“The customer is always right.”
This phrase has been uttered all too often, but many companies still fail to understand just how true this is. More often than not, businesses focus on attaining new customers and they tend to overlook customer relationship management or CRM.
In reality, customers fuel the success of any business, whether product-based or service-based. In fact, a survey conducted by Right Now in 2011 reported that 89 percent of customers stopped doing business with certain companies after experiencing bad customer service! Imagine 89 percent of lost customers—it’s a very big blow for any business.
However, when good customer relations are a mandate of a company, the returns are positive. Research shows that more than half of consumers are okay with paying more if it means that there is a guaranteed good customer experience.
Recently, with the onslaught of technology, the impact of customer relations is emphasized all the more. Social media has become an outlet—25 percent of consumers post a complaint after a bad experience. Thankfully, technology also provides solutions, like the use of a Customer Relationship Management or CRM Software. Using a software can help by providing reports and recommendations, as well as by automating processes to ensure that consumers undergo standard processes. Still, CRM as a value should be embraced by the whole business.
As more businesses invest in CRM, there are new strategies churned out every day. Here are three of the best practices which can lead to long-term business relationships:
It’s important for businesses to understand how customers engage with them starting from awareness, to actual purchase, and until after sales. Though customer relations is people-centered, it is also largely data-driven.
Send surveys to clients to help understand your consumers’ purchasing behavior which will help you serve them better in the future. By understanding how customers behave, businesses can tailor-fit their processes, future products, and customer service to further provide a unique and good experience for their existing customers.
Aside from analyzing feedback from products and services, also ask for feedback on the customer service. It is a means to improve continuously to provide the best service for customers in the long run.
Customer service teams should have a standard process when dealing with customers. They should also be trained in proper communication methods as well as prioritizing which inquiries or complaints to address. For example, a study found that 42% of clients who complain via social media actually expect to receive a reply within one hour!
Aside from speed, customer service teams must be able to comprehend inquiries and guide the consumers towards the solution. Make sure that your team is easily reachable whether via email, phone, or social media. Customers get frustrated when they have a burning inquiry and they cannot reach someone to talk to.
With proper training, the customer service team will have a key role in building long-term client relationships.
Customer interaction should not end with the purchase. After-sales service is a big factor when it comes to customer retention and satisfaction. With after-sales service, businesses can strengthen the bond with their clients through constant communication. This helps in making customers feel that they are valued by the company.
This is where reward programs also come in. Some companies offer promos and discounts to repeat customers. These options can also be offered to new customers as a way to attract them to purchase again. After all, statistics show that repeat customers spend 67 percent more than new customers!
Providing quality after-sales service and attractive loyalty rewards will definitely make your customer happy—which means more growth for your business!
Monitoring customer behavior, an impeccable customer service team, and quality after-sales programs—these are just three of the most crucial strategies a business can implement in order to nurture long-term client relationships. With loyal customers, a company’s place in the industry will be secured for a long time.