Customers are the life-blood of any sort of business model, and that is why paying heed upon customer relationships is an inevitable and often highly beneficial area to invest in.
Businesses dream of developing brands and products that extensively impress the public.
Big brands may be perceived as the ones who smoothly go in sync with the pulse of the mass. Every day businesses are working hard to create content that matches the needs, the insight, and the morals of the consumer. Yet, just making them does not help the business grow.
There is a significant aspect of marketing that helps the consumer to feel closer to the industry, and it is done via customer relationship marketing. This is the key to long term business success, as it contributes to customer retention.
So, the most valuable asset of a business is the prime subject of this article. The customer or the consumer is to be treated in a particular manner to pick up the pace of your business’ growth. Thus, a relationship between the company and the customer is significant.
Let us get into the details to understand how the actions of the business impact the customer relationship positively-
Table of Contents
What is Customer Relationship?
Customer relationship is the process in which businesses engage with consumers or customers to improve their experience as customers. It is a company-wide process of nurturing positive relationships with the customers.
Marketers collect information or data directly from the customers to get a better understanding of how things work. Communication is the key to building a relationship with the customer.
As much as businesses focus on creating the best customer experience, they must understand that focusing on the customers and their needs can only help them come up with better ideas of making the customers their lifelong and loyal partners.
Thus, the actions involved in building a good customer relationship could be providing answers to roadblocks as well as creating long-term solutions geared towards customer’s happiness. Customer relationship is aiming at building a relationship that mutually benefits both the business and the customer.
Perspectives on Digital Customer Relationship
With the entrance of technology in our lives, the time has reduced to receive any given services provided to customers.
People expect quick and fast solutions to problems through digital mediums.
E-commerce has changed the equation of customer relationships- it is now something that builds even before a customer makes a purchase. Businesses are aiming at turning everyone into their potential customers with the help of digital platforms.
However, it differs from sector to sector.
Today, customers have a lot of control over the future of the business and its strategy.
Companies are competing to provide the best solution for their potential customers.
Businesses today use Customer Relationship management software like HubSpot and Salesforce to collect, schedule, and handle the active as well as the potential customers and their communication at each phase- before purchase, purchase, and after purchase.
The aim is to make it an unending cycle. The evaluation can be done based on product usage, surveys, interactions, payments, support interactions, etc.
With the help of these tactics, businesses easily and accurately gauge the inclinations of their target audiences. Hence, they run more personalized and conversion-driven campaigns to optimize their sales.
What are the functions of Customer Relationship?
Customer Relationship has two functions that are performed by the customer service teams-
1. Proactive Functions
Proactive functions are the actions or steps taken to ensure that a long-term relationship is continued with the customers by satisfying the evolving needs of a customer and sometimes going beyond their expectations.
These actions include steps like offering promotion discounts, offers, as well as sending information about products to your customers. This step is where educating the customer about your product helps them to stay with your business.
This kind of long-term goal to maintain customer relationships helps the business to make a lasting impression and turn customers into loyal customers.
2. Reactive Functions
These are the steps where the efforts made by the team solve problems reported by customers. Responding to complaints, resolving issues, and helping customers with unexpected roadblocks are some of the essential steps in this function.
The reactive service allows brands to build a strong customer relationship.
Is Customer Relationship similar to the Customer Service?
The straight answer to this question is a ‘No.’
Customer service is a service provided by a company to the customers when they face problems in successfully doing something concerning the product of your company.
This inbound step is what customers expect from your business via direct communication with a team. At the same time, customer relations are very different. It includes both inbound and outbound steps taken by your company.
It concerns the ability of your business to react and come up to solutions to issues, as well as concerns the approach you have taken or will take when such problems occur concerning customer experience.
This is where the proactive steps are given significant attention to making a better customer experience. The efforts made by both the customer service team as well as the company itself are focused on building a better and positive customer relationship.
Let us now have a look upon some of the most notable benefits of the customer relationship-
What are the Benefits of Customer Relationship?
1. CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
It increases the customer lifetime value, that is, the longer a customer retains to associate and make purchases of your businesses products, the higher the value of the lifetime relationship is. A high CLV will lead to higher revenue for your business.
It effectively increases customer loyalty; that is, a good customer relation brings you a loyal customer or turns your customers into loyal customers.
This is when your loyal customers recommend ten other people to swear by your product, leading to an increased number of loyal customers by word of mouth.
4. Customer Retention
If your business is being genuine and transparent, your customer believes in your brand and buys your products over any other brand’s products only for the transparency.
