In the current environment, managing customer relationships is key. In order to develop valuable, long term relationships with your customers you need to move the interaction from being purely transactional in nature to something longer term. Winning new customers when you can’t go out and meet people is challenging to say the least. In addition, repeat customers tend to spend more money than new customers as they trust your brand and know what to expect from your business. There is a cost of acquisition when it comes to new customers, whether that is marketing costs, offering discounts or incentives.
Proactive vs. Reactive
Your approach to managing customer relationships can be both proactive and reactive. Reactive approaches might involve responding quickly to customer enquiries, addressing reported issues quickly or turning orders around more efficiently than your competitors.
Proactive customer relationship management involves focusing on building loyalty among your existing client base through targeted marketing, sharing helpful information or developing a customer loyalty programme.
Reward customer loyalty
A customer loyalty programme is a great way to encourage repeat purchases among your existing customer-base. For example, you could offer customers a 5% discount if they set up an automatic renewal, or 10% off every third purchase. Depending on the type of business that you run, you could offer something relatively simple like a coffee stamp card, where every 10 purchases gives the customer the next one for free.
In the current environment, accessibility is a key factor in the success of any business. Think about how you can make your business more accessible to customers. Technology can help and businesses can leverage everything from automated chat bots on websites or making staff available to speak with customers on screen via Zoom or Skype.
Don’t forget about good old fashioned phone calls as well. Being on the end of the phone when your customers need you is hugely valuable – we have all heard customers complain about never being able to reach a company on the phone. If you are the company whose customers can always get someone on the phone to help, you will develop much more loyal relationships with your customers.
Don’t forget to ask your customers for feedback. Your best customers will be more than willing to tell you what you can do better and where you can improve aspects of your product or service offering. Finally – say thank you to your customers. Not enough businesses do this and it will help you stand out from the crowd.
How do you manage your customer relationships? Do you take more of a proactive or reactive approach? We’d love to hear your thoughts via our LinkedIn page.