Your customers are the reason your company exists. Without them, you would have no one to sell your product or service to. That's why it's essential to nurture your relationships with them and inspire their loyalty and trust.
If you're unable to do so, your biggest competitor will likely be more than happy to step in and fill the void. We've already covered how to reduce customer churn in our previous articles.
In this blog post, we'll cover 6 of the best ways to improve vendor and customer relations so that you can keep your customers close and strengthen your business relationships.
The 6 best ways to improve customer relations
It doesn't matter what industry or niche your business is in, the following tips can still be applied and help you nurture better relationships with your customers.
Supercharge your support team
Often, the first point of contact that a customer has with your company is when they reach out to support with an issue. This is why it's so important to supercharge your support team by not only hiring the right people, but ensuring they have the proper training to provide an excellent support experience.
Your customer service reps should be friendly, helpful, and above all, knowledgeable about your product or service. They should be able to quickly solve any issues that your customers are having so that they walk away feeling satisfied with the experience.
In addition to providing great support, you should also make sure that you have enough agents to cover the size of your team. There should never be more customers waiting on hold than there are agents available to help them. We've already covered how many customer support agents to hire before, so make sure you hire enough agents and that you hire the right people for the job.
Personalize all experiences
Every human is different. Each person's needs, wants, and values will all be different. This means that the preferences and ways of communicating between each customer will vary, which is often why automated customer support solutions may leave clients with a sour taste in their mouths.
In fact, studies have shown that more than 76% of all consumers prefer speaking to a customer support representatives over automated systems.
By personalizing every experience, you can make your customers feel valued as individuals, rather than just another number in an Excel sheet.
This could be something as simple as offering multiple avenues of customer support so that they can choose the one that they're most comfortable with, or it could be something more complex like using data collected from past interactions to provide a more personalized support experience.
When customers feel like they are being treated as individuals, they are much more likely to respond positively and forge lasting relationships with the businesses they interact with. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, personalization can be the key to success.
Engage in proactive support
When a customer reaches out with a problem, it's likely that they're already frustrated and may even be ready to churn. Instead of allowing customers to get to this level of frustration, try to engage in proactive support.
This means being proactive about solving problems before they even happen rather than having to provide reactive support. And the best way to do this is through the right tools.
One of the most relevant proactive support tools is a session replay tool, which records all user sessions in your app so you can see bugs and issues in context. You can also see bottlenecks, sticking points, and rage clicks to figure out exactly where you can improve.
Fullview Replays is a session replay tool built around customer identity and specifically for customer support teams, meaning you can see exactly what customers do in your app, how they interact with features, and reach out to them directly if you notice them becoming frustrated or experiencing issues.
Build trust by increasing transparency
Building trust with your customers is essential to maintaining relationships with them. There are many ways you can build trust, whether that's through transparency on a sales call, truthful marketing, or communicating to users exactly what an issue is and when they can expect it to be fixed.
Transparency is key when things go wrong, as it allows customers to see that you're being honest with them and that you're a reliable partner to work with. Be open about any issues that arise, and keep your customers updated on your progress in solving them.
While sugarcoating an issue may be tempting and an easy solution to your issues, it will lead to failure in the process and cause you more problems in the long run when your customers realize that they can't trust you. Instead, commit to being transparent, and your customers will reward you with their trust.
Aim to educate, not to sell (or upsell)
If you want to create long-lasting and meaningful customer relationships, your goal should be to educate rather than sell.
While it can be tempting to always try to close a sale or upsell a customer, it's even more important to educate them on what they're buying, why they need it, and how it can benefit them.
Too often, businesses focus on the features of their product rather than the benefits that the customer will experience. By taking the time to educate your customers on how your product or service can improve their lives, you're much more likely to forge a lasting relationship with them.
When a customer approaches you with a problem, your first instinct should be to find a solution to their problem and, in the end, demonstrate how your service can be that solution without trying to upsell them on features they may not need. You should also practice this across functions – from marketing to sales to customer support.
By putting your customers first, you're much more likely to build a lasting relationship with them.
Make it easy for customers to give feedback —and listen to it
If you want to know how to improve customer relationships, you need to make it easy for customers to give feedback — and then actually listen to it. This feedback can come in many forms, from a simple conversation to an online review.
No matter how you collect feedback, it's essential that you listen to what your customers are saying and take their suggestions to heart. By doing so, you're much more likely to improve customer relationships, as you'll be seen as a responsive and considerate business.
Finally, don't forget to take action on the feedback you receive. Customers will be much more likely to trust and respect you if they see that you're actually making changes based on their suggestions instead of just paying lip service to them.
Knowing how to improve vendor and customer relations is an essential skill for any business. By following the tips above, you can build trust, educate your customers, and make it easy for them to give feedback.
By doing so, you're much more likely to create long-lasting and meaningful customer relationships instead of short-term transactions.