A bad customer service experience can have a significant impact on your brand. It can damage your company’s reputation and make it harder for you to get new customers. Customers are a company’s most valuable asset, but not all companies treat them like one. As a result, they can be a huge pain to manage, especially if you’re the only contact they have with your brand. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By creating good processes, policies, and customer service expectations, you can ensure that every customer is treated with dignity and respect — even those who are less satisfied than others.
As a customer-centric organization, you must embrace the idea that you are in it for the long haul and that it’s about building relationships with your customers. When you have a good relationship with a customer, you can be more successful and make more money. Maintaining quality customer relationships is a critical element of a successful business. Keeping in touch with your customers is essential, especially during the early stages of building your relationship with them. You can achieve this by doing a couple of things. First, this helps build trust between you and your customers, which will help when they come to you for advice and support. But how do you maintain that good relationship?
1. Know the stages of customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is a crucial component in the success of any business. Maintaining a positive relationship with customers is essential to maintaining profitability and growth. However, maintaining customer loyalty is not easy. If a customer is unhappy with the service or product, they’ll usually tell you. They might complain on social media, in reviews, or directly to your team. If you know your customer’s stage of loyalty and what they need from you, you can respond accordingly. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to recognize the stages of customer loyalty and don’t know how to connect with their customers to retain them as long-term customers.
The first step toward maintaining customer loyalty is understanding the stages of loyalty. There are four stages: New Customer/Reaching out, Current Customer/Repairing Relationship, Loyal Customer/Building Trust, and Lapsed Customer/Making Return Visits. Organizations target different groups within these categories depending on their goals and needs. Therefore, you must know which group your company falls into to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
2. Provide customer support
Since most problems people have with a company are because of poor service, providing excellent customer service is essential for building trust with existing customers and attracting new ones. This means making phone calls or using email instead of text messages when communicating with customers, having someone answer calls after hours, and offering free shipping, among other things.
3. Ask about customers’ opinions
As a business owner, you can’t afford to be “in the dark” about your customers’ needs. You need to know what your customers want to give to them. It’s also essential for businesses to understand how their customers feel about them as a brand — and, more importantly — how much are they willing to spend on their products? Asking for the customer’s opinion is a great way to understand their needs and wants. Customers are more likely to return when they are happy with your product or service. Maintaining quality customer relationships requires you to ask for feedback from your customers on how you can improve your products and services. To make sure that you’re asking questions that are relevant to the customer’s needs, use tools like:
Customer surveys. These are simple tools that allow you to gather feedback from customers quickly. They’re often easy to set up and require little more than a quick Google search if you don’t already have an existing survey tool in place.
Customer support agent chat logs and recordings. These are great for gathering feedback from customers who aren’t able or willing to complete a survey online. They also allow you to get into more detail with your questions, making it easier for customers to answer them correctly.
4. Be responsive
Responsiveness is another important strategy that helps maintain quality customer relationships. When you respond quickly to any request or inquiry, it shows that you care about the relationship with your customers and want them to be satisfied with their experience with you or your brand in general. An excellent example of being responsive will be responding within 24 hours if you receive an email from a customer requesting an answer or resolution on a problem within 24 hours of sending it.
5. Adapt your business plan and embrace the truth about your business
Your business plan should constantly evolve, but it’s essential to keep it up-to-date so that you’re not leaving out any critical information about your company or services. Customers may be confused or disappointed if you’re missing something when they call in.
Also, no one likes a salesperson who tries to convince them something isn’t right; however, if you don’t know what is wrong, how can you fix it? It would be best if you were honest with yourself and your team so they can work together toward a common goal.
6. Send greeting cards
Sending a holiday card is easy to keep customers in the loop and remind them of your existence during the holidays. It’s also a nice gesture to acknowledge their loyalty or appreciation — so don’t forget to send one! It also shows your customers that you appreciate them and want them as part of your team.
7. Keep an open line of communication
Keeping an open line of communication enables you to stay one step ahead of any issues that might arise with your customers’ orders. Even if you don’t know how to fix everything right away, the least you can do is listen when someone calls in with a problem or concern — and offer them help as soon as possible.
If they’re upset and need some time alone, offer to call back after they’ve calmed down — but don’t let this happen again without offering some help first! Regularly checking in with each customer helps ensure that you have the information you need to resolve any problems promptly, which can make all the difference in maintaining quality customer relationships. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to call them every day, but be available for them in case of any questions.
If a customer has a problem with their product or service, it’s crucial to help them resolve it as quickly as possible. If you’re able to fix the problem yourself, then do so, but if not, make sure you let the customer know how long it will take for you to fix their problem and whether or not they can expect a refund in the meantime.
8. Include current customers in your marketing efforts
Customers are a great resource; they’ll be more likely to spend money with you if they feel your company’s product or service meets their needs. One way to build a loyal customer base is by regularly communicating with them through email campaigns, social media updates, and events.
This means that you should consider their needs and those of new customers who may not have been born yet when you wrote your marketing materials or came up with your branding ideas. Once again, this can be done by asking open-ended questions about what they liked about the previous products or services you gave them, why they left (or didn’t leave), and what they would like next time.
If a company provides a great product or service, it’s essential to let current customers know about it — especially if they’ve already invested in the brand. Some companies will only send out special offers or coupons for existing customers — this shows that they value their relationship with these individuals and want them to stay loyal.
9. Embrace pathological empathy
This technique allows you to understand what customers go through when they have an issue with a product or service — even if they don’t tell you directly. You’re going to put yourself in their shoes, understand the situation and try to help them. Empathizing with your customers is a great way to build trust and loyalty. This can be done through social media, email, and phone calls. It’s crucial to use empathetic language when interacting with your customers. For example, instead of saying “thank you for your loyalty,” say something like “I’m so glad we’re able to serve you.”
This can be done in several ways. One way is to ask your customers open-ended questions about why they are using your product or service, what they like about it and what they don’t like about it. In doing so, you get a sense of how you can improve the product or service and make it more valuable for them.
10. Blow away their customer service expectations
Customers expect businesses today to provide excellent customer service — but many companies aren’t doing enough to meet this expectation. Give them what they need and expect nothing in return — at least not immediately. If someone calls with a problem, don’t just tell them what’s wrong and ask them to fix it; instead, find out why the issue exists and how it can be fixed before offering solutions or recommendations. Customer service reps must have an attitude where they’re willing to go above and beyond what their job requires to help their customers feel valued.