The Importance of Customer Relationships
Your customer relationships are the foundation of your business. You can’t just sell them something and then forget about them — you need to nurture the relationship you have with each and every one of your customers.
A loyal customer is worth a lot. Not only is the cost of acquiring a new customer up to five times more expensive than the cost of keeping an existing one, but the longer you keep a customer the greater the value of that relationship — bringing in more revenue to your business.
If you want your business to succeed and grow, you must focus your efforts on developing great customer relationships. Providing a positive customer experience will keep clients coming back and increase your repeat business. According to Microsoft, 61% of customers will stop buying from a company if they have a poor customer experience, meaning creating consistent — and good — customer experiences is critical to your business.
Creating good customer experiences doesn’t have to be difficult. Providing first-rate customer service and real-time support, understanding what your customers want, open and timely communication, plus treating them with warmth and respect go a long way in creating outstanding customer experiences.
6 Ways to Maintain Your Customer Relationships
1. Offer Strong Customer Support
The number one thing customers want from you is good customer support. If they encounter a problem with your product, they want you to help resolve it suitably. If a client can’t reach you and get a satisfactory resolution, you have a problem.
Prioritize customer support, and respond to your customers inquiries and issues in a punctual manner. Show you genuinely care and are there for them. Remember to be friendly and personal when dealing with your customers — after all, they are people too, just trying to do their own jobs.
2. Personalize Your Customer Relationships
Not all of your customers will want or need the same things from you. Learn each of your customer’s unique preferences and needs, and respond accordingly.
Some of your clients will need frequent one-on-one interactions with your company, while others won’t and will just want to call you, place an order, and go about their day. Some of your customers will be very price-conscious, while others will want all your top features and be willing to pay for them. Figure out who’s who and match your tone and communication style to their preferences.
3. Use a CRM
Many manufacturers think that a CRM is only a tool for acquiring new customers, but a CRM is also a great tool for managing the relationships you have with your existing customers too. Customer Relationship Management systems, or CRMs, give you a centralized place to record all the information about your existing customers — including their preferences — improving communication between you and your customer.
Using a CRM tool will also help you to identify your most profitable customers, so you can better nurture your relationship with these VIP customers.
4. Prioritize Customer Experience in Your Organization
Delivering on the promises you make regarding customer experience is crucial. If you pledge to be available to customers at all times, but when they call you, they can only reach your voicemail, you have broken your word. To increase customer satisfaction you have to follow through on the promises you make to your customers.
One way to prioritize customer experience throughout your organization is to practice what you preach: Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers. Empower your employees to add value and exceed customer expectations.
5. Provide Value to Your Customers
At the end of the day, you need to create value for your customers to ensure they will continue to remain loyal to you.
The first step is to find out what your customers actually value: Ask for feedback, and listen — really listen — to what your customers say. Always be aware of your customer’s actions and reactions during interactions with them to be in tune with what they like and want. Even if it’s negative, feedback from your customers is extremely valuable and will help you improve customer satisfaction.
You also need to be aware of the value you bring to your customers. What is their use cost for being your customer? Look for ways you can genuinely help your customers and find real solutions to their problems and needs.
6. Reward Your Loyal Customers
Loyal customers are money in your pocket. Not only will they give you repeat business, but they will also boost the reputation of your business by becoming brand champions for you and spreading positive word-of-mouth about you. According to a recent survey, customers that feel an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% greater lifetime value, stick with it for a longer period of time, and are significantly more likely to recommend you to others.
Reward customers loyal to you with discounts, special offers, and premium service levels. These customers are your bread and butter — treat them with the respect they deserve.
How Genius ERP Can Help You Maintain and Build Customer Relationships
Genius ERP gives you the tools to maintain and build strong customer relationships. One of the biggest — and often overlooked — values of an ERP is how it improves customer satisfaction.
Even though a customer will never directly interact with your ERP system, Genius ERP helps you to provide a better customer experiences because it touches on and improves every part of your business. Your shop will become more efficient, increasing your on-time orders to customers. The data and tools from Genius ERP allow you to offer more fair and consistent pricing, deliver a more consistent product, improve your service levels, and quickly respond to customer inquiries — leaving you with more satisfied customers. These satisfied customers will repay you by placing larger orders more frequently, resulting in more sales for you.
Genius ERP also has a built-in and fully connected CRM. Not only helping you to increase your close rates and sales performance, Genius CRM gives you a place to document and organzie all of your customer information, which helps you build relationships, trust, and respect with your customers. Well organized client information helps you communicate more regularly and effectively with them, improving your chances of re-upping or upselling an existing customer.
You will be able to better respond to customer inquiries about current orders, as all customer and job information will be easily accessible through Genius CRM.
Genius CRM is connected to the rest of your ERP, giving your sales team access to price lists, past deals, and your product configurator tool which they can use to create faster and more accurate quotes for your customers. If a product is more complex, Genius CRM makes it easy for them to quickly bring engineering into the process, to develop and refine quotes to meet customers’ needs.
When customer support is strong, and the customer relationship is well nurtured, a customer will tend to report higher degrees of satisfaction, and heightened loyalty, translating into customers who will return to you again and again for their needs.
Learn more about how Genius CRM can help you here.
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