The relationships you build with customers are the lifeblood of your organization, no matter the size. In short, your business will not thrive without solid relationships with customers. It’s just that simple.
Building lasting and trusting relationships with consumers is one of the best ways to see continual growth in your organization. You should not think of your customers as transactional. You should be thinking about how you can serve them for the long term.
Building long-lasting customer relationships is more than just being nice and smiling. It’s about implementing strategies that allow you to build trust over the long haul.
If you’re looking for traditional and non-traditional ways to build lasting customer relationships, check out our tips here.
Build an exceptional customer service program
This should be a no-brainer with any business and we are sure you have some element of customer service. But how far do you and your team go to ensure your customers are served properly? Sure, you may have customer service professionals within your organization. But are they just fielding incoming calls or are they proactive in reaching out to customers regularly? A good old-fashioned unexpected customer service call to check in is a great way to build trust. Your team should also be promptly addressing any type of inquiries and issues without delay, and you should meet your customer where they are, providing personalized support to make them feel valued.
Your accounts receivable process is a great way to build relationships
You heard us right. Your invoicing and billing procedures is one area where you can build solid relationships with your customers. When your invoicing and follow-ups are clear and consistent, then in theory, there should be no doubt as to your payment expectations. Where customer relationships breakdown is when invoicing is sporadic, inaccurate or aggressive.
Some quick ways that your billing procedures can build relationships are setting out payment expectations, billing accurately and on time, tactful and respectful follow-ups and providing various ways for your customers to make a payment.
Choosing the right collection agency can save customer relationships
Again, you heard that right.
Your internal billing procedures, as we mentioned, are a great way to build trust with your customers. But as you know, there will be times when customers pay late and not pay at all. And it is important for you to extend the courtesy you generally give, to customers in situations when they have not paid you. And that’s why you need to choose the collection agency for your business carefully. Yes, you want them to collect the money your customers owe you, but you also want them to preserve the relationships you have built. For example, if you have a customer who has fallen on hard times and a debt collection professional can help them navigate that tough situation, that is an extension of the customer service you have provided that customer.
Effective communication builds solid relationships
We’ve all ordered something from a business or asked a business to provide us with a service and have received poor communication. And what happens is we lose trust in that business quickly. That’s why it is important to train everyone in your organization about the importance of effective communication. It should be an important part of your training. Employees you have working with customers should be helpful, courteous, patient and prompt when dealing with customers.
Personalized experiences for each customer
Your customers don’t want to be just another number in your database. And one of the best ways to build a loyal customer is to provide them with the personalized experience they expect. Meet that customer where they are, solve their challenges and show them that you took the time to provide them with exactly what they needed. When you do that, you have enhanced not only customer service but the customer experience.
Ask for feedback
Many people do not like feedback or criticism. For many, these are tough things not to take personally. But if you remove the emotions out of feedback and surveys, many times you find something that could be improved in your business. Sometimes we need an outside look to help us improve how we serve the customer. And sometimes, certain suggestions don’t make sense. But just having a method by which your organization receives feedback shows the customer that you are willing to listen, and that builds trust. Will you implement that idea? That’s up to you and your team. But by asking, you show customers that you value the relationship.