The importance of customer relationships plays a vital part in the success of any business. Although often underestimated and given less importance than marketing campaigns, customer relationships form the foundation of a sustainable and stable company that can endure market volatility. With this, building customer relationships should be the mission of every business no matter the industry.
Build stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships with this guideline.
1. Keep customers engaged.
Returning customers do more than just buy products or avail services from a brand. They also interact with businesses through social media, email and chat, so businesses must ensure speedy responses and a consistent omni-channel presence to improve loyal customer relationships.
Having a chatbot or any automated system that has considerable AI capabilities to create uninterrupted interaction with customers is a must nowadays. This way, even when you’re away or out of office, there will be someone to answer customer queries and keep the flow of conversation going.
Customers will also want to receive updates on the latest offers from your brand, especially those with discounts. However, take note that there’s a fine line between actively engaging them and spamming them with marketing ads.
2. Help customers experience your brand.
Your brand image is not something you just show the world to describe what your business does. More than just a tagline read on ads and a logo recognized the moment it’s seen, your brand should be felt and truly experienced by your customers.
Make your brand available online to enhance the convenience and responsiveness for customers to do business with your company. And still, nothing beats interacting with customers in person, allowing them to make use of all their senses when discovering your products and services. Showrooms play a big part in encouraging 67% of Gen Z buyers to purchase from a physical retail store. Your brand can capitalize on this by creating more opportunities to meet your customers in person.
3. Learn more about your customers.
Understanding more about your consumers is vital in building customer relationships. There are tools and metrics for customer analytics that you can use to gain a better understanding of who your consumers are and what do they want from your business.
If you have a website, you can use a heat map software that helps identify the areas of your site that obtain the most attention and traffic. By analyzing click frequency and the areas people engage with often, you’ll understand what information on your website they commonly read.
Implementing a mystery shopping program will help you gain insights about your patrons, as mystery shoppers can provide feedback from a customer’s perspective. From secret shoppers’ insights, you’ll understand what your customers think, what they need, how they want to receive offers and what they expect your brand to deliver.
4. Always provide value.
People avail products and services that add value to their lives. They won’t spend money on something they don’t see the value in.
Individuals visit your spa service because it makes them feel relaxed and it revitalizes their bodies. They order food from your restaurant because they love the taste and the feel of the place. They buy your offers because they trust your brand to make their lives easier. All these actions are connected to the experience of having a good experience whenever they interact with your brand.
As you consistently provide the value customers expect from your brand, you strengthen your customer relationship in the process. And having a positive experience with your brand, they’ll become more loyal and continue to shop your stores. In addition to this, they’ll also develop a certain level of trust in your business and will be more willing to help you maintain a good brand reputation through word-of-mouth and online referrals.
5. Make customers feel important.
Customers don’t want generic responses. What they’re looking for is something more personal, meaning a brand that recognizes them as a valuable and indispensable part of the company’s growth and success. No customer wants to feel as though they are just another number.
Small businesses have the advantage of obtaining a more intimate customer relationship. However, as the business grows in size, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain the same level of connection with them. This is a challenge that you have to overcome if you understand the value of customer relationships. By employing more efficient communication tools, training employees on better customer reception and using better analytics tools, a brand can improve the way it understands its users.
6. Immediately respond to consumer concerns.
No business is perfect, and you can’t please everyone. From time to time, your brand will encounter a dissatisfied customer who has concerns regarding your products or services. It might be the quality of the merchandise, the way the offer was provided, or the experience they had with your brand. No matter the reason, you have to respond quickly.
This is where the importance of customer relationship kicks in. It doesn’t matter if it’s their fault that they’re experiencing a problem. It’s always your obligation to help them out since it involves the use of your product or service.
No matter how rude or irate the customers are, you have to maintain a friendly tone and show that you understand their experience and are there to help them. It’s also common to encounter customers who repeatedly bring forth the same issue after you’ve given them the solution on how to fix it. Whatever the case, consider each incident important and resolve them in the quickest and most efficient manner.
Do not wait for email or calls to reach you for customer problems with your brand. Be more proactive by monitoring mentions of your brand online, whether they’re positive or negative comments. Social media is a very powerful tool in voicing out the concerns of customers. It’s best to immediately resolve concerns put out on these platforms to avoid the escalation of issues.
People now expect speedy responses faster than ever because of the technological advancements we enjoy today. Consumers are used to receiving information in a single click or tap on their devices and they expect no less from businesses to provide them with immediate solutions.
Fig. 1. Email response time
Studies show that customers expect businesses to respond within a day after they send queries through email. This margin is even tighter when you take into account social media platforms where younger customers expect brands to respond to them within an hour.
Even if you can’t come up with a solution in an instant, it’s important to tell the customers you’re working on one. Constantly giving them an update helps reassure their worries and buys you more time to work on a resolution.
One of the best tools to understand your users and come up with a strategy for building customer relationships is through the employment of a mystery shopping program. With the help from a mystery shopper, you’ll be able to view your brand from a customer’s perspective and also get an expert opinion on what should be done to improve existing structures. If you’re interested in building better customer relationships, give us a call.