Running a successful business isn’t just about sales rates and acquiring new customers. It is also about respecting your customers, listening to their feedback or suggestions, answering their complaints, and improving the business.
Owing to today’s technology, the words of a few angry customers can reach more people than you would expect and that can be harmful, especially to small businesses.
A respectful relationship between your brand and your customers is essential if you want to have a steady income, but if you want to expand your business and your customer base, that will not cut it. Customer loyalty and love are a result of a harmonious relationship that takes time to build and that needs to be maintained. Having that in mind, here are some topics to reflect on if you wish to establish a rapport with your customers.
Support Your Customers
What’s crucial for any online business is a good customer support system. Why? Because bad support can discourage a prospective customer from purchasing a product or a service in the first place. Not to mention what it can do to your relationship if the support fails to answer present customers’ grievances. If you are still handling all of the emails and calls by yourself without any particular order, you should think again.
Be mindful of the fact that not all customers like the same channel of communication – some hate chatting, others talking over the phone. Of course, the second thing to consider is your budget, so the support structure you choose should be a balance between your customer’s wishes and your possibilities.
You can start with some simpler ticketing or e-mail systems such as Zendesk, Freshdesk or Help Scout, and as your customer base grows, adapt it and add other features such as live chat, or support by phone.
What’s vital is that your customers feel that you are able to inform them about anything related to your products and that you can handle any problem that arises.
Correct Your Mistakes
If you have noticed some mistakes, for example, in the product description on your website, don’t set that matter aside as secondary, but instead deal with it right away. Being prompt is especially important if you noticed several complaints reported by your customers about the same issue. Correcting those, at first glance, less relevant mistakes, contributes to your customers feeling they are heard and respected.
On the other hand, being proactive is also a wise strategy. You can send out questionnaires to your present customers to learn about their experience, whether they noticed some mistakes or if something can be approved.
To those whose responses were truly informative, you can give a gift as a token of appreciation. You can send them a personalized ‘thank you’ card, or some promotional items with your logo, such as a mug, or a USB stick.
If you are not feeling particularly creative, you can always consult with the employees at a business printing center, or choose a template from their offer. This gift, besides expression of your gratitude, is also the proof you truly value your customers.
Opt for Transparency
Sincerity regarding prices, production processes, materials, and other product-related topics has become cardinal. People have become used to sharing their lives online to such an extent that they expect to know the tiniest details about most things around them, including the items they purchase. A lot like in everyday life, loyalty is interconnected with trust, and you can build trust towards your brand and products only if you aim for honesty.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to share information on your income and sales since some data are confidential for a reason.
However, a lot of people want to know if a product is cruelty-free or to make sure that your company isn’t using child labor. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t be afraid of customer feedback, their questions, and getting personal. Mistakes are a part of the road to success and not something to be ashamed of. Showing that there are real people behind the business, who learn and improve, who regret their mistakes and celebrate their achievements, is what will make the customers fall in love with your brand.
Think about the brands, apart from your own, you are passionate about. What drew you to them, and made you stay loyal to them? Some points will differ depending on the branch of business the brand is involved in, but one point will definitely be the same: the way they treat you as a customer.
There are some instances when the first contact doesn’t go that well when you have a complaint about the product. But if it gets resolved quickly, and if the company is earnestly apologetic about it, that honesty is precisely what will make you choose them again.
In this modern world, where most information can be found with just a few clicks, honesty is really the best policy. The customers will appreciate the humane dimension you bring to your brand and will reciprocate by spreading the word about it.
If you are attentive towards your customers and if you constantly strive to improve your offer, you can expect to be rewarded with a long-term connection.