The importance of customer relationships cannot be stressed enough, as delivering quality products or services alone are not sufficient to survive the cut-throat competition of the modern business world. Now, the key differentiating factor for any brand is the quality of its customer relationships.
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
The customer gives value and meaning to any business. I’m sure everyone would agree with me here. A business exists because of the customer, and for the customer. You can create the best products or services in the industry, but it is worthless if it doesn’t reach the customer.
The information age is making customers more powerful since there are multiple options for customers to make their voices heard and express their concerns. For any business to sustain itself in the long run, it is important to have a customer relationship strategy that aims to build lasting relationships with the customers. There are many benefits to gain from this including reduced customer attrition, increased sales, innovative products, word-of-mouth testimonials, and building brand reputation.
In this article, I examine the need to focus on building healthy relationships with customers and the methods to bring a positive customer experience.
The importance of customer relationship to a business
The customer is the king of any business. Every company must focus on providing a positive experience to the customers and building solid relationships. Making emotional connections with customers at every touchpoint is gaining higher significance because of the growing trend of online shopping and the lack of face-to-face interaction.
● Higher customer retention – When customers enjoy a positive experience with a brand, they are likely to purchase repeatedly and would switch to a competitor. Many customers are even ready to pay higher for a better experience.
● Better customer satisfaction – Positive relationships with customers are a great way to open two-way communication and gather feedback. Brands can serve customers better by incorporating changes according to the feedback, leading to better customer satisfaction.
● Increased customer acquisition – Satisfied customers are likely to give excellent reviews about the brand. This can entice more customers to try the products and services of the company. They also bring more customers through word-of-mouth testimonials and referrals. Since these leads come through a customer who has already tried the product, it gives higher conversions and builds a solid customer base.
● Improved customer lifetime value – Healthy relationships with the customers will encourage them to make repeat purchases. They would also be ready to purchase more and also bring referrals. Consequently, the overall customer lifetime value or the total revenue from a customer becomes higher.
How to build lasting customer relationships?
The key to building strong customer relationships is to provide value to the customers and offer them the best experience during each interaction. So, how do you achieve this? Here are a few effective strategies to build strong customer relationships.
● Create value – Customers value brands that understand their needs and invest in delivering products and services that serve their particular needs. Businesses have to analyze the value their products and services are bringing to the customer in an unbiased manner. Is it providing them with more benefits compared to the cost? Market insights can help to understand the modifications required for a product or service to meet customer needs effectively.
● Educate the customers – Usually, businesses stick to the marketing tone in their communications. Customers trust a business when it goes beyond the sales perspective and provides them with useful information about its products and services. This will reinforce the credibility of the business in the customer’s minds and persuade them to buy from the brand.
● Exceed customer expectations – Organizations must consistently try to exceed customer expectations by anticipating their needs and providing them with proactive service. Extending real-time support through live chat is a good idea to enhance their experience with the brand. A trained support team that is empowered to fulfill the customer’s needs is also vital to revamp the services according to the customer’s requirements.
● Personalized interactions – Brands have to ensure that interactions with the customers are personalized and convey trust. Personalized communications increase customer loyalty and make the customer feel valued. For offering a personalized experience to customers, businesses have to understand the needs of the customers thoroughly. This will help to deliver products that resolve the customer’s pain points and make them feel that you care for them.
Customers have diverse vendors to choose from, and even minor dissatisfaction would make them switch to another vendor. As a result, the sustainability of a business depends to a large extent on the personalized connections and the positive relationships it builds with the customers.
Forging strong relationships doesn’t happen overnight. It is the result of a long and committed process where every department of the organization recognizes the significance of customer relationships and works together to create great customer experiences.
Follow me on LinkedIn
How do you build and maintain relationships with customers?
Building relationships with customers begin with working to understand their specific pain points and designing the right solutions that are aligned with their needs. Further, proactive customer service also plays a key role in maintaining the relationship.
What are the 7 significant relationships by customers?
The 7 significant customer relationships are transactional, personal assistance, long-term, self-service, dedicated personal assistance, automated services, co-creation, and communities.
What is the most important thing in a customer relationship?
Trust and transparent communication are vital in building and maintaining customer relationships.