Imagine being in a toxic relationship where your partner doesn’t care about your needs. They ignore you most of the time and you feel your concerns are not being heard. This is not healthy for the relationship; if you don’t feel special, you won’t feel any connection with your partner.
Customer relationships are equally important and have quite a few similar needs. Like any other relationship, your customer relationship is also built on trust and being authentic. You can’t treat all your customers the same way and must go the extra mile to make them feel heard. Did you know that almost 75% of customers want to know if brands care and understand them before investing?
Read on to know five unique and fool proof ways you can build better customer relationships and retain them in the long run.
How can you maintain good relationships with customers?
One of the best ways to forge lasting relationships is to go beyond the general vendor-buyer perspective. You must aim to consistently provide a memorable experience to your customers to maintain a good impression. This could be done through real-time support or by offering proactive solutions by listening to their needs.
“At the end of the day, you need to build a mutually beneficial relationship with your customer and handle them with care even after they have made a purchase. I always make an effort to understand what they want and customise my approach from the very first meeting. Never invest your time and effort for only the first meeting and then neglect the customer. Would you water your plant only on the day you buy it? No, it is a consistent process of taking care of it daily,” said a sales professional from a reputed organisation in Chennai.
By staying on the good side of your customers, you gain more potential prospects through word of mouth. You can generate higher revenue for your company through the client and improve your customer loyalty. Always remember that a satisfied customer immediately becomes a brand advocate without any expense from your end.
#1 Always exceed expectations
Your goal shouldn’t be to only meet standards and expectations. It must be to exceed them and anticipate your customer’s needs. This will help you perform better and offer solutions to the customer even before they realise they have the problem. Understand their past behaviours and preferences to customise your next move to suit them.
“One of our recent clients wanted a SaaS product to move his supermarket online. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, he wanted to leverage the digital medium to reach more customers. Apart from giving him the product at a good cost and pleasing him with stellar services, we began to go the extra mile to cater to his needs. We offered to design him an app for home deliveries to help him attract more people. We linked our app development services to his possible need – making customers more comfortable while buying hygienic groceries during the pandemic. This helped us create a win-win situation where our efforts were appreciated and their needs were met,” said the project manager of a popular SaaS marketing agency in Coimbatore.
#2 Personalise your services
To make your relationships last long, you need to connect with your customers on a personal level. This is how they will trust you and enhance their loyalty to your brand. This will help you exceed your revenue goals and drive more conversions. Compared to B2C, B2B businesses have more opportunities for personalisation. In fact, customers expect it. Do you know that 72% of B2B customers expect their needs to be understood and reflected through personalised experiences?
You can achieve this by listening to their needs and identifying the pain points that you can solve for. Try to understand their preferences and how they would like their issues or grievances to be addressed. Understand that beyond solving the issues, it also matters how you solve them and how you communicate with them. All communications strategies must also be personalised by their specific industry and unique business needs. This makes them more confident about investing in your brand.
“Always focus on boosting your customer satisfaction rate through listening and making them feel valued. If you don’t acknowledge and take their problems seriously, you might lose them,” said the sales team lead of a reputed digital marketing agency in Chennai.
#3 Create value for your customers
As Venkataraman Subramanyan, Founder and Director – Sales Effectiveness at Tripura Multinational states in his video, you need to ensure that the customer realises the value of the product or service that they have purchased from you. Companies that wish to avoid a high churn rate must know how to track, quantify and communicate value realised to the client. This is a key factor in customer success and in building long term customer relationships. Another key factor is to leverage your existing relationship to understand the customer’s business strategies.
“What is your customer’s strategy? Align your company’s products, solutions, and partnership strategy with their strategy.”
Through value creation, value realisation and alignment of strategies, you will create more opportunities to help your customers. This also leads to customer retention and increased revenue.
#4 Make yourself available for them to reach you
Are you easily accessible if customers wish to communicate? Can they reach you across multiple channels? Are their efforts to reach out reciprocated with a response from you? Establish how your customers can reach you and try to stay available on those channels to deliver a consistently good customer experience. You should make your customers want to contact you again after communicating with you once.
Be aware that not all channels of engagement are good for a conversational tone. It will help you create more value if you tailor your approach to various platforms and make your audience feel heard. For example, even if you are using an email template for your newsletter, try to personalise it as much as you can. This will make your customers feel acknowledged as though the email was meant just for them.
#5 Gain feedback and implement it
If you acquire constructive feedback from customers, you can make them feel acknowledged by implementing them in your business. Provide customers with multiple means by which they can provide their feedback. This could be on the website, social media, over the phone, email, etc. Always be open for improvement and consider their feedback as a way to do what you do best even better.
The best part is that you can feature and promote the positive feedback and expand your client base with honest testimonials. Never leave any feedback unanswered – even the negative ones. You are gaining genuine information on your product performance, so always see it as a way to grow and get better. You can establish regular feedback loops with your customers to help you know what is working and act on it. This is a good way to strengthen relationships and build connections over time.
Let’s wrap up
Building better customer relationships is vital if you want to create a strong business. You can improve your engagement and conversions if you make your customers feel heard and valued. You are creating a personality for your brand and making your customers feel like they can connect with you as a trustworthy friend. You aren’t just a brand with no identity – you are a person behind the brand that the customer can connect with and relate to.
This will help you tailor your response to their issues and effectively provide targeted permanent solutions. Always use tools and make an effort to welcome their feedback – this is the best way to show your customers that you care about their opinions. Implementing as many of these suggestions as possible is a good way to make them feel heard and appreciated. Over time, you can build customer loyalty and make them brand advocates for life.
To know more about building strong customer relationships and creating a good foundation for your business, click here.