Good relationships are essential and this applies to business ones as well. Satisfied clients will buy from you repeatedly, refer you on, and your business will grow. How do you manage customer relationships effectively and in a way that turns them into loyal clients?
What is Customer Relationship Management?
Think of it as a set of activities designed to create, maintain, and improve long-term customer relationships. From the first contact to the first purchase to maintaining business relationships.
In other words, it's everything you do to maintain great customer relationships throughout their lifecycle. From helpful customer support, to finding feedback, to Christmas gifts for loyal clients.
Good relationships benefit both parties
The goal of customer relationship management is to proactively create and maintain long-term relationships that are beneficial:
- for customers - they enjoy shopping with you and feel confident that you are offering them what they need,
- and for the entire company - because happy customers bring more business.
Build relationships on knowledge
A prerequisite for good relationships is mutual knowledge. A client knows a lot about you from your website, social media or the way you communicate with them. What do you know about the client?
In order to build quality business relationships, you need to have insight:
- what your customers want and what they're interested in,
- what's on their minds or what they're struggling with,
- what they need.
If you know this, you will understand your customer and offer them the solution they need and serve them every time.
Ask for feedback
Building trust also includes measuring satisfaction. Ask your customers for feedback regularly. Whether the client was satisfied with you or had complaints, feedback will always move you forward:
- you will improve your services thanks to it,
- find out what else your customers want
- and by showing interest in customers, you strengthen relationships.
Also, always thank them for their feedback – if a customer spends time with you and doesn't get a response, they'll feel like their energy was wasted. Therefore, instead of template-like satisfaction questionnaires, it is better to call the customer or write to them in person.
With sincere interest, you will gain trust with the client, which is another pillar of a good relationship. Customers will know that you will always help them and won't let them down. And you can be sure that they will be happy to contact you every time.
Good relationships make it easier for clients to confide in you about what's burning them. Anticipating and understanding their needs is then the foundation of any successful business.
Value loyal customers
Show your thanks to people who have been with you for a long time or spend a lot of money with you. Offer them discounts, a small gift, or at least write them that you appreciate them. This will strengthen the relationship even more.
If you have hundreds or more customers, immediately introduce a loyalty system. By collecting points, it pays for clients to buy from you more than from the competition. And you are sure that they will come back to you regularly. Win-win for both sides.
How to manage customer relationships
Let's recap - customer relationship management works like this:
- collect and process information about your clients,
- ask for feedback
- to get to know them better and understand their needs and habits,
- thanks to this, you will offer them the right solution that they will appreciate,
- plus they know you're listening to them,
- this will instill their trust in you
- and they turn to you every time with their problem or wish.
So you need to communicate effectively with your client and store all the suggestions so that you can build on them in the future.
CRM for customer relationship management
Easy to say, but harder to do. In order to keep all the information about each client, you would need to have an elephant's memory. A notepad with meeting notes isn't exactly a clear solution either.
That's why salespeople, financial managers, entrepreneurs and CEOs use CRM. Its name for Customer Relationship Management and it's a tool that makes managing customer relationships easier.
If you want to help with the choice of CRM, you can find useful tips in our article.
The main advantages of a CRM system are as follows:
- You have client data stored clearly so that you and your colleagues who deal with customers can access it at any time,
- you can see the entire history of communication with your clients, which will make customer support services, for example, easier and faster,
- the data is safe and you don't have to worry about losing any information,
- changes in data are written into the whole system, so everyone is always up to date,
- CRM will look after all the deadlines for you so you don't forget an appointment or even a birthday greeting for a client.
You can try working in CRM for 30 days for free and without obligations. But be careful, you'll probably find that you can't do without CRM when managing customer relationships.