The relationship with the client is key for companies, especially nowadays, when consumers are more informed and demanding. When brands understand their audience in a real and meaningful way, they are able to implement actions fully aligned with the needs and motivations of the people they are seeking to reach.
In this text, we will show a complete overview of customer relationships, covering the following topics:
- the importance of this subject, defining its particularities;
- the advantages of a good relationship to upselling, for example;
- the pillars of the relationship (people, processes and technology), showing the role of each one of these in success;
- 7 tips for optimising customer relationships, including issues like having empathy and understanding customer behaviour;
- main channels of contact with customers, such as WhatsApp, SMS and others;
- the 5 most common mistakes made when relating to consumers, including points such as not taking into account their profile and not offering an after-sales service.
Ready to get up to speed? Follow along with us and enjoy the read!
The importance of the relationship with the client
Establishing a good relationship with your customers is essential for many reasons and will pay off for your business. Besides this being key to maintaining your customer base, it is decisive in optimising your results.
Therefore, by establishing a healthy relationship with your customer, you will ensure that everything will be fine throughout their cycle in your company. This happens mainly because a good relationship generates trust and you cannot forget this when establishing contact with your current and future customers.
However, as with every relationship, the flame of passion must always be rekindled. That means the interaction can’t go cold. If this happens, the brand loses customers and, consequently, business opportunities.
Therefore, you need to work hard to make customers fall in love with your brand – it’s essential to nurture that relationship. For this, there are several resources, including CRM software, that help brands act to generate trust in customers, so that more business opportunities are effective.
The advantages of the relationship with the client
Relationship building is much more than making sales. The key to success in any business lies in building good relationships and building customer loyalty. Among the main advantages of customer relationships, we highlight 5 of them below. Read on!
- Staying close to customers
Naturally, establishing a good customer relationship is something that brings you closer to the people who consume your products and services. With this, you can identify more solutions by knowing your consumer better and thus delivering what they expect from you.
Within this scenario, you can count on data and information to segment and communicate with users who are effectively aligned with your brand.
By using relationship strategies, it is totally possible to identify new possibilities and opportunities, so that it is possible to perform a personalised service and offer “something more”, always exceeding the expectations of the people who buy from you.
This type of situation captivates the customer and, more than having people buy from your company, you will gain true ambassadors of your brand.
- Sales funnel optimisation
Also known as a pipeline, the sales funnel is a strategy model focused on the customer journey. It shows from the person’s first contact with your brand to the moment they become your customer.
Through customer relationship actions, it is possible to know who your potential buyer is. This will give you resources to understand that person’s buying moment.
In other words, it speeds up the nurturing of this potential user, so that they advances in the purchase journey and make a purchase, as well as creating emotional bonds between people and the company. In this scenario, the optimised sales funnel represents a shorter sales cycle and a much higher conversion, contributing to better results for the company.
- Increased loyalty
Today, more than ever, building loyalty costs much less than going to market to prospect. When working a relationship strategy, the focus should be on stimulating customer loyalty so that emotional bonds with the brand can become solid.
This will be essential for retaining customers, meaning people will stay with your company much longer and possibly make new purchases.
- Higher turnover
Naturally, one of the great advantages of brands approaching customers is increased revenue. After all, from the moment a relationship of trust is created with the buyer, the chances of them valuing your brand as their first purchase option increase considerably.
- Market Positioning
When the company works to relate in a personalised way, it is seeking to generate total satisfaction and trust, which is essential to improving and strengthening the brand positioning in the market.
Even if it sells products very similar to those of its competitors, a company can differentiate itself through relationship actions that draw attention, captivate and ultimately win over consumers.
The pillars of the relationship with the client
There are some essential pillars for the best possible customer relationship. In this topic, we will show you 3 of them. Read on!
In the past, many things were done manually, which generated bureaucracy and many errors. But with the advance of technology, companies of all sizes now have the ability to adopt systems and establish themselves in digital media.
Technology has allowed brands to serve their consumers more closely and in a personalised manner. This has enabled better user experiences and thus more sales and results for the business.
