No business can become a success without good customer relationships. Regardless of the size of your enterprise and the industry it belongs to, rest assured, the way you care about your clientele can mean the difference between steady growth in the market (read boosted revenues) and quick disappearance from the scene. Building sound relationships with their customers is especially important for small businesses that are usually one of the most vulnerable categories in terms of coping with the highly competitive environment.
Did you know that almost 80% of customers claim that they always give preference to a brand that sends a message it does care about their needs and understand them? Let’s face it, in these days and age, people are spoiled for choice when it comes to the offering of products and services. While many newly-minted entrepreneurs are desperately looking for a swizzle stick to kickstart their business or take it to the next level, that sought-after magic weapon, in fact, is right at their fingertips.
Customer relationships should be a crucial part of every business strategy, of course, if that business has ambitious plans to do better than the competition and expand its reach. Now when you know why a strong connection with your clients is so important, let’s turn to the main subject of this article and find out what are the best ways to build good and life-long customer relationships.
Be There For Your Customers 24/7
It’s true we live in the era of the internet when shopping for products or various services is a 24/7 activity available all-the-year-round. No doubt, all businesses love the fact they can perform sales day and night but unfortunately, when it comes to customer support, many of them fail to offer it in the same spirit. If you want to show your clients that you do care about their experience, real-time support is a must. If your website is still not enhanced with Live Chat, make it happen as soon as possible. In case, you do offer customer service via Live Chat but only, let’s say, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., consider extending the working hours or even better, opt for round-the-clock service.
Make It Personal
Nothing screams like great service as a personalized approach to the whole idea of customer relationships. Even though modern consumers gladly make purchases online, when it comes to having questions or solving eventual problems, they want to speak to a real person and on the phone.
Many small businesses are reluctant to offer this sought-after channel of communication simply because they are not sure they can afford it. Fortunately, nowadays they can take advantage of very reliable services such as Voco that offer great flexibility and top-notch personal support at a low cost. Extremely quick to set up both on mobile and desktop devices, such solutions enable users to take full control of customer relationships and guarantee no missed opportunities in the future regardless of whether you work remotely, in a shop, office, workshop, or on the go.
Every business can benefit from loyal customers but loyalty has to be rewarded. Think of extras you can offer to your clients, especially if your products or services are intended to be consumed for a lifetime. Consider introducing a kind of loyalty scheme that can bring more value to people who return to your office or website again and again.
The range of eventual perks is really wide and limited only by your imagination: discounts, birthday gifts, various promotions and campaigns. Let your loyal clients be the first to learn about new products, invite them to specially designed events – both offline and online. Whatever you do, remember that this type of customer is your stable source of revenue and the last thing you want is to lose even such a client.
Aim To Exceed Customer Expectations
All businesses try to make their brand more visible, attract new and keep existing customers, so you are obviously far from being the only one that has a plan. However, you can outsmart the competition if you use your chance to stand out from the crowd – through offering service that not just meets the expectations of consumers but exceeds them. It’s a good idea to do a bit of research and figure out what exactly your rivals provide in terms of customer service experience. Your next step is to go the extra mile and offer more.
Sounds easy? And believe it or not, it is! There are a myriad of ways to stay ahead of other businesses but perhaps, the most viable of all is to learn as much as possible about your target audience, their needs, whims, tastes, and preferences. That’s why you have to develop a strategy on how you will gather that precious information: feedback at your website, customer reviews at popular portals such as Trustpilot, and, of course, impressions delivered through direct conversations.
Train Your Customer Service Staff
Professional customer service goes far beyond “how can I help you?” and definitely doesn’t include feckless “I’m afraid I can’t…”. Make sure your support agents are well-trained to solve the existing problems, not to create new ones. It’s common knowledge, people tend to be more positive about a certain issue when they feel that the other side makes every effort to work it out.
Showing empathy and sincere interest in your client’s problem is the best way to move the issue from a sizzling hot red zone to a calm yellow or even a cheery green. Do not forget that listening is key, hence do teach your agent to listen carefully, never interrupt, and, of course, always be polite without using negative expressions and phrases.
Working with people is never easy but building strong life-long customer relationships doesn’t necessarily have to be an overwhelming process. With the right approach and a well-developed strategy, you will be able to take this segment of your business to the next level very quickly. In their turn, quality customer relationships will give a new dimension to your business, boosting the growth and amount of generated revenues.