Any business is as big as its customers make it. Customers look for the highest degree of satisfaction in every purchase they make. Their buying decision is not limited to the quality of the products, but the quality of customer experience and support as well.
Building good customer relations might require some extra time and capital, but in the long run, it will surely be one of your most valuable assets.
What is Customer Relations?
Customer relation is the enhancement of the ongoing connection between a business and its customers. It includes marketing strategy, sales, customer support, and PR.
The aim of customer relations is to ensure the customers are extremely happy and satisfied. The success of customer relations is measured by the degree of satisfaction a customer receives in the buying process.
Is Customer Relations Different from Customer Service?
Although good customer relations is a pre-requisite to great customer service, they are not the same.
Customer relations is proactive, whereas customer service is reactive.
Customer relations builds an honest connection between the business and its customers. It builds goodwill for the business.
Customer service comes into play when a customer has a certain query or complaint about your product or service. Unlike customer relations, it doesn’t deliberately work to build a bond with the customer, rather limits itself to answering queries and solving customer problems.
The Importance of Customer Relations
Customer relationship management helps a business get acquainted with the needs of their customers and to serve them better by studying their behavior and choices.
A happy and satisfied customer is a great source of positive publicity. In today’s digital age, your social media reviews and ratings speak much more to potential customers than you do. One dissatisfied customer and one bad review can cause an avalanche of doubts.
Acquiring new customers is important, but retaining old ones is critical as well. The cost of gaining new customers is high. Maintaining good customer relation brings higher retention and greater customer lifetime value.
How to Build Great Customer Relationship
Developing great customer relations requires the right strategy. Here are the steps which will help you in building the right strategy.
Put your employees first
Your employees are the ones who interact with customers and convey your company’s values to them. For your customers to love your company, your employees should be happy and cheerful. An employee who loves your company can spread positivity with their conversation. They won’t mind going the extra mile for the company.
Your customer service team needs the right tools
To study your customers’ behavior and serve them seamlessly, you must have the right tools. The right CRM software and accounting software, well-integrated marketing tools, and a great eCommerce platform will enable your sales and customer service team to effectively serve and connect with your customers.
Use technology to connect with your customers
Use technology to connect with your customers. Speak their language. Be active and engage with your customers on social media. Create lead forms and feedback forms for your website. Use a series of Vlogs to demonstrate your products. Use video conferencing to connect personally with your customers. Webinars and live videos are a great way of engaging with your customers.
Use a CRM tool to serve your customer better
A good CRM software effectively manages leads and prospects of a business. A CRM tool maintains the data of customers, order history, delivery status, and returns of the customers. A CRM tool maintains notes for all the past and upcoming follow-ups to be carried out with a customer or a potential lead. The reports based on all the collated information helps your sales team forecast sales figures and nurture leads effectively.
Update your company website regularly
Keep your website updated. Your contact details, address, timings, customer care numbers, email addresses, policies, etc. should be clear, current and easily available to your customers.
A comprehensive FAQs page is of great help to customers and shows that you value the experience they have while interacting with your brand.
Reply to your customer queries promptly
Your customer service should be fast and consistent in answering queries of all your customers. Don’t make your customers wait for hours. Customers expect to receive an answer to their queries within an hour. If you take more than a few hours for the same, they will turn to other brands.
Listen to your customers
To help you need to listen. Customers will come up to you with different queries, let them finish what they have to say. Listen to your customers patiently and understand their problem. As they say, the customer is always right!
Always use positive language
Use positive language while communicating with your customers. Don’t tell them what the problem is, tell them how you will solve it at the earliest. Communicate as positively as possible to avoid conflict. ‘ Thank you for your patience’ sounds a lot better than ‘sorry to keep you waiting’, and makes customers feel better about themselves.
Provide stellar customer service
You are going to receive both appreciation and complaints. Gratitude for appreciation is good, but don’t ignore the complaints. Never delete negative customer reviews online; instead, come up with unique ways to resolve complaints.
“I don’t know” is never an appropriate answer
The last thing your customers want to hear as an answer is an “I don’t know”. Know your product well, so you don’t have to use this phrase.
In a situation where you genuinely do not have an answer to a query, do not bluff your way through. Instead, offer to find out the answer for your customer, AND get back to them with the right information and ways to solve their queries.
Build great customer relations with these tips. If your customers love the experience you give them, they WILL tell others the reason they love you. As I said in the beginning “Your business will be as big as your customers make it!”