One major fundamental factor that is, and has been the need of businesses since the earliest of times is building a trustworthy customer relationship. However, not many businesses know how these relations work and how to maintain a strong relationship with customers.
The significance of building customer relations is often underrated. The benefits are plenty, as you would find out by the end of this article.
Let us now move on and explore the whats and hows of customer relationships.
So, the term customer relations, might at first, appear to be simply the relationship that you as a business have with your customers. Yet, it entails much more than that!
Customer relations is a collective term for the efforts you put in to enhance the customer experience. It includes the following:
- How do your customers feel towards you as a business?
- What steps do you take to address the issues your customers have?
- How do you approach interactions with customers?
Simply put, customer relations are required to maintain a positive relationship with your customers, customer retention, and such reasons.
Therefore, customer relations involves continuous improvisation in your services towards your customers. This continual improvisation is necessary to understand how the needs of your customers are going to change. When you take this holistic approach, you can become adept at securing a positive relationship.
Furthermore, it is crucial to understand that customer relations depend not on one individual but on all the employees. Hence, to form concrete customer relations, a business requires every employee to fulfil their share of responsibility towards customer support.
PwC surveyed 15,000 customers and found that 1 in 3 customers will let go of a good brand after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two negative experiences.
Also, you might want to know that customer relations differ slightly from customer service.
Customer services mean how you tailor your products or services to ensure customer success.
On the other hand, customer relations is concerned with customer feedback, satisfaction, etc. It also plays a vital role in improving customer support. Another significant factor that customer relations deal with is loyalty (that is, how frequently your customers allow you to serve them).
By now, you would have understood what one means by customer relations. Let us now delve into what different kinds of approaches a business can take towards maintaining a proactive customer relationship.
Here, we would primarily discuss two polar approaches: the first one is a short-term approach, and the other is a long-term approach.
So, what are these approaches? As per the first approach (the short term approach), a business makes transactions with its customers but, does not give much thought to bettering customer experience, engaging in their feedback, etc. This business does not dedicate much of its time and effort to supporting the customers.
On a cursory look, it might seem like this approach would work in the best interest of a business, yet it most certainly does not! It might help you as a business save a great deal of money and time because you are only concerned with providing your customers with products or services, and that is it!
Through this approach, you might at first make a lot of money, but in the long run, it gives out! Why so? Although this approach benefits your business, it does not take into account the concerns of your customers. These concerns might include whether the customers are happy with your product or service or not, what measures you should take to address their issues, and so forth.
Consequently, your customers would begin to lose interest in your product or service and opt for an alternative. You can ensure that this does not happen with you by going for a long term approach.
Going by the long term approach, you take the necessary measures to resolve any issue that might be troubling your customers. You dedicate the required amount of time and effort to ensure that your customers can contact you and provide you with their valuable feedback at any point in time.
You also engage in other activities, such as taking actions that would better your customer experience continually. This approach, although, requires a considerable amount of time and effort, is a promising one! It makes your customers realise that you are working towards their concerns, which, in turn, helps you produce loyal customers throughout the journey of your business.
Thus, you can improve customer involvement and expand your business many times over. Hence, it is always better to go for the long term approach, no matter how much effort it requires!
We are sure that you must have realised the importance of a positive customer relationship by now. Still, let us talk a bit about how a positive relationship with your customers can help your business succeed.
Positive customer relations help you connect with your customers on a much more personal level. When you connect with the target audience deeply, you are much more likely to understand their requirements, resolve their problems, and create a sense of mutual understanding with them.
Aside from these, here are some advantages that a positive customer relationship provides you with:
- Customer acquisition
This is one of the major plus points of a positive customer relationship. When your customers think that they can rely on you as a business, they are very likely to opt for your business. Besides, they might also refer your business to their peers, acquaintances, etc.
- Customer retention
Now, once you have acquired customers, the next step is to retain them. An effective customer relationship is bound to keep your customers tethered to your business, no matter how inviting any other service provider (business entity) might seem!
- Customer satisfaction
This is another one of the primary advantages of customer relations. Once you have established a good relationship with the customers, you can assess their needs without any hurdle. When you can do this efficiently, nothing can stop your product or service from satisfying customers.
Having understood fairly the whats of customer relations, let us now explore the hows of it.
A great way to maintain positive customer relationships is to train your employees to work hard to understand your customers and their needs. It would enable them to connect with your customers proactively.
How to do so? Now, this age is one where everything is connected in and out with technology. Therefore, you have a variety of technological options to enhance and establish a positive customer relationship.
Customer relationship management CRM software(s) are readily available in the present market. These software(s) can integrate with your email marketing and other marketing platforms, not to mention live chat software. This way, such software can make it quite convenient for you to assess your customer requirements and produce suitable solutions. Also, using CRM software can help increase sales conversion rates by up to 300%.
Also, these tools are useful for social media marketing. Hence, you can create brand awareness efficiently and effectively.
Some reasons as to why the CRM system(s) are so prevalent:
- Easy analysis: CRM software enables you to assess the trends in customer habits. Thus, you can modify your products or services accordingly.
- Ease of access: CRM tools are helpful because they make it easy for you to access your data from anywhere and any device. All that is required is that the concerned must have the authority to access the data.
- Reduces cost-factor: These tools are also efficient in reducing the overall cost for maintaining a positive customer relationship.
So, having learned about customer relationship management, you would be able to decide hows of customer relationships approach it, and make the most of it! However, one thing that is sure to happen when you build profound customer relations is that you would witness an increasing customer base. Moreover, when you have a positive relationship with your customers, you are not very far from establishing some favourable B2B customer relationships!