think out of the box, gather insights on what could please a valuable customer. This small gesture of giving shall return with more warmth from the customer in leaps & bounds adding to the business.
A project management software can help to learn from past experiences and accordingly frame futuristic fulfilment strategies for the customer.
5. Make feedback a habit
Gathering feedback on how to improve customer service can work wonders for the business. Once the customer feedback is incorporated and acted upon in the business dealings, the customer shall feel important as their feedback was considered valuable & paid heed to.
Without feedback, the business would be in the dark as to how deal with the customer. Project design would be incomplete and business conduct would be difficult.
6. Sharing is good for health
One must always remember that communication is a two-way street. Now we are not saying to share all the business confidentialities. But atleast details of a project which might impact the customer could be given a thought.
Infact this is another method to build trust & loyalty. When the customer feels you are giving willingly, they will also share their life experiences which can benefit your business.
Or even better, they shall refer your brand to multiple people, which in any case shall add up to multiple lead generation.
7. Become acquainted with the customer
Nothing flatters a person more than when another stranger or a IIIrd person remembers some detail about one, when it is easy to be neglected or forgotten. This courteous nature gets imprinted on the mind of the customer.
Let’s say you wish the customer in advance on their momentous occasions, this shall definitely gratify the customer. Building a one-to-one relation with the customer takes efforts & time, but it shall prove to be definitely worth it.
A CRM or a task management software shall enable to ease the load of keeping a tab of such occasions.
8. Timeliness in response
Keeping the customer in loop of whatever issue they would have raised, makes them feel valued. Rather than taking the customer for granted, keeping them informed if not involved is the least a business can do to return the warmth the customer would have shown when furthering the business transactions.
Ofcourse the customer would be happy if the issue is resolved once & for all, but if not that then every progress step made in that direction should be kept in check with the customer. This builds up the rapport and the comfort level with the customer.
9. Pay gratitude
Everything in business just like in life is not transactional. There are some emotions involved in every transaction. The first & foremost is to be obliged to the customer for giving the faith to the business for considering it apt to fulfil their requirements.
Expressing gratitude can be done in many forms. Whatever means is chosen, it should strike a chord with the customer.
10. Never defer from adding value
The business should infact continue to add value to a prospective long-term customer even much after the first sale has concluded. This shall give the customer the impression that they are being cared for and their priorities are being looked into.
Adding value does not merely mean promotion of products & services. But something that is of explicit or even inherent value or concern to the customer.
What do customers mean to business
In the end the project objective of the business is not merely to put across profitable business relationships with the customer. With ‘one step at a time’ approach, human based ‘meaningful’ relationships can also be cultivated with the customer.
This should be ingrained in the vision statement of any business. And not only in words which states customer is asset, but being one whose conduct reflects it.
It is these genuine companies which are renowned for their demonstrated efforts of forging valued relations with their clients who manage to tap & realise their full potential.
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