Positive customer relations bring the company a lot more consumer insight and a look into their real problems. Through consistent and robust communication based on customer feedback, a business can make amends to their ways and satisfy a customer.
Channelization of customer relationship is based upon some of the key principles, so let us have a look upon those-
What are the Principles of Customer Relationship?
Customers look for consistently excellent performance in terms of customer experience.
Thus, to build excellent customer relations, one must know that a mutual relationship is to be maintained for an extended period between the customer and the business. Real-time support, as well as proactive solutions, can benefit your customers to reach success.
This relationship is beyond the first purchase only. Thus, certain principles need to be kept in mind while building customer relations-
- Create a customized approach to greet your customers with warmth, depending on the scenario.
- Make them feel at home, that is, you are there to help them, and there is no need to worry as the problem will be solved, and their issues are clearly understood.
- You must carefully deal with customers who specifically pay attention to the way you maintain or build relationships with them.
- Always notify your customers about the topics they are interested in your business.
Let us now delve into some of the best ways that can help you in developing effective customer relationship-
Ways to Build Great Customer Relations
1. Always exceed the expectations of your customer
To build a long-term relationship with your customers, you have to perceive things through a marketing standpoint. Anticipate customer needs and adjust your ways to improve your business. There are several ways to this-
- Real-time support- proactive support through live chat in case of sales and support assistance to your customers helps you gain insights from your customers.
- Connecting- The support team should be allowed to communicate with the customers to gather feedback and understand their real needs.
- Make them feel special- this is almost like a PR move where you always give your customers a thank you note. This builds the reputation of your brand.
2. Invest in training your employee
Customer experience can be enhanced through an excellent service team.
If the team is taught soft skills like listening actively, developing a professional style of communication as well as solving problems through a stylized method of your business, you can win the game of being useful.
The skills of your employees will reflect the business’ attitude towards human problems.
3. Use CRM software or tools to manage customer relations
A help desk software can immensely help customer service, support teams to monitor and look over the interactions with customers quickly. Even Chabot and Knowledge bases can be helpful.
Some of the useful CRM tools for you are-
- Sugar CRM
- Zoho CRM
- HubSpot CRM
- NetSuite CRM
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
4. Personalize Customer Relations
There are specific ways to make the customer service experience very personalized; that is, the customer should feel that your customer support understands his or her problems.
This can be done in some ways-
- Match the tone of your conversation with the personality of your customer.
- Use customer engagement tools with live assistance like co-browsing or video chats as well as collaborating with customers in real-time to come up with a solution to their problem quickly.
5. Customer Psychology is to be understood
This involves a bit more than psychology. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a great psychology tool to start with.
You can start with the five levels of need- physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Their behavior and emotions will be influenced by the level of need they are at.
Once you identify that, you can improve customer loyalty as well as lead them to advocate for your brand.
6. Create value for Customers
A business should focus on creating value for your customers by listening to what your customer needs.
You can build communities that impact business performance indicators.
You can analyze how much your customer values your company. You can invest in these valuable customers’ opinions and create products that meet their needs so that they later advocate for your products.
You shall also educate the customers about your products and your values as a business.
7. Provide multiple channels of communication for customers
Active communication is the key to strong customer relations.
Your customers should be comfortable when they want to reach out to you. You must notify your customers about how they can communicate with you- live chat, text message, social channels, etc. however, identifying the channels is also the job of the business.
This can be done by understanding who your target audience is and then choosing the right communication channel or channels.
8. Develop a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system
- Gather insights from customers.
- Divide the customer base into clearly divided portions.
- Understand and predict their interest and expectations as well as needs.
- Focus on increasing the customer retention rate
- Faster communication services for customers.
9. Appreciate your loyal customers
Loyal or not, appreciating your customers can help build a great and long term customer relationship.
But it is said that customers with an emotional connection to business have higher lifetime value and stay loyal to your brand for a longer time than expected.
Incentives, premium services as well as early access offer to these loyal customers can lead a lifelong relation.
10. Gather customer feedback
Establish a regular feedback mechanism to ensure that your business knows the insights of your customers and their needs faster than your customers.
Asking for feedback at the right time is the key to understanding the inclinations of the customers, and hence it is crucial in optimizing customer relationships.
On the concluding note, it seems obvious that building customer relationships are very crucial to a business that wants to grow and get big in terms of brand engagement.
Give your customers a reason to be with you and benefit from the relationship mutually for a lifelong time.
So, what are your thoughts about the role of customer relationship in optimizing the performance and profits of a business? Tell us about your views in the comment section below.
Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Customer Management