Ingredients to Successful Customer Relations
If you've ever had a bad experience shopping, you've experienced bad customer service. Every business owner knows it's important to make your customer feel special. The customer is always right, right? While this is certainly not a bad model to run your business with, it also shouldn't be the extent of your customer relations. Without your customers, your business doesn't exist and the key to achieving your business goals is not only to reach those customers but keep them coming back. Obtaining customer loyalty is the nirvana of the marketing industry. If you can turn your existing customers into repeat buyers you're setting yourself up for success. You would think keeping your customers happy would be enough for them to come back, but it turns out to be more complicated than that. And since my job is to simplify these complicated things, I'm going to give you some ways to turn customer turn around into customer loyalty.
No one likes to be ignored, or feel unimportant. We've all texted someone, seen the read receipts and noticed they read the message, but four hours later they still haven't texted you back. Well, when there's money involved and your reputation is on the line, making sure the customer feels heard and understood is about ten times more important. If a customer reaches out to you, whether it's by email or by phone, even if you don't have an immediate answer or solution for them, make sure you respond just to let them know you've received their contact so that their not the ones feeling ignored.
Your Customers Are People First:
Your customers are what keep your company running. But if they don't feel like they matter to you, they won't be around for long. Get to know them as individuals. I'm not telling you to be a private eye. I'm telling you to ask a few questions. You may even have some things in common since they're trying to do business with you. Check in with them. Share news with them. Make them feel special and not just a number on your Excel spreadsheet. A little bit of positive interaction can go a long way.
Don't Be Afraid of Feedback:
Since this is the last tip I wanted to make it something vital. Customer feedback is one of the most valuable things you can you can receive whether you're a small business or a big corporation. Getting suggestions from your customers allows you to figure out how to be more successful in the future. This is whether they were totally satisfied or completely unhappy with your business. Do they love your product? Feedback gives you an idea of what they specifically liked about you. Or maybe they didn't love you. Feedback will let you know why they were unhappy with your business and what you can do in the future to change that.
It all stems from communication. I don't just mean your customers reaching out to you, whether it's a complaint or a suggestion. I mean, effective, two-way communication. Customer relations is the process companies utilize to promote customer satisfaction and loyalty (referenceforbusiness.com). Basically, it's how companies manage communication with customers who have complaints so that the situation ends on a positive note, providing further incentive for the customer to return. That would be the product of good customer relations. A company with lackluster customer relations might land new customers to keep their business running but that may run them deeper into the ground.
Obtaining new customers costs up to five or six times as much as maintaining your current customers, which is where customer relations comes into play. The purpose of customer relations is to turn your occasional customer into a loyal buyer, and like I said earlier, just because you have satisfied customers don't mean they're loyal customers. You might have a great product or service, maybe you even have good customer service, but without building a strong relationship with your customers you may find yourself on the verge of high customer turnover and watching your profits drop.
Now, of course, that can be avoided by having effective customer relations that will do more than just satisfy your customers, it'll get them to spread the word. Before social media, before the internet, there were still businesses, and people still had things to say about them whether they were good or bad. What would a customer do if they were unsatisfied with the product or service they purchased? They would call the complaints department. That's when businesses played a more reactive role in handling customer disputes. In the age of technology and immediate communication, businesses can play a more proactive role when it comes to interacting with their customers.
Customer relations is a necessity for successful businesses, and building those relationships take time and effort. But you don't have to do it alone. Working with the right public relations firm gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition. Leading Lady PR wants to be a part of your team; to help you reach your goals by helping you solidify those relationships. Look, customer relations isn't something you can achieve overnight. But with the right PR and teamwork, you can forge paths for strong customer loyalty, ultimately leading to success.