As we all know, profit is the primary motivation in starting a business. But before profit can be achieved, certain steps must be taken, which largely includes managing customer relationships. Customers are the entities that directly give businesses profit, more especially if they had a good experience. In fact, according to a study by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), 73% of individuals consider customer service as a significant factor in their buying decisions. With that in mind, managing customer relationships should be part of your business plan. With excellent customer relationship protocols, your business’s revenue will be consistent. To help you start, here are nine ways to manage customer relationships.
Know Your Customers
The most basic step in managing customer relationships is to know your customers. To do that, you have to conduct a thorough marketing and consumer analysis. By doing so, you’ll learn the wants, needs, and demands of your target customers. With those findings, you can create methods on how to engage your customers and build a lasting relationship with them; and ultimately, to earn their trust.
Improve Your Communication with Customers
Communication is part of the checklist for building social relationships. That is a general fact. Good communication is even more important in managing customer relationships. So as much as possible, make some moves to improve your communication with your customers. When you interact with them, be friendly and enthusiastic. Showcase a good first impression if it’s your first time communicating with them. Make sure as well to listen carefully when they’re talking, especially if what they’re talking about are requests, concerns, and demands. And also, be honest in your conversations with your customers.
Reward Loyal Customers
Loyal customers are valuable to your business. These are customers that you’ve invested a lot of time and effort to gain their loyalty. That loyalty is priceless and precious. The best way to express your gratitude to your loyal customers is by rewarding them. You can give them gift certificates, discounts, freebies, bonus items, and many more. Additionally, if your business gives rewards to loyal customers, these loyal customers will likely boast the rewards they’ve received to other people, and those people will then know of your products and services, which then helps to promote your business. That said, rewarding loyal customers not only improve customer relationship management or CRM, but also the business as a whole.
Be Patient and Positive Towards Customers
Each customer has their own personal traits and behavioral patterns as buyers. Some of them might even be excruciating to deal with, unfortunately. However, it’s part of managing customer relationships. So you just have to exercise patience and remain positive towards your customers. If some of your customers have serious complaints about your products and services, just listen and bare with them. To better understand their point of view, try to place yourself in their shoes as customers of your business. By doing so, you’ll be able to cope with them more effectively.
Exceed Customers’ Expectation
When new customers start purchasing your products and services, most of them have a set of expectations. If you can meet those expectations, then kudos to you. But if you can exceed your customers’ expectations, much better. Exceeding the expectations of your customers is a certain way to build a strong buyer-seller relationship with them. If you succeed in going beyond their expectations, they’ll know that your business is capable of meeting their needs and demands. Subsequently, they’ll continue purchasing your offers on a regular basis.
Send Follow Up Emails
If part of your customer interaction procedures is to ask for their emails, then you should make the most of it in improving your relationship with them. Emails are an excellent means to communicate with your customers regularly. So as much as possible, send follow up emails to them regarding their purchase orders, inquiries, or any business-related concerns. Through this approach, your customers will deem that their transactions with your business aren’t taken for granted. Once that happens, they’ll that they’re valued customers.
Ask for Feedback and Improve
Providing your customers a means in reporting their feedback to your business is a must in managing your relationship with them. It could be through email, survey questionnaire, or verbally. When you ask for feedback from your customers, they’ll immediately know that you want to provide a better product or service for them. Plus, it gives them a sense of empowerment. In this case, you have to believe in the phrase “the customer is always right.” And, of course, when your customers have provided their feedback, make sure to improve on areas where you fell short. Don’t disappoint unsatisfied customers the next time around.
Assess Needs and Fulfill Them
As mentioned earlier, customers have their needs and wants. Every businessman such as yourself knows that for a fact. To meet your customers’ demands, you have to assess the gravity and specifics of their needs. In doing so, you can think of effective ways to fulfill them. Fulfilling their needs is a sure path to build, maintain, and manage strong customer relationships. In fact, fulfilling the needs of customers is a mandatory action for every business. So, make sure to do it well.
Use Technology to Improve Customer Relationships
It’s safe to say that technology has made our lives easier and more convenient. Almost everything today is made or performed with technology. Even improving customer relationships is possible through technology. Emails, websites, social media, and the internet, in general, are excellent platforms to manage your relationships with your customers. With technology, reaching out to your customers is faster and more convenient. Relaying useful information to them can be done in just a few clicks and taps. What’s even better is that there are highly-advanced computer programs specifically designed to track customer satisfaction and engagement levels. So take advantage of them if your budget allows it.
Your customers will play a significant role in keeping your business significant as time passes by. If you lose customers, who’ll be left to do business with and earn a profit? Basically no one. With that in mind, put emphasis on managing your customer relationships and secure the future of your business. Go the extra mile if possible.