Nurturing a relationship is just as crucial as starting one off on the right foot. And with over 2 billion smartphone users around the world, your customers can share experiences via social media at the push of a button. So, never forget: Keeping them happy is just as important as capturing them on the first go around.
A customer-based focus makes the relationship a delight and opens channels of communication that can ensure future business and increased revenue. Compare that to the 82% of customers who claimed to sever ties with a business because of a bad experience in Zendesk’s latest survey.
Instead, cultivate a relationship with your customers, help them fall in love with your business, and share their experiences with others with 10 of our favorite customer relationship management tips:
Reach Out to Your Customers – and Show the Love
Word of mouth is everything. When people are happy they tell their friends, and when they're angry, frustrated, or dissatisfied, they tell the world. That's why you must cultivate and solidify the relationships you have with your customers. Put a face to your business; and when you interact with customers and leads, introduce yourself, chat them up, always smile, and let them know you are there to take care of their problems. Afterwards, send a follow-up email and double check they got the result they were looking for. It may seem simple, but not everyone is doing it.
Always Speak Politely – Even When They're Venting
A recent American Express survey claimed that around 55% of customers left a business because of bad customer service. Always remember that when customers are venting, it’s best to give them time to air out how they feel, before apologizing and explaining how you will rectify the matter. That's what customers want to hear. Don’t give them an excuse to complain about you online.
Listen to Your Customers and Let Them Know You Heard Them
Whenever a customer files a complaint, always keep a record of it. Whatever it may be, let everyone on your email list know when you’ve made the change. "You asked for better shipping options, and we're bringing them to you by the end of the month!"
There’s no point in taking surveys, holding focus groups and managing a social media presence if you’re not going to respond to comments. According to Right Now, 73% of customers love businesses that have a healthy back-and-forth with their customers. Whenever you can, show customers you're listening.
Keep the Dialog Going and Offer Support – Then Send a Deal
Everyone hates being inconvenienced, especially people spending hard-earned cash on a product or service. Just like an injury needs ongoing care, abandoning a wounded customer will only create more pain. Respond quickly to complaints, offer solutions, keep an open dialog and offer a discount or compensation if the situation calls for it.
Trying to make it right signals that you value their time and acknowledge that you’ve failed to deliver on your promises. Zendesk notes that 52% of customers will be repeat customers after a good experience. As long as you can keep your customers happy, they won't feel the need to seek out a competitor.
Value Your Customers
Feedback is important. And although everyone loves five-star feedback, paying attention to negative feedback can help fix a problem that needs to be addressed. 50% of customers will give you more business if you fix a problem and they have a good experience. Build a customer service department built on transparency and make it known that your company welcomes feedback and is ready to fix problems head on.
Back Up What You Say You Will Do – Every Time
Keeping your word is crucial to how your customers view your business. If you say your business will deliver all holiday packages by 12/24, make sure you can do it. If you can't, then you better change the wording to ensure you can meet the holiday shipping deadlines.
Harvard Business Review suggests taking caution with your wording. It's better to say, "We expect all orders to be delivered by 12/24, but can't guarantee the shipping in your area." If there's 6-feet of snow, they'll understand because your wording lets them know you can't make any promises.
Remember to Optimize Your Site for Customers
For customers to love doing business with you, it's important to prioritize the design and user experience of your website. Harvard Business Review states that when customers find what they need on your pages, it eliminates the need to call you. Constantly update your FAQ page. Optimize your search bar. Offer helpful hints and tips. Your customers will appreciate finding quick answers to their questions so they aren’t forced to call and ask for help.
Say Thank You
Without customers you wouldn’t have a business. Thank them for their business and loyalty, and consider holding a customer appreciation day. Gratitude goes a long way and by making your customers feel special, they will love doing business with you.
With so many great ways to reach out to your customers and cultivate a profitable relationship, everyone is sure to be better off implementing these tips. As customers build trust in your business, they will inevitably share their experiences with others -- make them count!