Cultivating customer relationships is at the very heart of every customer relationship management (CRM) system of businesses today. Rather than treat it as a service tool, it has evolved into “relationship marketing” and has become a vital part of business management. Customer service delivery is no longer seen as a means to an end but as a way to establish connection, build rapport, and cultivate relationships with customers.
How do you cultivate relationships with customers? Here are some CRM best practices:
1. Under promise. Over deliver.
An effective CRM strategy is to provide customers with realistic expectations and making sure to follow through with set expectations. Disappointing customers is damaging to your relationship.
It may sound like you are not giving your best when you under-promise, but it is vastly preferable than failing to deliver.
2. Be a Connector.
Allyson Downey, weeSpring co-founder and CEO, has this advice, “Be a connector.” The first thing you should think about when meeting customers is what you can do to help them, and if you can’t be the one to actively help them, refer or connect them to someone who can. That single action has a lasting impact to people.
3. Respond Promptly.
Prompt responses, especially in the age of digital technology where everybody connects with one another real-time, can be the difference between a simple inquiry and a start to a lasting customer relationship. This practice shows how much you truly care for your customers.
4. Be persistent at keeping in touch.
ReferBoost founder Matt Hartman realized that when he started acting like a salesperson, marketing his products or services got easier – and the conversion rates better. He didn’t alter sales pitches or product presentations; he just got better at keeping in touch with clients – touching bases and following up regularly.
This may be a very basic form of customer relationship management but an effective one. Use your CRM tool to know client’s birthdays and send them a personal note or greeting card. Notice those who avail of your products more often than the others and send them a note of appreciation or a discount coupon. The little things we notice aren’t lost on our customers. They keep tabs on that and it helps keep them happy, which leads us to the last tip.
5. Keep your customers happy.
At the very heart of any relationship is making each other happy. Customer relationships are made strong when we keep them happy and satisfied with our product or service.
And it doesn’t stop there. Happy customers are more likely to be more loyal to your brand and refer you to other people. This marketing effect is huge – it has a lasting ripple effect.
Build Relationships with Customers
Relationships are what ultimately grows and strengthens your business. WunWun CEO Lee Hnetika credits the growth of his business to strong customer relationships. For him, relationships are a big deal – this is where most of his business comes from.
Building relationships with customers require an effective CRM strategy that utilizes the best practices listed above to build brand loyalty and improve your reputation.
This is why customer service outsourcing has evolved from just being a cost-effective option but a way to add value to the business. Outsourcing customer service providers know the importance of having a good CRM strategy and have found ways to make it work for businesses, from having highly-qualified and trained staff to keeping abreast with latest technology in helping them measure customer satisfaction ratings and feedback to further improve their processes.
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!