So, regardless of whether you run a small or large business, it is totally possible to adopt a CRM software, so that you perform a service that captivates and generates conversions for the company. It is no coincidence that when talking about technology, one of the words that are most used is “memory”. After all, the machines are fully programmed to remember minute details related to your customer.
Through sales and CRM systems, it is entirely possible, for example, to resume an interaction from the point where it was terminated, even if it happens months later. In addition, alerts via SMS or email notify sales professionals of their appointment dates, which prevents follow-up failures.
Starting from the entire customer relationship history and the other available information, it is much easier to understand their needs and demands in order to offer the right product or service to the right customer at the right time.
- Sales processes based on the customer journey
Many companies orient their sales processes based on the activities of the sales team. However, the real protagonist of the process must be solely and exclusively the client.
With each advance made in the consumer journey, the service team and salespeople must be prepared to understand and meet their key needs. In other words, this work should not be done in a reactive way, but in a context with a lot of dialogue, generating meaningful conversations and stimulating the potential customer to go one step further in the sales funnel, so that he makes a purchase and becomes your customer.
- Qualified staff
For your company to have excellence in customer relations, you need employees to show real interest in solving people’s problems. This goal must be part of the team’s routine, i.e., they must have a mindset focused on effectively meeting the needs and desires of their customers.
In this sense, issues such as beating targets and earning commissions will be a consequence, not the goal. Therefore, it is necessary to train the whole team, especially the sales team, so that they are guided to perform consultative sales.
No matter how much your brand invests in technologies and has well-defined processes aligned with the customer journey, your people need to demonstrate a genuine interest in working for the customer. When that happens, things flow better and the brand increases the chances of improving its bottom line as a whole.
How to optimise this relationship
How to optimise the relationship with the customer? This, in fact, has no mystery or magic formula. If you want to know how to get there, we’ll show you 7 tips to put into practice today. Shall we go to them?
- Have empathy
Having an empathetic service is nothing more than putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. From the moment this happens, your company activates a model in which it is in total harmony with the consumer.
Thus, the user is satisfied and identifies with the brand, that is, he tends to buy again and has greater chances of becoming a loyal customer. However, doing this is not always something very simple, but it is possible, through good work.
A great way to develop empathy is to assess what the customers’ main needs are. Always remember to treat the consumer as you would like to be treated. Never, for example, force the person to make a choice. She needs and likes freedom to make decisions.
- Work with a focus on the long term
Never forget that the customer relationship is not just a few minutes in trade. It is not, simply, a buying and selling process. In fact, it is a relationship that should be ongoing and maintained for years, always contemplating more and new possibilities.
When the company manages to establish a long-term relationship, the consumer looks for the brand even if it changes its address.
- Study consumer behaviour
For the brand to be successful in the market, it needs to know its current and future consumer really well. It needs to understand their behaviours, their desires, needs, what they expect from the service team, the product or service itself, the price and other issues.
For the service to be great, the business person needs to understand a little of the psychology of the consumer, so that strategies can be planned to provide customer satisfaction. You can, for example, conduct a satisfaction survey, which generates valuable feedback for your next steps.
- Offer bundled services
The more bundled services you offer, the more possibilities you have to satisfy your customers. Bundled services do not have to represent very complex things and that has to be very clear. It could be, for example, an unexpected discount, useful information, faster delivery service, free installation, and so on.
- Visualise new possibilities for your products
It may well be that your product has more possibilities and solutions than you have always thought about it.
By investigating the merchandise you sell more carefully, you may find that it has more to it than at first comes to mind. This way, you can develop more lucrative niches that other brands don’t venture into. This will generate competitive potential and be a differentiator from your competitors.
Often, optimising the relationship with the consumer is a matter of the adaptability of your product.
- Always be honest
Well, the title of this item dispenses with further information. However, it is also worth pointing out that honesty is something that always enhances your image in the market. Always remember not to make things up that your product or service does. Don’t lie to or exploit your customers financially.
Of course you need to sell, but you can do it naturally. You don’t have to “push” things on the consumer. This may work in the first instance, but in the medium and long term, it is a very bad idea.
- Show you are an expert at what you do
You need to show that you are good at what you do, but that doesn’t mean you have to be arrogant, or try to pass off knowledge you don’t have. That will not improve the relationship with the customer. You need to show that you have a broad knowledge of your business and the products and services you offer.
