“It is so much easier to be nice, to be respectful, to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to understand how you might help them before they ask for help, than it is to try to mend a broken customer relationship.” – Mark Cuban
With the rise in options for customers, let us face it, companies now are investing a lot more time and energy in to enhancing experiences and forming more robust customer relationships. Each company would obviously believe that their processes and strategies are the best, thereby ensuring that they would easily achieve their goals in the realm of customer service. What companies need to understand is that putting in place strategies would not suffice and it is imperative that ‘their people’ implement the strategies with complete dedication. It is through the combined effort of all in the company, which would drive growth and increase revenue consistently.
Forming robust customer relationships is really one of those things that is, worth every investment and effort that a company makes. It makes sense to use each person’s expertise to enhance continually customer experiences, such that the business grows consistently. However, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all method for building relationships with customers, simply because each customer is different. The primary thought behind the aim to form robust customer relationships should be that each customer’s problem is unique and must be dealt with as so. This in turn would ensure growth, gain more market share, and cement a company’s position as a leader. Companies must also focus on doing things and taking actions that would impact the lives of their customers in a deep, positive, and lasting manner. As customers begin to see the value of doing business with a company, they would be more inclined to foster and nurture mutually beneficial associations and stay loyal to the company. Building robust customer relationships happens when a company can consistently prove its passion in wanting to make its customers successful.
In providing top class customer service, one of the most crucial things to remember for a company is that robotic greetings, constant selling, rote manner of dealing with customers, and other such ‘practiced’ tactics, should be at bay. The endeavour at all interactions should be to show empathy, understand their feelings and emotions, and overall connect with them on a human level. Several studies and research have proved that customers are increasingly happy with companies with which they can have more contact with humans. With the rise of technology and multiple channels of communication, the amount of such face-to-face interactions has decreased. Companies that can manage all these channels well and communicate regularly are more likely to succeed at building robust customer relationships. Research proves that this is true – around 77% of customers in the US alone are of the opinion that it is easier for them to do business with companies managing multiple channel communication and at least 74% believe that the service these companies offer is miles ahead of others.
The idea is simple – give customers what they want and use each interaction as an opportunity to build robust customer relationships. As customers, this is probably what you would like too – the more often you have pleasant interactions with a company, it would move you closer to feeling more connected and engaged with it. It is human nature – the more time we spend with interesting people and having mutually engaging conversations, the more likely we would be to feel drawn towards them and build relationships with them. For companies to sustain customer interest for a long time, it is essential that they provide as smooth and seamless service as possible. Customers need to know the company is listening to them, will respond to them at any time, and will consistently provide top class service – such a reputation with customers will differentiate your company from the many competitors and have prospective customers making a ‘beeline’ for your company.
Despite the importance of building robust customer relationships, what is worth mentioning is it is not an easy task and neither will it happen in a hurry. Relationship building takes time, patience, fortitude, and tenacity. Companies must however, remember not to be overbearing, intrusive, and insincere when communicating with customers – these aspects can turn customers away for good. Customers do want attention and the feeling of being valued, but they also want to see great products, innovative ideas, and competitive pricing – effectively it is important for a company to understand everything about their customers before trying to build a relationship. Every customer would expect that the company understands not just their requirements, but also can guide them on industry trends, provide them with great content to increase their knowledge, and stay on top of market news to ensure proactivity.
Every person that could possibly need a company’s products or services, is a potential customer. Such people can be from any walk of life – could be associates of current customers, from the company’s employees circle of friends, partners of the company’s vendor groups, or any other part of society. It would be the onus of the company to proactively seek out such ‘prospects’ and make occasions to network with them, in order to build interest and relationships. The more such connections a company can build; they would enhance their chances of gaining more customers, which in turn means that they can work towards robust customer relationships. Your company should aim to add value to every connection that it makes – you never know which connection might become your most profitable and loyal customer.
We know that in business customer loyalty is becoming harder to get and does not last as long as a company would like. However, loyal customers prove to the most effective tool for a company in spreading its business, building networks, and gaining a strong foothold in the market. Loyal customers not just provide repeat business, they are enthused enough to refer a company, its representatives, and its offerings to whoever they can and whenever they can. In fact, positive online comments from delighted customers usually act as triggers for ‘visitors’ and prospective customers to pursue an association with a company. This means that loyal customers are actually the best sales team any company can hope for and should work towards consistently increasing their number.
Robust customer relationships, just like any other relationship, can be built only through complete honesty resulting in trust and dependability. A customer’s trust is possibly one of the best assets for any company. It builds commitment and emotional connection in the mind of the customers – attributes that would be very hard for competitors to defeat. Trusting customers would stand by a company even in times of duress, with their faith unshaken in the abilities of the company. They would also be willing to pay premium prices for the goods and services of the company, just to maintain the relationship.
The fact is that no amount of ‘goodies’ and money can buy or build robust customer relationships. It is important for a company to make the effort, and invest time in gaining the trust of customers. This no doubt is akin to heaving a big boulder up a steep mountain – however, it is still less arduous, less painful, and more profitable than losing customers and creating vengeful customers who could potentially ruin everything your company built over years and through hard work. Keep your customers happy and your company can be sure to build for itself an ‘army’ ready to do anything to help it succeed.