6 Ways to Improve Client Relationships
By Erika Desmond on Nov 19, 2015
Customers are the most valuable asset for any business. Having a good relationship with your clients helps you to identify client needs in order to improve your product, shape your strategies and increase the sales of your business. Client relationships can't be bought, but there are cheap and profitable ways to improve these relationships. For instance, customers can be excited by a more satisfying product, by what you deliver, or what you are. The following are 7 ways of how to build client relationships.
Communicate like a Human Being
You may have called a bank with a credit card issue or a mobile network company seeking help on a pressing issue with their service. Due to high number of customers, they may have let you deal with an automated robot woman who repeats irrelevant options that make you feel like crashing your phone. Sometimes you may be lucky and after dialing the right "operator key" you reach out to a customer service representative, who poorly offers an apology and a sales pitch to understand your problem. It is usually the most dissatisfying, unhelpful and impersonal king of relationship with the company and you may have to consider dumbing their poor service.
However, there first step to build client relationship is to find the touch points with your clients to identify the opportunity for building a more personal relationship. These touch points include listening, follow up, acknowledge and learn to keep it natural. Humans love conversations that are easy and interactive whether through the phone, in person and via email. The point to remember is that people like to be handled like humans.
Learn About Your Customer
To know how to relate with your customer, you must first learn about the target customer. This initial step is usually supposed to build lasting relating relationships with the client, which is far much beneficial than the first sale. For instance, you may find out whether the target or potential customers have a family, have a unique hobby, own a dog – whatever you find from the clients is an opportunity to make better connections with them. This does not suggest you stalk the clients but it's the kind of connection that has to be an on-going relationship.
However, the most effective and easiest way is through knowing the client through listening, follow up calls and meetings are moments of casual conversations. These are the moments you get to learn, listen and build a long term client relationship.
The worst thing about an awful service experience is being ignored or the failure of the service provider to acknowledge that he/she has messed up. The mindset of a poor service is not only reserved for the hospitality industry but every business which deals with clients. Many businesses don't like criticisms but a business should treat criticism as an opportunity to improve the service or make changes. A complaining client is better because there is a chance you can turn that around. Worst case scenario is when the client is dissatisfied and does not communicate with you. Criticism are not personal, but a chance to improve your business and bonding the experience with your customer.
Client relationship touch point means communication points to solve a problem. The problem solving mentality is what is vital to your product and your client. Developing a better client relationship depends on how many problems you have solved for your clients and how they were solved. For instance, connecting your clients with other businesses, solutions, resources or industry increases the trust. To create a lasting relationship, you must establish yourself as the center for solving customer problems.
The type of communication is very important to an existing client. As the business owner, you have to ask yourself whether the bulk of your communication is marketing new products. If it's more of sales and offers, people tend to think that you are more interested in the money and not customer's feedback. To ensure you don't bother the customers with marketing calls, you can opt for digital marketing tools.
Digital marketing tools include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Affiliate marketing, email marketing, paid social media and video hosting among others to market your products digitally to the target market. If you make calls to previous customers only when you want something, it hinders the leverage to use the relationship to drive future sales. However, you may vary the messages to include product news, follow up of services, and company updates to stay helpful. This is how you improve the client relationship.
Listen to Feedback
Listening is as much important as talking to the client which is the reason which you should ask for clients' feedback. Feedback can be asked through the website, blogs or message boards. Feedback helps you to stay up-to-date on the client needs and wants. Client feedback is important to indicate the areas which need improvement such as offering a wider variety of products and services. The important thing is to act on the feedback. Ignoring or refusing to put the feedback as the priority makes the relationship worse. It is also important to thank the customer for the feedback.