How to Build Stronger Customer Relationships. Oklahoma City Business Incubator Program

How to Build Stronger Customer Relationships Today

A key goal of customer experience is to inspire and maintain lasting customer relationships.

Everyone involved in your business plays a role in the overall customer experience. As a business owner, it’s important to care about designing a consistent, positive, and valuable experience for your customers and community.

Your customers want to feel expected, respected, and protected in your business. That can mean several things, and it’s up to you to determine what that looks like in your organization.

It’s important that businesses navigate their customer’s journey with intentional care and focus. This starts with getting to know them before you actually get to know them. Then intentionally support them along the way, through offering high-value products, providing meaningful service, and building lasting relationships.

Customer research

It’s important to know who your customers really are if you want to treat them well and keep them around for the long haul.

Customer research gives more detailed information about the needs, wants, expectations, biases, and behaviors of your target market. By clarifying this information, businesses can speak to their audience in a way that more deeply relates and makes the largest impact.

How You Can Get to Know Your Customers Better

  • Conduct Surveys
  • Welcome Feedback & Suggestions
  • Avoid Making Assumptions or Generalizations
  • Engage On Social Media
  • Hold Community Events
  • Get Good With Data ( Audience Insights)
  • Be Curious & Ask Questions
  • Listen and Observe More Than You Speak and Persuade

Customer Support

At the end of the day, great customer support creates a great customer experience. Plus, the deeper the research you do, the better you will be able to support and provide value to your customers.

Customer support is just a proactive way to address your customer’s problems. Anticipating potential trouble ahead of time creates smooth interactions for your customers and employees too.

Through the development of this support layer, you can have a deeper impact on your customers, employees, and bottom line. Making the whole process much more predictable and enjoyable for your employees and customers; which we all want.

Tip: Find creative ways to support your customers across all channels of life. (in person, on social media, in conversation, in their community, in their futures, etc.)

Customer Service

Quality customer service is built on strong systems and principles. It emphasizes things like caring, showing up, consistency, and building community.

Customer service can be practiced in simple ways like just being prepared and organized. Or more commonly through the ways in which we communicate and interact with our customers. Like how quick we are to respond to a customer request or how transparent and thorough we are in communicating something.

Customer service is one of the most challenging parts of being in business; because we are humans, and humans can be difficult at times.

So because of this, we have to find a natural source of our customer service skills, and It starts with mindset.

6 Mindset Shifts For More Natural Customer Service

  1. You can afford to be generous. All great service comes from a feeling of generosity and abundance.
  2. The customer is more important than the company. Make this value choice up-front, and decide that your customer’s happiness is the top priority.
  3. Customer service is a profit center. Customer service is not an expense to be lessened. It’s a core profit center, like sales.
  4. Every interaction is a moment to shine. Take a few inefficient moments to get to know someone, make the time.
  5. Lose every fight like a champ. They win. You lose. Yet, you are prepared to do whatever it takes to make them happy again.
  6. Rebelliously right the wrongs of the world. Don’t follow norms. Your business is your little chunk of the world where you can right all of the wrongs, and gracefully show them how it’s done.

Learn more here: Derek Sivers: The Philosophy of Great Customer Service

Customer Retention

Initially, I think that retention is about keeping your customers happy, satisfied, considered, and appreciated.

Strong customer relationships start with trust and transparency. Customers want to be able to trust you. If they trust you, they will probably come back more often and for a longer stretch of time.

According to Harvard Business Review, it costs 5x-25x more to serve new customers than a returning customer. So with even a small retention effort, you could increase profits significantly.

Customer retention benefits your customers and your bottom line. Plus it also boosts employee morale to have loyal and evolving customer relationships.

Ultimately, customer relationships take time to build, and they are really built and grown along every step of the journey.

Each of these stages has its own unique objectives and benefits. Though, when used together with intention, your business can interact with your community in a more meaningful and sustainable way.

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