5 Ways To Strengthen Your Relationships With Customers
Building Relationships February 8, 2019 admin
Building customers is simple (say the sales people!) It’s all about creating relationships. Creating relationships with your customers while earning their respect and loyalty and building up your team are the key elements. Sounds easy so far, right?
Juggling current customer obligations while creating new avenues and expanding your bottom line can be a daunting task for anyone.
Customer relationships are built on the fundamentals of trust and communication through rewards, effective branding and perceived value. Get your customers to keep coming back to you not only because they find your service or product ahead of the competition, but earn their respect and build a relationship.
Building and managing customer relationships allows you to create repeat business, reduce your cost of acquiring customers, and will increase your profits over the long-run.
Keep your friends close and your customers closer with these useful tips.
Use Your Customer’s Preferred Channels
This is a tough one, communications mediums are constantly expanding and people more than ever want to feel comfortable in how they communicate. Your customer wants feedback progress, more often than not succinctly and frequently. Choose your mediums wisely.
Are you communicating through email? Phone? Text? Face-to-face? However your customer chooses to initiate, try and get back to them through that medium. This helps two fold: it builds familiarity for both parties through that medium and keeps everyone in sync instead of spreading out the info over multiple platforms.
A byproduct of this approach is leveraging different generations preferred methods of communication; your customer contact(s) will probably feel more comfortable dealing in a medium they’ve used before if they’re a Boomer than in dealing with proceeding generations. Don’t forget to document everything – remember, thinking analytically is key!
Need help documenting and keeping track of communication with customers? Try Daylite.
Ladders and Loyalty
Think of building customer relationships as your clients climbing up a ladder. Firstly they start as a prospect: they haven’t used your services yet. Assuming you’ve pitched yourself accordingly, they become a customer who has used or is using your product or service. Success, yes? A customer though is not yet a client! A client is someone you have an ongoing relationship with, they are returning customers with comfortable loyalty to your brand and someone who can leverage your products and services to fit their values.
Lastly, there are advocates: they not only use your product but openly promote it to their network as well! Ideally you want all your clients to become advocates. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool. Advocacy can only be built if your service or products are valuable and your channels of communication are frequent and strong. Show them that you know them, then they’ll follow you wherever you ultimately lead.
We’re All People
We’re all people, your customers aren’t just numbers to be exploited. Show them that you’re human, be genuine. Make their problems your own. An easy way to do this is to invest in their success. Your team has built a product or service to improve their livelihoods, show them how to best utilize it to their needs. Think of them as a partner in the grander scheme and not just a number – it’ll grow compassion and genuine care after awhile. Place emphasis on their success and it will feedback into your own.
Stay Top of Mind
Remember to document everything and keep in touch. Frequent updates and open lines of communications going both ways are the cornerstones to building any relationship. Small businesses that are more connected to their customer base are often more highly rated than those who don’t. Listening is just as important as selling. If you listen to your customers it’ll help you create a better product or service and provide better feedback for your own team’s initiatives. This ties back into the notion of proper and frequent documentation earlier.
Use a CRM
If you’re currently keeping track of communication with customers by memory, email, or spreadsheets, it’s time to invest in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Don’t get stuck relying on your memory alone to follow up with a customer three weeks from Thursday. Stop wasting time digging through your inbox or interrupting your team to find out when you last touched base with a client.
About the author:
Xander Cavalier is a former radio broadcaster and community organizer with grass-roots experience in Northern Ontario. He is currently based in the GTA. You may reach out to him on LinkedIn.