Building a strong relationship with your customers can make or break your business. If you don’t create a positive experience for your clients, and you don’t build a lasting connection with them, you can bet that when competition comes along (and given the digital nature of our world, more competition will eventually come along since companies aren’t as limited by location anymore), they’re going to try out your competitor. Most business managers are intuitively aware of this, but at a loss as to what they can do to foster positive relationships with their customers besides the basic: service with a smile.
The following will explore six things you can start doing to help ensure that the relationships that are developing between your brand and your customers are built on a sturdy foundation and trust. Of course, this list is just a jumping-off point. As you listen to your customers and employees, you’ll likely develop additional techniques that suit your industry and clientele.
What Is CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. This field has exploded in recent years for a myriad of reasons, and because of this, the role is expanding. Generally, CRM experts tend to gather data and evidence of customer interactions into one place and analyze it and make suggestions for how a business can improve their customer experience. Obviously, the more data available the better the strategies suggested will be. This means that CRM can be a slower process if a business is new and only has a few customer interactions to gather information from.
Consider Your Negative Reviews
Believe it or not, the current estimate is that only 1 out of every 26 unhappy customers file a complaint. This means that for each complaint you get, there could be a handful of people who are having the exact same grievance. It is crucial that you take negative reviews and comments seriously. This is free information people are offering up about how you can improve your business. Can you really afford not to take it?
Improve Your Service Or Product
This one can be tough to hear, but occasionally, when customers are consistently having negative experiences, it might be because the product or service you’re offering isn’t meeting expectations (or is no longer meeting expectations because the market has changed). It’s a brutal critique, but it might be the root of your problem. It’s also important to keep your ears open for features that customers are asking for that you don’t have and seriously consider implementing them.
Follow Up With Customers Who Offered Feedback Or Grievances
If someone has taken the time to give you feedback or express a problem they saw and you’ve taken their advice, reach out to them. Let the customer know that you’ve remedied the situation. Thank them. Be gracious about it. This type of behavior can bring a lost customer back into your business.
Gathering Feedback Should Be Part Of The Process
Built within the pipeline of your business should be the process of gathering customer feedback. Feedback is one of the most valuable resources you have. Nothing else will help you improve the customer experience faster than listening to your customers describe their experience. Not only should this be part of your everyday business management, but it should also be one of your focuses. CRM managers from CirrusInsight.com, recommend finding a tool that works with your pipeline that can help keep your collection process optimized as well as store everything in one place. Given how valuable this data is, you should be doing your best to make analyzing it as easy as possible, this inevitably involves compiling all your data and looking at larger patterns.
Offer Support In Multiple Formats
Not everyone likes coming into the store, not everyone likes shopping online, not everyone likes social media, not everyone likes having phone calls, and not everyone likes communicating via email. By increasing the number of channels available for customer support you are reducing the risk that someone won’t be able to receive support in the best way for them to get it. This might include live chat support, social media support, email support, and phone support. You might find that people are more comfortable reaching out in certain channels than others.
The above tips, if applied, should bring about stronger and healthier relationships between yourself, your business, your employees, your brand, and your customers. Many of these techniques will produce results relatively quickly, however, if they are continually applied the results will continue to improve. You’re never done when it comes to improving CRM. There’s always more information to gather and more information to put into action. The world, our culture, technology, and the environment is continually changing, this means your business needs to be evolving as well, meeting new needs and expectations.