Maintaining a good relationship with customers is always a priority for any business, big or small. After all, without customers, there wouldn’t be a business in the first place. While it’s always good to have more customers and cast a wide net, you don’t want to lose the support or burn down any other bridges linking you to already existing customers. As much as possible, you want to grow your market while still keeping the trust and interest of your existing one.
Here are five ways you can maintain or improve your current customer relationships.
1. Find the right CRM software
Nowadays, technology can do everything for us, from automating customer service messages to advertising. With the right customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can compile all your customers’ data and analyze them all in one place. A good CRM software will find a customers’ data, analyze it for any patterns and information relevant to your business, organize and store this information for easy access, and help you to come up with the best strategies for sales and marketing.
A common misconception, however, is that CRM software is all you need to improve customer relationships. On the contrary, it’s best to think of CRM software as a tool rather than a cure-all solution to all your customer relationship problems. It’s still an effective tool, nonetheless, and can greatly help many start-up companies that still struggling with learning the ropes of customer relationships.
2. Make it a part of your marketing strategy
When coming up with a marketing strategy, you usually focus on how to get your brand noticed by as many people as possible and how to convince them to take a chance on your company. But an important part of marketing that often gets waylaid is customer retention. Sure, it’s nice to have a bigger audience, but how are you going to convince the people who are already there to stay?
Integrate customer relationship maintenance into your winning enterprise marketing strategy even early on and it’ll start to come naturally. Start planning for customer retention right from the get-go. You can still plan for maximum profit while making room for maintaining customer relationships once you have them. A good marketing strategy not only looks at how to market for a bigger audience but also how to market for the audience that’s already there.
3. Communicate effectively
Having a great customer service system in place is one way to win over consumers. It might be cost-effective and efficient to automate most customer service responses but you also don’t want to take too long to answer specific queries or concerns. As much as possible, respond quickly to any customers’ questions, or at least respond within the day. You also want to be clear, understandable, and polite.
Effective communication can win over a customer’s trust and now, with modern technology such as e-mail, AI, and other software, it’s made all the easier. As much as possible, you want to be transparent to your customer and don’t want to paint a misleading or false picture of your company.
4. Reward loyalty
Remember what we said about customer retention? Another way you can ensure more returning customers is by rewarding their loyalty with benefits and exclusive deals. Food retailers often do this by using loyalty cards — if a customer buys, say, a large-sized drink seven times on different days, they can get one drink of their choice for free afterward. Other retailers, such as supermarkets, offer discount cards that consumers can use for every purchase.
It’s not only a way to get customers to come back, but also a way to build a friendly and lasting relationship with them. You want them to feel like their continued patronage is appreciated and that they’re getting the most out of their money by going to you and not your competitors.
Connect with your customers on a deeper level by personalizing ads, e-mails, and marketing to fit their particular needs and preferences. Collect data on what kind of products they usually look for, what they spend the most time browsing through, and what they eventually purchase. You can personalize the e-mails you send them, the ads that they’ll see on your site, or any items or products you suggest.
Every consumer is different. By targeting that consumer’s particular needs, there’s a higher chance of them actually buying something from you. Tailoring your site or business to fit their needs not only helps them to make a purchase but wins you their continued business and patronage.
Like all relationships, you want to build your business-customer relationship on trust and transparency. If you focus on delivering the best customer service now, you can be sure that it’ll be its own reward and will entice more customers to your business in no time.