When the customer realises that the entrepreneur or the sales professional has a real handle on the product or service, he will be more confident in buying from your company or in asking for information, with the certainty that he is investing his money in a safe way. The knowledge you demonstrate will always be a spontaneous form of advertising and publicity that costs the brand nothing.
Main channels for a great relationship with the client
Now that you have several ideas for optimising the relationship with the customer, let’s explore the main channels of interaction with your consumer.
Today, we have numerous touch points for you to establish a great customer relationship. Here, we will show you 4 of the main ways for you to interact with your consumers in a fast, practical and dynamic way.
While many people consider e-mail an outdated medium, it is more than current. This channel is essential to establishing a close relationship with the customer: simple to send and also not difficult to measure the results of a promotional campaign.
Another good point is that e-mail is not invasive, this means that the person who receives it can access the message at any time they want. The user is free to open or delete the message if he/she feels it is not of interest.
Of course, to be successful, the e-mail must be compelling and relevant to your persona. The challenge, therefore, is to gather information that is, in fact, useful and relevant to maintaining an active contact of your brand with your consumers.
The telephone is, of course also always useful as a communication channel in the relationship with the client. If your company’s audience is senior citizens, for example, including a phone contact is crucial.
Generally speaking, the telephone is used when there is a serious complaint, for example. It may also be used be when a shipped product is faulty or when delivery time is delayed. For these issues, it is essential that the company includes a phone number for contact, questions and of course, troubleshooting.
- WhatsApp Business
Launched in 2018, the business version of WhatsApp is guaranteed to optimise the relationship between brands and customers. The new version of the app offers essential advances like:
- profile with business data;
- automated responses (welcome and absence notifications);
- possibility to import messages from the conventional application;
- reports with usage data;
- labels to organise contacts;
- possibility to install with landline;
- possibility to use on the computer.
With these possibilities, the application gains a lot of relevance in the field of business communication. Big brands are already studying how to use it in the relationship with consumers, since WhatsApp is low cost and easy access. Besides, a lot of people use it – in Brazil alone there are 120 million active users.
- Social media
As it could not be otherwise, social networks have gained a special space in the strategy of companies. After all, people are always connected and networks are very simple and agile channels for establishing direct interactions.
Companies can use these channels to respond to comments, reviews, run promotions, and more in order to optimise the relationship with the customer.
The 4 most common mistakes in customer relations
Finally, let’s highlight the 4 most common customer relationship mistakes. Check it out!
- Forgetting after-sales care
After-sales care is essential to building customer loyalty, but many brands think that the relationship ends when a sale is completed. This mistake can be avoided through simple post-sale actions.
More than just calling a customer, an after-sale consists of maintaining a direct and convenient relationship with the customer in order to find out if they are satisfied with their purchase or if they need anything else.
In addition to the phone, the company can make contact by e-mail or WhatsApp, for example. In these latter channels the customer can read the message when it best suits them.
- Ignoring customer profiles
You can’t be everything to everyone. Companies that do this end up being nothing to anyone. In this sense, it is necessary that companies work to know the particularities of each of their customers. This will enable the company to act according to very specific needs. That way, your chances of getting it right will be much higher.
- Not taking customer preferences into account
This is a complementary tip to the previous item. Even if we know what the ideal customer profile is, people have their own particularities. Thus, for each service, companies should pay attention to understanding the preferences of that specific person, creating a personalised service and getting closer to their customers. Initiatives like this increase consumer satisfaction and improve brand perception.
- Promising and not delivering
That’s pretty ugly, isn’t it? The company needs to be very controlled about what it says, because it really must deliver on everything it promises to its customer. By delivering what was actually agreed upon, the customer will be satisfied and will tend to repeat a purchase. The consequence of this is loyalty, which is essential for the success of the brand in the market as a whole.
So, what did you think of these ideas? As we have seen throughout the text, using this strategy is key to standing out in the market. With competition becoming increasingly fierce, you need to understand your customers really well.
That way you will serve them well and they will give you the feedback you are hoping for. Of course, fostering a good relationship with the client is not always an easy path, but it is totally doable and within the reach of companies of all sizes.