In today’s highly competitive business environment, generating growth requires a conscious and deliberate effort to build lasting customer relationships. While there is no single way to accomplish this, we will explore a few proven strategies that have stood the test of time.
Why We Need To Focus on Building Lasting Customer Relationships
As the saying goes, customers are the lifeline of any business. Yet, many businesses fall in the trap of focusing on their product or service and losing sight of creating and nurturing meaningful and lasting relationships with their customers.
Focusing on customer relationships will ensure you remain on track and deviation between your offering and the customer’s needs is quickly identified and addressed. This work is essential for any business, but it is especially important for startups, points out Afshin Ardalan of Vancouver. A startup’s success depends on the goodwill and support of its early adopters, who are likely to be the most influential members of their community.
A strong relationship with these early adopters is paramount as it helps establish your credibility, which in turn will help bring additional clients onboard.
5 Customer Relationship Strategies
1. Understand Their Needs and Desires
Having a thorough understanding of the customers’ needs and points of view is critical. Once this is thoroughly understood, the task of demonstrating how your product meets those needs and alleviates those pain points will become much easier. Here are some ways to do this according to Afshin Ardalan:
- Find out exactly what pain points the customer is experiencing and why those exist.
- Get an accurate picture of your customer’s overall business process (for B2B clients) or their lifestyle (for B2C customers). Having this picture can make it easier to identify how your offering can help them.
- Find out where the existing solution they are using is falling short in meeting their needs.
2. Be Sure to Build a Rapport
Building Rapport is crucial for building a successful relationship with customers. When you have a good rapport, customers are more likely to return or recommend you to others. To have a good rapport with your customers, here are some tips from Mr. Ardalan:
- Be Genuine: You have to believe in your own product. If you have a passion for and truly believe in the virtues of your product, your enthusiasm will show and becomes contagious.
- Put yourself in their shoes: This will help you understand how your offering can help solve their problems and needs, and if needed how can your offering be altered to better meet those needs.
3. Take Advantage of the Opportunity
Once you have identified a gap between the customer’s requirements and the current solutions available to them, it is possible to take advantage of that opportunity by offering your product and demonstrating how it can fill that gap.
Finally, it goes without saying that you must ensure your product provides a viable solution that meets client needs for this to work. Afshin Ardalan of Vancouver lists some important considerations below:
- One technique is to ask open-ended questions that result in new insight. Additionally, this insight will be critical in identifying how your offering can fill an existing gap or shortfall.
- Ensure you are familiar with the existing solution they are using or other solutions available to them. Moreover, your clients always have options and being aware of those options is critical.
- Finally, it’s important to let your guard down and come across as friendly and approachable. Allowing them to get a good sense of who you are will make for a more pleasant and fruitful interaction.
4. Having A Great Customer Care Team
Having a great customer care team is crucial for building relationships with customers. A knowledgeable and efficient team will keep customers happy and recommend you to friends.
Furthermore, by creating an effective customer care team, you can create a positive image of yourself within the business and cultivate a trusting relationship with your customers. A well-functioning customer care team can alleviate some of the stress of dealing with customers.
Finally, by providing support by phone, online, or in person, your staff can provide immediate assistance if there is a question or issue. Additionally, having trained members of your staff who understand customer service can make the experience more pleasant and less daunting.
5. Measure To Assess Success
Every business needs to figure out how to measure success. Thus, identifying and monitoring the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will ensure you remain on track and can take corrective action if you are deviating from your path.
One commonly used metric is the Net Promoter Score or NPS. Moreover, this measures how likely your clients are to refer you to their friends or connections. The more satisfied they are with you, the higher the probability of providing a referral. Also, if your NPS score is high, this is an indication that you are meeting the customers’ needs and if it is not, it indicates you still have work to do.
To sum it all up, cultivating healthy customer relationships requires a conscious effort. As long as companies take the time to learn about their customers’ wants and needs, they can craft a strategy that does more than just satisfy those wants and needs. Ultimately, Afshin Ardalan says, “With the right approach, customers are likely to become loyal to you and to recommend your business and products.”