Customers are the backbone of your business. Without them, it simply wouldn't exist. If you want your business to have longevity, it's important to make relationships with your customers a priority. Here are five ways to make them stronger:
1. Stay in touch
Communication is key. Stay in touch with your customers throughout their journey with you. Technology makes this easier than ever - as it can, to a certain extent, become an automated process.
Let them know about any delays or problems as you become aware of them. Customers who are kept in the loop when things go wrong are more likely to remain loyal, despite the issues experienced.
2. Help them solve a problem
Get to know your customers' pain points, and use them to help solve problems they have. What do they need help with? For example, as a specialist recruitment business, we can help clients with their interview skills or career development.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box. This is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge and expertise with the customer, and show you're happy to help them however you can.
3. Do what you say you will
There's a well known saying in customer service: "under promise, but over deliver."
In other words, do more than you say you're going to - always going the extra mile for your customers. However, research now suggests this isn't the best approach. Instead, you should aim to keep your word to your customers. Tell them exactly what you're going to do, and then do it. Sounds simple, but it's something many businesses fail to get right.
4. Be honest
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, things don't go to plan. We're human, we all make mistakes sometimes. In business, as well as life, honesty is the best policy.
Train your staff to be upfront with your customers when something goes wrong, and watch your customer relationships benefit as a result. Honesty builds trust - the foundation of any strong relationship.
5. Deal with complaints effectively
When customers aren't happy - listen to them. They have paid for a service, and are within their rights to complain if they feel it hasn't been delivered as it should have been.
A complaint doesn't have to be the end of a customer relationship. Instead, treat each complaint as an opportunity to remedy the situation, and ensure your customer returns to you next time.