Loyal customers are what make a business tick and are the key to company success. Keep your customers happy and you will prevent them from straying to market competitors. But high levels of competing brands, as well as the increased complexity of products/services nowadays makes it easier said than done to keep customers satisfied.
So, it follows that customer relationship management (CRM) should be at the forefront of business strategy in order for companies to maintain high customer retention rates. And in the ever more necessary time for CRM systems, the CRM market is expected to grow to a massive $36.5 billion by 2017. So, if you’re not already, now is probably a good time to start understanding your customers better and begin to efficiently manage those customer relationships!
What’s important to understand here is that if you’re a small business, you do not need to be splashing out thousands of dollars every year on a CRM system in order to retain paying customers. Stay close to your customers and resolve their issues in cheaper, simpler ways.
1. Listen To Your Customer
This is the golden rule for all companies. Listen to what your customer has to say and use this information to put them at the centre of company decisions. This will also make your customer base feel valued and empowered and word of mouth, arguably one of the strongest marketing tools, will soon spread to other audiences. 84% of people say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations of products/services from their family, colleagues and friends. Get people to believe in your company by listening and paying attention to them and your brand will spread like wildfire.
2. Find The Best Method
Work out exactly what is the best way to regularly stay in touch with customers, by more listening. Find out what methods of communication they pay more attention to, what works the best for them and what they pay less attention to, e.g. phone calls, emails, newsletters etc.
Perhaps call up every month to check in but confirm that works well for them, otherwise you may be seen as pesterers, which is viewed very poorly in the consumer’s eye. Remember, service is a small company’s strongest competitive advantage over a large company. So get to know all your customers, find out their opinions on your business brand, and create an environment where they can network easily within the company, get problems fixed quickly, even call up favors if need be.
3. Build A Strong Social Media Presence
Social media is a fantastic tool for providing a space for a business to communicate with large audiences of consumers. Now 58% of consumers share their positive experiences with a company on social media, and use these platforms to ask family, colleagues, and friends for their opinions about brands. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow customers to voice their opinions, concerns and feedback. Therefore strong customer networks on social media platforms will enable companies to recognize issues and also trends and respond quickly.
4. Follow Through With Your Customers
After the purchase has been made, the customer must then decide if they are satisfied with the purchase decision. Follow up techniques are essential for customers to have positive post purchase evaluations of your product/service and therefore stay a loyal customer. For instance, follow up calls/emails to thank customers for their purchase and to find out if there are any customer issues are an effective way to keep customers satisfied.
Again, this relates back to the listening point. Listening to your customers who are dissatisfied with products and identifying the source of dissonance will allow you to make the right bespoke decision to rectify the situation and ensure similar issues do not occur in the future.
Remember, the customer is key and always right!
Layla Fenston is a writer behind eVoice New Zealand – a premier provider of virtual telecommunications solutions in New Zealand. Passionate about helping others achieve success in their careers, Layla regularly writes about small business and entrepreneurship.
I hope you enjoyed this post on strategies to manage your customer relationships and maximize your chances of business success.
Interested in more posts about customer service?
Read My Posts:
- 7 Ways To Reach Out To Customers
- Seven Simple Suggestions For Success In Business
Best Of Luck In Business To You All!
Michael J. Schiemer of Schiemer Consulting
Digital Marketing Manager & Social Media Professional
HootSuite, HubSpot, & Google Analytics Certified
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