Every business should think about their customers all the time. However, putting the customers first is often treated as a side thought, rather than something to be taken seriously.
The good news is, you can start now in implementing great customer relationships you’re your business goals. Yes, developing a relationship with customers is a strategy to adapt, if you’re looking for customer loyalty and satisfaction.
This article will explore customer relationships in the following ways:
- Definition of a customer relationship
- What it matters to business
- Types of customer relationships, and
- Some ideas on how to build customer relationships
What Is Customer Relationship?
“Keep in mind: this relationship is – and should be – company-wide, since customers are involved in many parts of the company. That includes customer service reps, the salespeople, management, and so on. No matter what roles your team takes on, every action that your team members take involves making sure that customers get a great experience and a great product or service.”
Why It Matters
Customer relationships are vital for business success, because it shows people that your business has a heart. Rather than having to uncomfortably trust a faceless company, people can see and depend on you to provide the best product or service in the market. Think of it as a humane experience, versus one that treats customers like a commodity (By the way, don’t ever treat your customers like commodities).
Plus, customer relationships have been around even before the Internet existed. From subtle preferences to emotional connections, customer relationships have been – and must continue to be – at the forefront of business-customer interactions.
Types Of Customer Relationships
Now, that we know why customer relationships matter, it’s time to explore the types of customer relationships to keep in mind:
Operational customer relationships focus on one of three things: marketing, sales, or service. This type of customer relationship involves past customer data (i.e., previous marketing campaigns, purchases, and service satisfaction), which can be used in customer relationship management (CRM) software to automate these processes to better accommodate both the businesses and customers.
Analytical customer relationships look at customer data in the sense of customers’ wants and needs, along with other key marketing trends. The goal, in this case, is to analyze customer data so that management can learn from such trends and customer data, and use them to improve customer satisfaction.
Collaborative customer relationships allow companies to share customer info with outside companies and organizations. Pooling this data allows businesses to create a better customer experience, when collaborating with other businesses.
How To Build Customer Relationships
“Building customer relationships first is how you can convert people into loyal customers,” says Alice Beverly, a marketing manager at Draft Beyond and Last Minute Writing. “There are two ways to accomplish this: Having a clear and consistent message, and having good communication.”
First, having a clear and consistent message is key. Too often, brands will only focus on their branding. But what’s great about your brand? You have to show and talk about it to potential customers. In other words, describe the “who, what, and why” of what your company does at jump. Once you say your message, spread it; and once you spread it, keep at it.
Also, communication is important to nurturing customer relationships. Set up a newsletter where people can subscribe via email, phone, etc. You can also have people follow you on social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
The idea behind these two methods is to never leave your customers hanging. If they have any questions or concerns, then answer them in a timely manner. Engaging with your customers creates a positive impact, because they’re not communicating with a faceless company – they’re communicating with you.
Ultimately, customer relationships are extremely important in any business. It’s an effective strategy that has stood the test of time, even before the Internet went live. Therefore, it’s important to continue treating customers with the upmost respect, and to cater to their needs and wants.
We hope that this quick overview has taught you the importance of customer relationships. Remember: Make your relations with customers meaningful and successful. When you do, connections with customers with last forever, along with your brand.