Customer Relations- The Nitty Gritty Details You Need to Know
Producing high-quality products is one of the toughest challenges every company can conquer. However, it’s not the only aspect that determines how successful a business is.
Nowadays, customers influence the industry more than ever before. They do not only focus on the products you are selling them but also on how you relate. Also, they care more about how you are selling your products to them and what happens after they have bought your products.
Picture this. You have sold a pricey refrigerator to a customer who doesn’t have the means to take the bulky refrigerator to his home. Do you leave him to look for transport to take his refrigerator home? No.
Before he leaves your premises, find out if he has a car. If the customer doesn’t have one, transport his refrigerator at a fee or for free depending on the proximity of his home.
The way the customers care about how you treat them before, during, and after a purchase has put enormous pressure on organizations. The companies have to invest heavily in their customer service teams to match their growing consumer demands.
A study conducted in 2018 shows that most customers’ expectations for excellent customer service keep growing every year.
Today, organizations face the challenge of developing a superb customer experience that’s ongoing after each interaction.
Organizations should focus on how they should manage their customer service relationship. Developing a robust customer relationship is one of the best ways to create customer loyalty, which is essential to growing your business.
This blog post will help you know how to build good relationships and the benefits thereof. But first off, let’s learn what customer relations are.
What is Customer Relations?
Customer relations is the way businesses relate to their clientele, patrons, and customers. Caring for existing customers is cheaper than getting new clients.
That’s why every business should strive for consumer loyalty and continue developing lifelong relationships with them.
Customer relations is about creating jointly beneficial ties with the consumer that goes beyond the first purchase.
That’s why companies hire professionals specifically to manage how the companies communicate and interact with people. The main goal is to retain the current customers and obtain new ones by offering the best customer care relations they possibly can. And hopefully provide better customer services than their competitors offer.
What’s the Difference Between Customer Relations and Customer Service
Customer service is the direct face-to-face interaction between the person buying a product and the company’s agent who is selling the product or service.
Customer relations are the tangible results of offering excellent customer service.
Customer service is the direct face-to-face interaction between the person buying and the company’s agent selling the product or service.
Imagine this. You have just arrived at your holiday destination and have checked in the hotel that’ll be your home for the next couple of weeks. At the parking lot, two friendly guys show up to help you carry your luggage.
The girl at the reception welcomes you with a smile brighter than the Christmas tree. She graciously answers all your questions and makes you feel like you have known her for a lifetime. She then gently gives you your room key and assures the staff can go the extra mile to make your stay at the hotel a memorable experience. Due to how they treated you, that particular hotel becomes your second home every time you are in the hood. And you sing the praises of that hotel more than a bird to anyone who cares to listen. That’s what stellar customer care and customer relations are.
To show consumers that you care about them, you create values from the consumer’s perspective and put yourself in their shoes.
Customer relations is about giving your customer a reason to choose you over your closest competitors and keep them coming back for more.
In a nutshell, customer relations is how you manage your interactions with the former, current, and future customers.
Businesses that manage their customer relations excellently provide productive customer experiences that strengthen customer retention and enhance customer acquisition.
Types of Customer Relations
Activities aimed at developing customer relations can be either proactive or reactive. A press release about your new product, for example, would be a proactive strategy.
It would be reactive to apologize to your dissatisfied customers and offer them a discount.
It’s a no-brainer that customers can buy from whomever they want. However, once they find a solution that they like, they tend to stick with it.
Why do they stick around?
Because of convenience. Looking for another company, learning the features of a new product or service takes loads of time and effort.
If your offering is excellent, your customers can provide you slack if they are not completely satisfied.
Not every time
58% of consumers in the US can move away from a company after many terrible experiences, 19% after only one experience no matter how much they cherish a product or a company. Woe.
What type of horrible experience makes people distance themselves from your company? Poor customer relations. In other words, awful customer service.
Close to 57% of consumers globally have ditched a company due to poor customer service experience. And to top it off, 69% have left because they felt the business does not give a damn about them.
So, what makes an exceptional customer experience?
- Human touch
Businesses should strive to develop authentic connections by causing technology to feel more human and offering employees what they require to build superior customer experiences.
Advantages of Strong Customer Relations
Regardless of their size, companies should understand that consistency is the key to building strong customer relations.
Consumers expect similar treatment regardless of where they choose to shop. The gauge for excellent customer service is higher than ever, and businesses must shape up or ship out.
The adage is true. Happy cows will produce more milk. Happy students tend to get higher grades, and satisfied customers will bring in more revenue. That’s the way it is.
If your valued customers feel they’re cared for, you can sit back and relax and expect wonders to come your way.
Here are the reasons why you should strive to achieve excellent customer relations in your organization.
You’ll get more Customers
One significant advantage of offering superb customer service is getting repeat business. Once the customers understand that their needs are an integral part of your company’s employees will be happy to come back.
Apart from becoming your regular customers, they’ll be eager to praise you among the circle of their friends, colleagues, and everybody who cares to listen.
So, you’ll continue receiving a growing number of referrals. Then you’ll leverage these referrals to grow your online presence.
