When customers are discussed, the main thing is to get them and win them over. People or companies rarely talk about managing current customer relationships.
However, it turns out that retaining existing customers is far more profitable than attracting new customers!
How do I manage customer relationships?
According to Outbound Engine, acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than keeping a current customer. Increasing customer loyalty by just 5 percent can help improve corporate profits by a whopping 25 to 95 percent
This is why you need to manage your customer relationships effectively. Here are the best practices that you should be using in the process.
Respect your client’s time
According to Professor Nass, co-author of the book “The Man Who Lied on His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships,” people remember negative rather than positive experiences.
Because of this, chances are you will remember all too well the restaurants where you waited too long before serving food. Do you want to return to the place? Probably not!
Waiting times are not only harmful to the hotel industry. Instead, people generally don’t like to wait too long. This also applies to retail stores if you are on the phone with customer support or if you are visiting a company for a meeting.
Regardless of what sector you are in, respect your customers’ time.
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For example, don’t just ask customers to drop in for a meeting if they want. This is because you are always unprepared for an impromptu meeting. To avoid your customers waiting too long, it is best to make appointments in advance so that the relevant people within the company are not overbooked.
This is where automated scheduling tools can come in handy. These tools allow users to develop a booking page that customers can use to book meetings with their team.
Presence across different customer contact points
There was a time when it was pretty easy to pinpoint exactly what channels brands were using to reach customers. However, since the advent of technology, the potential interactions between a brand and a customer have increased significantly.
According to Marketing Week 15 years ago, a customer would use no more than two touchpoints to interact with a brand. Today, however, consumers tend to use more than six points of contact.
What are these points of contact?
A specific customer can be exposed to a brand message via conventional (TV, radio or print advertising) and digital (search engine, social media or company website) media as well as stationary and online shops.
The best way to provide efficient customer support is through an omnichannel strategy. This means that brands have to offer a consistent brand experience across all channels. In this way, customers can easily switch channels and still receive the same quality of service.
Take the example of Oasis – a women’s clothing brand. The brand binds and supports its customers at all touchpoints by providing a consistent experience on the way to the purchase by the consumer.
When the brand discovered that their social media platforms were one of the most popular touchpoints, they created their own gallery for user-generated Instagram content. This enabled the company to convert its customers into its models!
Let this example inspire you and identify the preferred touchpoints of your company. Create a personalized strategy for delivering support through the identified medium.
Use a good quality CRM
There was a time when businesses believed that customer service software was only for the big business. But now times have certainly changed.
According to CRM Magazine. 91 percent of companies with more than ten employees have CRM software. This software industry itself is poised to have a staggering $ 80 billion in sales by 2025!
Why is CRM software so popular? This is because customer service software has now become a necessity to stay competitive in today’s fast paced world. With CRM solutions, companies can automate their processes, improve team coordination, standardize data storage and improve customer relationships.
For example, Amazon’s CRM system uses consumer data collected during the purchase to tailor the customer experience. Therefore, by tracking your previous purchases, Amazon CRM ensures that the next time a consumer visits Amazon, it is recommended to buy products that they are likely to buy!
Another valuable CRM software is used by Tesco, which rewards their loyal customers through Clubcard. It uses customer purchase data to assign points to users who can then exchange their vouchers for various rewards.
Use the AI via chatbot integration
45 seconds. According to Comm100, the average customer waits 45 seconds for a response from a live chat. And a request that isn’t handled is a prospect that you’ve lost to your competitor.
One of the most important ways to manage your customer relationships is to satisfy them with a quick response. This is where AI comes in. Gone are the good old days when customer representatives had sole responsibility for answering consumer queries.
Automated chatbots now use AI to answer frequently asked questions. This helps to extend the response time of a live chat and improve customer loyalty.
Sephora is a brand that has made full use of this technology. In addition to supporting live chat, Sephora used the chatbot service to create Sephora Color Match and Sephora Reservation Assistant.
The former helps users schedule appointments with beauty specialists, while the latter uses augmented reality to help users choose cosmetic tones to suit their outfits.
Learn how you can use chatbots to improve the customer experience. The best way to do this is to identify the key processes and interactions with a consumer that can be optimized through AI.
Identify customer needs before realizing them
There is a common misconception among marketers that there was no inherent need for smartphones. Instead, it was generated by Apple. That is not true! A requirement cannot be created. It’s an innate feeling.
While there may not have been a verbal need for smartphones, the connectivity weaknesses have always been there. That is why the technology caught on when it was introduced! Apple managed to address a pain point before consumers even realized it. And that has made it a leader in the industry.
The same perspective is required when managing customer relationships. Again, companies must strive to identify their consumers’ needs and challenges and do their best to address them beforehand.
To do this, conduct thorough market research. Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes and think about all possible challenges. Use customer surveys to better understand your customers.
Learn how to address their weaknesses and improve your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
Don’t stop getting involved
Have you heard of the term “Top of Mind”? This is the goal of all marketers. It refers to a company’s ability to stay within a consumer’s top choices within an industry. For example, when you think of carbonated drinks, you automatically think of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. This is an example of the top-of-the-mind effect!
To reduce customer churn and increase customer loyalty, you need to keep in touch with your customers after the purchase as well. A simple thank you email after your purchase can go a long way.
Likewise, sending out consumer newsletters or potential products that they want based on their previous purchase is a great way to connect with consumers.
Here are some engagement strategies worth trying:
- Ask for reviews on items purchased. This helps in gathering customer data that can be used to further modify the customer loyalty strategy.
- Cross-sell products by email by notifying you of new discounts and product recommendations.
- Promote your loyalty program by offering reward points after your purchase.
- Look for referrals to turn your loyal clients into your company’s lawyers.
The key to engaging with consumers after a purchase is making them feel valued and offering them value-based solutions. Pay close attention to this stage to avoid post-purchase dissonance.
Your customer base is by far your company’s most valuable asset. You can implement the best marketing strategy and the most impeccable products. However, if you don’t manage your customer interactions effectively, all of your efforts will go down the drain.
Whether it’s understanding consumer needs, addressing their concerns, or responding to them promptly, there are many facets to managing customer relationships.
Use any of these six methods to get started. In addition, you have a customer-centric approach to all of your decisions and you can automatically satisfy your customers.