One of the many important factors that help a business to grow and thrive is its relationship with its customer. Businesses have to maintain strong customer relationships in order to win their trust and loyalty.
Your customer relationship may depend on the type of business you are running, but there are a few basic standards that you need to maintain in order to offer your customers or clients the best customer experience.
One negative experience by a customer can cost you in ways you cannot fathom. According to a recent research, a business has 60-70 percent higher chance of selling their products to an existing customer than to a new customer. This explains why businesses must pay proper attention towards maintaining a strong relationship with their existing customers while building new customer bases.
In this article, we will discuss 5 ways which can be followed to avoid communication problems with your customers.
1. Show them you care
There are different ways of showing your customers that you care about them through the various business strategies you adopt.
If the customer was satisfied with the quality of your product or service, you are already several steps ahead. But a post-purchase email or a message requesting them for a feedback or just a simple ‘thank you’ message expressing gratitude can take your brand a long way.
However, make sure that you have emphasized your brand image throughout the emails or messages that you send out. Include your brand logo, leave a link to your website or social networking page for your customer’s reference. Also, mention how they can contact you if they need to.
The following example shows a post-purchase email sent to a customer by Ulta Beauty, a chain of beauty retail stores, requesting feedback.
2. Have an automated answering system
A lot of companies make the mistake of not being easily available to their customers for answering their queries. This creates a gap that can cost you some of your most loyal customers. So make sure your customers do not feel abandoned after purchasing from you.
Moreover, when a customer calls on your helpline number they should not be made to wait for too long. According to Harris Interactive, 75% of the customers who calls on a helpline number to speak to a live agent believe that it takes excruciatingly long to reach them. Another 67% have said that they were forced to hang up midway out of frustration for not being able to speak to a live agent.
An automated answering system can help you to solve this problem. This will effectively reduce the waiting time while your customer service agents prepare to take the call.
3. Make your contact information available
Your customers should be able to find your contact information easily. Being available to the customers after the sales process is complete is a form of assurance that every customer expects. Creating a company website is not enough. Your contact details or the contact form should be clearly visible to your customer.
Although providing an email address or contact number for customer reference is a good idea, you can also choose to provide a contact form instead. This will allow you to sort out the messages from the customers more effectively and also block spam emails.
You can also make your contact information available on the customer care directories just like Comcast, an American global telecommunication company did here.
4. Be positive while communicating
The tone, words and other interpersonal skills your customer service agents use while speaking to a customer are very important. It is crucial to maintaining a positive attitude with the customer so that they do not feel let down or disappointed. Speak to them like a real person and reply in positive sentences.
Your customers want a solution to their queries and are only interested in what you can do for them.
For example, if they are enquiring about a product which is currently not available then it will be more correct to say that the product will be available again next month instead of saying it will ‘not’ be available before next month.
You can also assure your customers that they will be informed via mail or message as soon as the stocks are replenished.
5. Keep them updated
Always keep your customers updated and never let them fall off the loop. Inform them about your latest products/service launches and upcoming discounts and offers. Engage your customers in the events that are taking place in your company.
This way they will feel more connected to the brand and develop an undying loyalty towards it. One loyal customer can get you, several other new customers so do not hesitate to go that extra mile for each of your existing customers.
Make sure your replies to customers’ emails are prompt. If they have sent a query, it should be answered within the shortest possible time. There may not be anything important going on on your front, but you must not still lose touch with your customers.
You can send them newsletters or ‘we haven’t seen you in a while’ emails encouraging them to be connected with your business.
As a business owner, you must always keep in mind that customers are the lifeline of your business. There will be no stopping you if your customers are happy. A successful venture always places a high priority on their customer/client relations.
It is quite normal for some of your customers to develop grievances regarding certain products. But, they should be given a chance to express it and you should be available to address their grievances.
Only then you can expect to grow your business and thrive. Communication is a major way of knowing your customers’ needs and understanding what you can do to fulfil those needs.