Although word of mouth is still a helpful tool you can use to market your products, your online presence is paramount.
You can use these referrals to have customers recognize your business on the web through social media shares and asking them to write on review websites or even your company’s website. Your online presence is key to reaching potential customers.
It’ll help you Retain Your Customers
It can be challenging to convert a lead into a sale. Brands may devote the majority of their efforts to acquiring new paying customers.
However, in the long run, it may be far more beneficial to prioritize your current customers. If you build strong relationships with your existing customers, they will stick with you for a lifetime.
You’ll have Many Brand Ambassadors
If you look closely at every customer journey map, you will notice that closing a sale is not the end of the road. It’s the beginning of another long road ahead.
When you strengthen your customer relationships, your loyal customers will become brand advocates. Your clientele will eventually begin to grow on its own.
Increased Customer Lifetime Value
When your customers are satisfied and stick longer, the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) metric will rise. It has the potential to be a game-changer for your company.
Higher LTV means that the dreadful customer acquisition cost will be less frightening.
Now that you know what customer relation is and why you should care about it let’s learn how to build strong customer relations.
Tips to Help You Build Strong Customer Relation
Make yourself available.
That does not mean that you must completely replace agents with self-service solutions. But Your service and support teams must be readily available to assist customers and offer an excellent customer experience.
According to a Microsoft survey, more than a third of consumers said their biggest complaint with a company is that they cannot get any help from an agent when they need it most.
Though self-service help desks are beneficial, your team must still be present when a customer has a problem. Technology can help diminish some of the strain on your customer service team. Still, it can never replace the unforgettable experience that a live representative can give.
Have a Better Understanding of Your Customers
You can’t develop superb customer relations if you don’t understand your customers and what matters most.
Many companies depend on intuition instead of feedback and data. More than half of these companies do not bother to gather customer feedback.
Picture this. Your core business is to manufacture and sell shoes. You notice that one of your regular customers keeps coming back to your shop complaining that it is a big challenge for him to get the right shoes. Upon closer scrutiny, you realize that his foot is slightly different from a regular foot. That’s why it’s difficult for him to wear normal shoes after a while. You go out of your way to make a shoe tailored to his foot. As a result, he praises your business to his friends, family, and colleagues. Together, they make your shop the place to go for anything. They also offer you unbiased feedback concerning any selection of your shoes they have ever worn.
Knowing your customers may not be easy. But it is a critical aspect of growing customer retention and eventually revenue. However, all is not lost. You can begin speaking to your customers through software apps and messenger.
Better still, you can combine messenger with live chat to enhance speedy resolutions and convenience.
In fact, 80% of them confess they like live chatting as it gives them immediate solutions.
Collect and act on Your Customer’s Feedback
Try to look for sustainable ways of making your customers happy. Get to know what they feel about your products and if they think there are areas, you need to change or improve.
Your customers are your foot soldiers, and so they have much firsthand information since they are the ones that consume your products or services. After all, the wearer of the shoe is the one who knows where it pinches most.
Once you know their pain points, address them accordingly. Form a habit of asking for feedback from customers.
You’ll be amazed at what you get. You might get an idea that can change the course of your business forever. You can ask them to fill out your customer survey form when leaving your premises or online. Also, use NPS forms to help you achieve this.
Act on all the feedback you receive. When you see your credit scores going up and your feedback improving rapidly, know you are headed in the right direction.
Exceptional Examples of Customer Relations
Pleasing every customer each time can be challenging. But you have to give it your best shot and have measures in place for damage control to cater to those consumers who are difficult to please. With that in mind, here are some of the best customer relations.
Tesla – Go where your customers are
Tesla goes to their customers’ homes and repairs their cars. It’s more convenient for the customers as they do not have to wait in a garage. They can also schedule their repairs at their convenience.
Though it can be challenging to meet your customers physically, use omnichannel feedback where you sell on all channels to help you meet your customers right where they are without hurting your business. Most customers greatly value their convenience and time, and they do not mind paying more if that’s what they’ll get.
This is evident in Tesla’s exorbitant prices. That’s an excellent example of superb customer service.
Sainsbury- Changed the Name of a Product to please a little girl
Sainsbury’s gladly changed the product name a few years ago at the request of a three-year-old customer. The little girl suggested that her favorite Tiger Bread pattern resembles giraffe spots instead of tiger stripes and should therefore be renamed.
Soon after, Rose received a touching letter from Sainsbury’s customer service. She was notified about the product rebranding process. As a result, the bread was renamed Giraffe Bread.
So, do you now understand what it means to provide excellent customer service? Astonishment is the only word that can come to my mind.
Regardless of whatever business you own, developing consistently superb customer experiences plays a pivotal role in your company’s success. And with technology, the stakes have never been higher.
Technology has enabled people to share their experiences through public forums, review websites, and social media. The cost of just one bad experience can significantly hurt your business and for longer than it used to be.
Thankfully, positive reviews can reach customers just as rapidly as negative ones. Thus the quality of your organization’s customer service should top your priority list.