5 Keys to Developing Lasting Customer Relationships

Lasting customer relationships

Looking for tips to help you build valuable customer relationships? Congratulations, you just found them! Find out how to keep your customers coming back.

Why are customer relationships so important? What’s all the hype about? Well, to help answer that, let’s head to the movies. In the classic, Miracle on 34th Street, Macy’s hires a man named Kris Kringle to be an in-store Santa. The eccentric Kringle, however, decides to do something considered sacrilege in the world of retail: He directs parents to other stores. If Macy’s is out of stock on a particular item, he tells parents where it’s available so they can be sure to get the Christmas presents their children want.

Macy’s manager is at first horrified—until parent after parent commends him on this ‘new marketing approach’ and vows to be loyal to Macy’s in the future. The lesson embedded in this tale clearly illustrates the importance, hype, and power of customer relations. It further underlines why it is crucial for businesses to think long-term instead of adopting a kind of ‘shotgun’ approach – to make a quick buck and then lose interest after the sale is concluded.

Research conducted by Bain & Company and Harvard Business School’s Earl Sasser has found that even a seemingly modest 5% growth in customer retention will result in a 25%-95% increase in profits. Happy customers mean repeat sales, and repeat sales mean more profit. But how do you assure your customers that the relationship is not merely transactional and that they’re only a route to profitability?

Business entails a lot more than just buying and selling. Every day, thousands of merchants flood a niche to sell the same goods or services. As a new business, how do you gain traction? As an existing business owner, what do you do to distinguish your brand, stay competitive, and grow? How do you rise above the noise of the competition to get customers that not only buy once but keep coming back?

The answers to these questions are outlined in five sure ways to deliver a personalized, engaging and resonating customer experience that will keep your clients coming back and your business moving forward.

 

1. Become the Customer’s Trusted Adviser

People want a compelling customer experience, the defining factor (referred to by some as the magic potion) that can help you develop lasting customer relationships, increase sales, and drive up profits.

A recent study by Totango found that 81% of customers are willing to pay for a high-quality customer experience, reinforcing the point that the experience matters as much as the product itself. Customers should thus see your business as that of a trusted advisor. Maintaining active customer conversations helps you stay on their radar and become the first point of contact when they need your services again.

Being in tune with your customers’ traits affords you the necessary insights to be proactive and provide assistance even before the customer calls, demonstrating that you care and value the partnership. By getting involved early in the process, you not only add value to the partnership but also open up further selling opportunities.

Skynamo’s mobile sales app empowers you to track and analyze customer behavior and patterns that help you predict where your customer may need assistance. This will help to solidify the relationship and enhance your brand as one that truly cares about and values its clientele.

Skynamo’s advanced reporting and automated sales tracking app provides you with stock, pricing, and purchasing history for each customer, allowing you to access this information even if your team is offline. This means being never caught off-guard, enabling you to make decisions whether you have an internet connection or not.

 

2. Engage With the Customer at the Right Time

Some 86% of consumers are willing to pay for a superior customer experience but only 1% of them believe that vendors consistently meet those expectations. Solid customer relationships are built via customer engagement. Any relationship requires mutual interest and input from both parties to sustain it long-term.

Your business’ customer retention rate can benefit greatly from quality customer engagement. In fact, research from PwC shows that 32% of customers will abandon a brand they love after just a single bad experience. You can avoid this by engaging with consumers in a thoughtful, well-timed manner.

You can engage customers (and empower them) by inviting them to participate in the development of new projects for your business. Are they looking to break into a new market or introduce a new product? Canvass their opinions and enquire about their short and long-term objectives.

You can send out surveys to gather feedback on your products and services. Rest assured, the odds are in your favor. There is a sharp rise in customer willingness to give up personal data in the United States, with 63% indicating that they are willing to share information with a brand that offers a superior customer experience.

Keep this information in mind while you develop your game plan. You could plan a brainstorming session to help you develop rapport while also granting you an inside look at how they work.

 

3. Engage with your Customers on the Right Platforms

Your website, mobile app, social media channels, and newsletters are potent points of contact with potential and existing customers. You need to present an omnichannel experience across these platforms because you can never know which of these your potential clients would use to make contact.

You have to provide a consistent service quality on all your online platforms if you’re to offer an omnichannel customer experience. This means that educational materials, availability of customer support, brand materials, tone of communication, and all other brand representations should display the same quality consistency across all your customer touchpoints.

Companies that provide consistent service quality across multiple networks retain 89% of their customers, according to Aberdeen Group, while companies that do not provide consistent service quality retain just 33% of their customers.

However, an omnichannel experience does not suggest a rehash of the same content across channels. Every piece of content must be tailored for each medium and for each customer. You can repurpose a blog post into a newsletter, for example, or grab punchy lines to write up a social media post.

 

4. Track Customer Data and Insights

Skynamo’s all-in-1 Field Sales platform helps businesses spend more time with customers, develop more knowledgeable field sales reps, and get sales managers more involved in customer conversations.

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure,” notes Peter Drucker, one of the world’s greatest management consultants. The saying has become somewhat of a cliche, but still very relevant, nonetheless, especially when it comes to customer relationships.

Customer data is important for observing patterns and trends in customer behavior, and if you aren’t doing this already, now is a good time to start. That is why a customer relationship management (CRM) platform is essential. The Skynamo app tracks customers’ purchasing history, presenting a monthly overview of their spending habits. It also offers a comprehensive dashboard that helps you manage and track the activities of your sales reps.

 

5. Prioritize the Right Customers

According to a new survey, 42% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. When you’re responsible for several accounts, you need to know which ones require your attention so you can allocate your time and resources effectively.

Focus on customers with whom you have a history and focus on their complaints or inquiries first. It would be ineffective to be chasing new customers when you have disgruntled existing customers. Again, mental notes or Excel sheets would be inadequate for such a task. You would need a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that provides you with specific information that helps you meet those customers’ needs.

Skynamo provides a feature that allows real-time access to customer location and route planning. You can see where all of your customers are in relation to you on a map so you can schedule your day more efficiently. You can also see which customers are past due for a visit so you can schedule them first. This feature works in synergy with the other features, such as offline access and customer purchase history, helping you to understand your customer better.

 

Invest in Your Communication Skills

Building business relationships is no more difficult than building relationships in real life. Be sincere, genuine, supportive, and present. That alone would increase customer satisfaction and lead to long-term relationships. The importance of outstanding customer service and clear, open communication cannot be overstated.

Open communication will go a long way in boosting your popularity with clients while improving your trust score and making it easier to resolve tricky situations. Increasingly demanding customers are looking to engage with honest businesses and being transparent in appropriate aspects can yield stronger and more profitable client relationships. It is therefore very important that transparency is embedded in the very nature of your work ethic.

Regular interactions with your customer will build trust. It’s also important to remain accessible to your client. If your client knows they can reach you easily and get a quick response, the trust and respect in your brand is entrenched.

The more conversations you can have with your clients the better – it will allow you to have a stronger understanding of their expectations and needs. However, your conversations need not only be about the product or the service, as George Farris, professor emeritus of Rutgers Business School, notes: “Conversation with customers will increase sales, even if the product or service is never mentioned.”

So, resist the temptation to always ‘expect’ from your customer; serve them something exceptional instead. After all, you have to give before you get.

 

Are you looking to create memorable and durable customer relationships but not quite sure how? Get in touch Skynamo today and we will walk you through the options that can help you understand your customers better.