Building customer relationships can be easy when you’re serving a relatively small customer base. You may know your clients by name, and remember their preferences instantly. But as your business grows and you start serving a larger pool of clients, things become more complicated. Your customers still want to be recognised and valued, but there’s no way any human being can possibly remember all those people!
Would you like to know how to build customer relationships that are just as good as they were when you won over your first ever loyal clients? It begins with understanding a few basic principles and, once we’ve explored those, we’ll help you out with our top tips.
Building Customer Relationships: Back to Basics
The first thing to remember is that your customers support your business because your product satisfies a need. Knowing why they value your products is the first step towards building a strong relationship. But simple transactions aren’t enough to make a connection that’s strong enough to be termed a relationship.
Just as you value speed and efficiency, so do your customers – and there’s more. A well-nurtured customer knows that your business will provide helpful, friendly assistance whenever it’s needed. That means that great communication is part of the package. Finally, they like to feel recognised as real people – after all, who wants to feel like they’re just another sales figure? Loyalty, respect, appreciation and empathy are the basis for any relationship – including customer relationships.
With hundreds, or even thousands, of customers to take care of, what can you do to build a lasting and meaningful business relationship with them? These tips may help you!
Provide an Omnichannel Experience
Everyone has their preferred way of communicating. While some people like to call, others may prefer to send you an email. Meanwhile, social media enthusiasts might want to reach out across any one of a plethora of platforms.
Some customers might be content with searching your online resources for answers or seeing what your chat bot can do – but if their query is an unusual one, or they don’t find the answers easily, they’ll want access to a real person who can take over where your automated systems leave off.
Just to make this even more fun, a single customer might communicate with your business across several platforms. You’ll save them a lot of time and frustration if you can just pick up the conversation with all the background at your fingertips. Needless to say, this takes resources in the form of the people, skills, and software that make delivering a personalised experience possible.
Building Customer Relationships Takes Time
A great customer experience might leave your customer feeling good, but it isn’t a relationship yet. By ensuring that your customers enjoyed early interactions with your business, you’ve built a foundation of trust, but you have to keep up the good work.
That includes things like showing you care, following up to check whether they’re satisfied, listening to their feedback and acting on it, and giving them service that’s even better than anything they expected. Reward their trust with consistency, and you have a relationship that might stand the test of time – as long as you keep doing your bit.
You Can’t Always Stick to the Script
Scripts can be very helpful in handling routine interactions with customers efficiently, but it pays not to be too rigid. Some customers will want you to move along faster; others might want to slow down and have you explain things in different ways. Some will make instant decisions; others want time to think things through, and so on.
You can’t personalise your service or build a good relationship if you don’t have empathy for the needs of the people you’re dealing with. Understanding customer needs and fulfilling them isn’t just about talking and doing: it’s also about listening, adapting, and caring.
Appreciate Loyal Customers and Stay in Touch
Loyalty programs, referral programs and the like can help you to build the customer relationship and get repeat business. But just saying “thanks,” working to understand your customers, and always delivering to the best of your ability can go a long way towards building relationships with your customers.
As an expert in your field, you can offer your customers added value by sharing your knowledge, letting them know about things that might interest them, and offering them great deals and incentives. Striking the balance between useful info and spam requires personalisation too. So, if they’ve given you permission to stay in touch, don’t waste the opportunity or their time.
What if You Don’t Have the Capacity?
Realising the benefits of building customer relationships has a positive impact on your bottom line, but as we’ve noted, it takes resources to get it right. For example, making 24/7 omnichannel customer service available can mean more of an investment in personnel, training, facilities, equipment, and software than many businesses can handle. Dare you outsource?
In this instance, we can give you a confident “yes.” While you won’t want just anybody representing your company to its clients, we know that we have what it takes to do it as well – and even better – than you possibly could using in-house resources.
Our outsourced customer service and support offers you expressive, talented people who’ll be on-brand and on-point every time. As our customer, you’re in charge and in control. As your specialised customer service provider, we nurture your customers, build relationships, and report to you on the things that matter. Let’s team up! Find out more about what we can do for you (and your customers) today.