Customer Relationship Management
CRM or customer relationship management is a big part of corporate sales and marketing. Connecting, staying connected, and understanding our customers are key to maintaining and growing your business. We have compiled this article on this very topic.
Here is a small question for you- ‘What differentiates companies like Amazon, Zappos, or Disney from the rest?”
Well, it’s pretty simple- the attribute of NOT settling for average experiences and building rock-solid customer relationships. Successful brands constantly strive to deliver more than expected of them and never hesitate to nurture customer relationships.
Now, that might have worked for some brands. But, of course, they are successful today—end of the story. But the real question is – why should you care?
Customers control their choices more than ever before in today’s digital world. It takes just seconds for a customer to sing praises about your brand on social media or make it loud and clear to the world that they feel dejected. Exceeding customer expectations and building memorable, ever-lasting relationships can be the only way out.
In this blog, we will find out customer relations, discuss their importance for your business, explore ten strategies to build positive customer relations, and understand the role of customer support software in achieving the same.
Customer relations refers to the process used by businesses to engage with customers and foster long-term relationships with them. From assisting customers with their day-to-day queries to creating long-term policies that lead to customer success, customer relations encompasses many activities. However, when done right, it can lead to positive outcomes such as higher customer retention, increased customer lifetime value (CLV), and stronger customer relationships.
You must have used the terms customer service and customer relations interchangeably at some point or the other. Although they might appear to be similar, the truth is that both these terms are quite different.
But don’t worry, you are not alone.
“The key difference between the two is that customer service is reactive while customer relations is proactive.”
Customer service usually involves assisting customers when something goes wrong. Businesses respond to customer issues or requests in-person or via communication channels such as phone, email, chat, or social media.
On the other hand, customer relations adopt a long-term approach. Therefore, in addition to encompassing all of the essential functions of customer service, customer relations also include strategies to improve customers’ future experiences and their overall journey with your brand.
Now that we know the difference between these two critical terms, let’s understand what positive customer relations are.
Positive customers relations refer to long-term relationships that benefit both the customers and the business. Such relations can help your business connect with customers on a much more personal level where you no longer treat them as transactions but see them as partners in your growth.
“Positive customer relations isn’t simply about putting a smile on your customers’ faces. Building mutually beneficial relationships take time, effort and require you to establish trust with your customers.”
When you can connect with your target audience, you put yourself in a better position to understand their needs, resolve their concerns, and create a sense of mutual understanding with them.
Fostering positive customer relationships can turn out to be quite an advantageous move for your business. Let us see how.
Now that you know how customer relations differs from customer service, why should you prioritize it, and what benefits can you gain?
Here are 5 points that highlight the importance of effective consumer relations:
Loyal customers drive your business forward, whether you own a small cafe or run a multi-million dollar IT company. For example, remember how you visit the same cafe to get your favourite cup of coffee every time you are around that location?
According to Microsoft, 96% of consumers across the globe consider customer service as an essential factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
Creating positive relationships with your customers inspires a type of loyalty that surpasses many common reasons why customers usually defect, including cost and convenience. So, while it may cost your business some amount to invest in building positive customer relations, you are rewarded with a loyal customer base at the end of the day.
Businesses that excel at customer relations create the right environment to share their candid feedback. For such companies, a strong feedback loop is central to their operations.
But what’s the benefit of establishing a solid feedback culture?
By capturing customer feedback from time to time, you can assess your customers’ needs without any hurdle. You can easily measure how satisfied they are with your services, employees, or overall experience with your business. When customers engage with a brand that values their feedback and wants to improve their knowledge, customer satisfaction levels automatically go up.
Importance of Effective Consumer Relations
Developing a fantastic product is one of the most complex challenges that a company can overcome and one of the most significant predictors of success. But strong customer relations will genuinely determine the success of a business.
Today’s consumers have more industry influence than they’ve ever had in the past, allowing them to focus on more than just the product you’re selling them. Now, consumers are interested in what you’re selling them, how you’re selling it, and what happens after you’ve sold it to them.
The shift has placed pressure on companies to invest in their customer service teams and meet rising customer demands. For example, a Microsoft study showed that 55% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service year-over-year. As a result, businesses are now facing the challenge of creating an excellent customer experience that’s consistent across every interaction.
Many companies are now focusing on managing their customer relationships to achieve this. And that’s where customer relations comes in.
Customer relations aims to create a mutually beneficial relationship beyond the initial purchase.
Customer relations is present in all aspects of a business, but it’s most prevalent in the customer service department. Customer service teams, customer support, customer success, and product development play essential roles in building a healthy customer relationship.
Customer relations extend to marketing and sales teams since these departments significantly influence the company’s interactions with the customer.
Customer relations includes both your customer service teams’ reactive and proactive functions.
Reactive functions are the efforts made by your team to solve issues that customers report. This includes tasks like responding to customer complaints and solving problems with the support team. Solving unexpected customer roadblocks is essential for brands looking to build strong customer relationships.
Proactive functions are the measures taken to ensure a long-term relationship with customers. These efforts aim to foster customer success by consistently satisfying evolving customer needs. Customer success teams provide information about products and updates and promote discounts and exclusive offers. This type of long-term customer relationship management helps companies create lasting impressions on customers who eventually become loyal to the brand.
Customer relations vs. customer service
A successful customer relationship strategy starts with your customer support team on the front lines.
Support professionals manage the highest number of personal interactions with customers. As a result, they’re in an unparalleled position to transform the customer relationship. By acting with goodwill — and providing extra value — they can serve as the keepers of these vital connections.
At Help Scout, we position support team members as proactive relationship-builders. For example, let’s say you’re having an issue with a platform integration. Not only would one of our support pros fix the problem, but they might also invite you to a webinar to deepen your understanding of the tool.
The higher the level of customer engagement with your company and product, the higher the value your customer receives — and the better the relationship. When you expand the domain of your customer support superstars, you give them the leeway to strengthen the customer experience in creative, unexpected ways.
But these activities don’t happen in the vacuum of a single role or function. Ideally, every employee acts as a steward for customer relations. As a result, each team member’s work can continually improve customer relationships.
Do not forget your customers. They will forget you. Treat them properly and stay connected!
Article compiled by hughesagency.ca
Article reference links:
- https://www.proprofsdesk.com/blog/customer-relations/ ↑
- https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-relations ↑
- https://www.helpscout.com/blog/customer-relations/ ↑