Establishing, building and maintaining client relationships is no piece of cake. It takes a lot of time and consistent efforts on your part.
Sample these statistics, which explain why building strong client relationships is the need of the hour.
- 82% of consumers say that having their issues resolved quickly is the first and foremost factor that leads to great customer service.
- According to Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey, in 2013, 62% global consumers switched their service providers owing to poor customer service experiences.
- About 70% of the buying experiences depend on how customers are being treated. (McKinsey)
This is why, you need to gain trust, improve communication, remove potential roadblocks and be more humane and approachable to your clients. But most importantly, you should follow complete transparency and give utmost importance to each of your clients. You also need to take certain steps, which will keep you on the top of your clients’ minds.
Want to know how you can effectively build and improve your client relationships this year? Here are some tips, which will help you establish strong ties with your clients in 2016.
#1 Pay attention to the little details
Had your first meet with a prospective client? Don’t forget to ask them for their business card and remember to keep in touch with them from that point onwards. It is always a good idea to remember bits and pieces of your conversation with them, especially if you notice something about their personality or maybe, personal life. This will give you something to talk about the next time you meet them or hold a conversation and help in bonding with them. It is these little details that help build a lasting relationship with all your clients.
#2 Don’t forget to keep in touch
Like any other relationship, customer relationship also requires constant attention. Remember “Out of sight, out of mind”? You surely don’t want this to happen to your business and lose out on a great prospect, do you?
This is the reason why, the lack of communication and attention is a strict no-no.
The solution is to find out ways through which you can reach out to your clients at regular intervals and keep them engaged.
Invest in personalized birthday cards, yearly souvenirs, holiday greetings or simply mails wishing them on special occasions. Alternatively, send them newsletters or recommend new business opportunities to them. These gestures will be appreciated by your clients and keep you on the top of their mind. Moreover, they will also be inclined to return the favor to you and this is what will lay the foundation of a trusting relationship.
#3 Offer the best form of customer support
The kind of customer support that you offer is also a determining factor when it comes to building long-term relationships. A sure-shot way to do this is to make your business more humane, more approachable.
You need to ensure that your customers/clients can reach out to a customer care representative and not just another voicemail that generates automated replies. The same goes for automatically generated mails.
Instead, reply to their queries, complaints, suggestions or any other feedback on social media channels in person via an expert and offer them quick assistance. The quicker you are with providing them support and solving their queries, the more valued they will feel.
A quick and personalized response from you, will automatically translate into trust for your business or service.
#4 Be consistent in your efforts
If there is something that goes hand in hand with an exceptional customer service, then it has to be consistency in the efforts.
Consistency is applicable to each and every aspect of your business, which includes:
- Striving to make your product or service better based on client feedback.
- Building up a strong sales and customer support team that promptly resolves clients’ problems.
- Looking for innovative ways to enhance customer experience.
- Improving the existing strategy to match client needs in the best possible way.
Being consistent in your efforts will definitely pay off in the times to come and so, you need to keep on working in this direction.
#5 Transparency and honesty
Always follow a transparent and honest path to be in their good books. Don’t try to cover up your mistakes, if you have committed one while offering your service and handle negative feedback gracefully.
In essence, you need to be prepared to handle accolades as well as brickbats and with social media being democratic channels where your clients can openly post negative reviews about your business, taking a transparent and honest approach will save the day. It will earn you respect in the eyes of your clients and customers.
For instance, Simplymeasured explores some of the ways you can handle negative feedback on social media. Follow similar steps and you will never go wrong when another negative review comes in for your business.
At the same time, learn from the lessons and make sure that the mistakes are not repeated in the future. This way, you also add to the betterment of your services, which will be highly appreciated by your clients.
#6 Be easy to approach
Do you want your client to interact and engage with you and your business or organization? Do you want them to effectively provide you with feedback? If your answer is yes, then you need to make it a point to open up different channels of communications through which they can easily reach out to you and your business.
Social media platforms are the most common forms of communication channels and so is your business’s official website. Provide your complete contact details on all these platforms to make it easier for them to contact you.
#7 Make clients feel valued
The last and the most important tip on our list is to make your clients feel valued.
For this purpose, you can introduce customer loyalty programs, which is a common step taken by almost all the existing businesses in various niches. Additionally, you can make them feel valued by sending them small tokens or souvenirs.
You need not spend fortunes to make your clients feel appreciated. For instance, you can opt for gifting them gifts or souvenirs such as planners, calendars, t-shirts, keychains, pens, USB flash drives etc. You can also opt for unique products from Magnets.com and get them customized by including your company’s name and logo. Such gifts are greatly valued by clients and every time they look at it, they will be reminded of you and your business.
These are some fruitful tips you need to use for building and improving your client relationships this year. Have any other point we missed out on the list? Share the same with us through your comments.