Businesses often deprioritise maintaining good customer relationships with existing contacts in search of new ones.
By doing so they get so caught up in a loop of trying to achieve their revenue goals. Businesses forget about the significance of nurturing customers while offering awesome deals to draw prospects in.
In fact, looking after customer relations is vital to building your brand.
Satisfied customers definitely return for more services or subscription renewals. Additionally, they become brand advocates resulting in increased customer retention without any extra effort.
First, let’s understand the meaning of positive customer relationships.
What are good customer relationships?
A well-established bond with customers builds a mutual connection from which both customers and businesses can benefit.
What does it mean for businesses?
For any business with an objective to improve retention rate, it becomes crucial to nurture existing customers and maintain excellent relations with them. Studies suggest it is 6 to 7 times more expensive to attract a new customer vs retaining an existing one. Subsequently, businesses not maintaining such a relationship face the risk of higher acquisition costs, losing brand loyalty, and lesser product recommendations.
On the flip side...
What does it mean for customers?
From a customer’s perspective, it means that the business respects and understands them. Customers appreciate the business that goes beyond and makes the customer feel valued. They often expect responsive and personalised efforts in their professional interactions. Sometimes it's just as simple as your MD picking up the phone to thank them for their business.
Why is it important to maintain satisfactory customer relationships?
Businesses have profitability goals that are tightly knitted with productivity, efficiency, acquisition, and retention. Building and maintaining good relationships with customers leads to customer satisfaction. Similarly, customer satisfaction affects business profitability.
Ever checked customer reviews before buying from a business?
Businesses aiming for a competitive advantage often invest efforts in brand development. A good number of satisfied customers help in building a positive brand reputation. Only then, it can contribute to setting your business apart from your competitors.
Hence, a relationship development strategy can be profitable for your business.
In any business, the teams that work most closely with customers are sales and CSMs.
Let’s find out the motivations for sales and customer success teams behind building successful customer relationships.
Why do sales teams invest in maintaining good customer relationships?
By building strong relations, sales teams can reduce customer churn rates and gain valuable customer insights to improve their efforts. Ultimately, investing in maintaining adequate customer relationships can lead to long-term business success.
Here are the 5 benefits that salespeople get in return:
- Increased sales revenue: By building strong relationships with customers, sales teams increase sales revenue through repeat business and higher referral rates.
- Higher customer LTV: When sales teams maintain good relationships with customers, they are more likely to make additional sales and retain customers for longer periods, resulting in higher customer lifetime value.
- Increased market share: Sales teams increase market share and gain a competitive advantage by building strong relationships with customers.
- Increased cross-selling and upselling: Sales teams increase cross-selling and upselling opportunities by understanding customer needs.
- Better customer insights: Sales teams gain better insights into customer needs and preferences, leading to more targeted sales and marketing efforts.
Why CSMs invest in maintaining good customer relationships?
Customer success teams contribute to business success by keeping the customers satisfied. The teams understand and resolve their customers’ pains. Consequently, mitigating the risk of losing customers to a competitor.
Here are the 5 reasons why CSMs invest in relationship-building activities:
Increased customer lifetime loyalty: By maintaining good customer relations, CSMs boost customer lifetime loyalty, creating a strong, long-term, and profitable relationship.
Better customer retention programs: By understanding customer needs and preferences, customer success managers can develop more effective retention programs.
Improved customer retention strategies: By understanding customer needs and preferences, customer success managers can develop more effective retention strategies.
Better customer feedback: Maintaining strong relationships with customers can lead to more honest and valuable feedback, leading to improvements in products and services.
Increased customer advocacy: Satisfied customers are more likely to advocate for a company, leading to increased brand awareness and sales.
6 tips on how to maintain good customer relationships:
1. Make yourself pleasant to do business with
It sounds obvious, but in today’s global economy, it can be easy to forget that fundamentally it all comes to human behavior and interactions. It's the old adage, 'People buy from people'.
If people find you difficult or abrasive they will go to your competitor. It’s that simple to understand.
When you’re wondering how to retain customers, the best way is to be open, honest, and transparent in everything you do.
It’s a powerful method of acquisition, and it’s not at all difficult to practice.
Why not come up with tactics to make sure everyone who interacts with your customers is always polite and respectful? That way, your customers will feel appreciated.
2. Be honest
Take trustworthiness one step further.
It is essential to adhere to deadlines and deliverables that have been agreed upon with a customer.
Obviously, there are times when things go wrong – that’s part of life.
However, at the first sniff of not being able to meet their expectations, do not start dodging the conversations. Instead, let your customers know the situation and provide them with alternative plans. It will create an impression that you are doing everything in your power to get things back on track.
As a result, you will find that your relationship with the client is stronger than ever. They will trust you and your team to be honest with them in the future.
3. Resolve problems quickly and efficiently
Ever heard the familiar saying “The customer is always right”?
Although it may not always be the case, there are times when it is beneficial to display a courteous attitude and remain silent.
Refraining from doing so can lead to more time-consuming and costly consequences than necessary.
When handling individual cases, it is important to consider the long-term effects on customer relationships.
4. Listen carefully to your customers’ whispers
It is essential to maintain customer relationships by carefully listening to what your customers have to say.
It could be in the form of feedback on the recent service, reporting even the minor issues they have experienced, or suggesting ideas for improvement customised to their actual requirement and not what you assume they require.
When conversing with a customer, it is important to remain focused and attentive in order to comprehend their message thoroughly before providing a personalised response.
5. Make it all about THEM, not YOU
Potential customers prioritise their own interests, so continual self-promotion can be a turn-off for your business. To ensure that customers remain engaged, it is important to keep the focus on them and their challenges.
Remember, all the visual aids that you are using to win that customer should revolve around their existing problems.
Let them know how you can meet their specific needs and make sure you stand out in your proposals. Make them understand how you are going to solve their most important issues and make their existing system more efficient.
Or even better, ask them beforehand what they’d like to be addressed by you.
Sales enablement software like sales-i allows you to learn more about your customers and store that information in an easily accessible and reportable way.
This will allow you to send out specially targeted offers and to recall previous conversations whenever your customer calls. So, you can maintain good relationships with customers and keep them feeling special by making everything about them.
6. Keep in regular contact
Carefully crafted newsletters or regular emails that provide useful tips and offers can help to foster customer relationships. Such valuable interactions create a feeling of familiarity with the brand. It is a most common practice and a key factor in strengthening and sustaining customer loyalty.
Regularly sending emails to people provides an opportunity to extend deals or incentives for continued transactional relationships, while also keeping your business in their cognition.
So, when they need services similar to your offering, or when someone else asks for a recommendation, your name will be on the tip of their tongue.
To learn more about how sales-i can help you maintain customer relationships that move your business forward book your free demo with us.