Successful entrepreneurs understand the need to connect with their customers. Building relationships is the best way to know what customers need and to give them exactly that. It is also a great way to make your customers feel cared for and appreciated. Small business owners have an advantage in this regard because they can reach their customers at a more personal level than larger businesses can. Here are four ways small businesses can build great relationships that keep customers coming back.
There are two important aspects of communicating with your customers to enhance customer relationships: active listening and business promotion. Many businesses owners put a lot of emphasis on marketing and promotion and forget that if they do not listen to their customers to understand what they need, their messaging is likely not going to help their business at all.
Active listening involves having conversations with your customers. Although the bulk of these conversations will be centred around what customers need as well as what your business can do for them, they are also a great way of coming up with solutions (in the form of products or services) that help deal with the issues or eliminate the pain points your customers have.
Understanding this, businesses must take the time to assess whether their employees are communicating effectively with their customers. Knowing how to engage with customers and to communicate effectively with them is also a great way to avoid conflicts that might find their way onto social media and become a massive liability.
Ask For Feedback
Customers will always have something to say about your business and it is better for them to say it to you than to anyone else for several reasons. One of these is if your customers do not feel heard by your business, they are likely to turn away. Inviting customer feedback is a great way to show you are listening and you care.
Actively listening for and seeking feedback leads to better products and services, as explained above, and this can be a great way for a business to expand and grow.
Businesses can collect customer feedback in various ways; through social media, surveys, interviews, or even providing comment cards for physical businesses.
Surpass Their Customer Service Expectations
Providing stellar customer service shows that you care about your customers and that you are a great business to interact with. Business relationships start getting eroded when customers start feeling like they cannot get the help they need when they need it from a business. Additionally, customers want to reach real human agents once they cannot find the answers they are looking for.
Businesses should surpass this expectation. This can be done by directly reaching out to customers who may not have been satisfied with the level of service offered. Additionally, businesses can show they care about their customers by sending anniversary gifts or messages just so customers know they are thinking of them.
Businesses should also ensure that all interactions they have with their customers are helpful and prompt, so they do not feel like they are a waste of time. To help with this, businesses can use software to enhance all interactions they have with their customers.
Software that helps a business reply to texts and phone calls faster makes its team appear more responsive, which most customers appreciate. Businesses can set up auto-replies to get back to customers while they are away or snippets that allow them to answer questions in a single click. A tool like Open Phone helps businesses do this and more. It allows teams to sync contacts across all members to allow them to reach customers wherever they want for follow-ups. Open Phone also helps businesses to keep track of conversations, so all customer messages are read. It is also a digital sales tool, helping businesses automate texting for abandoned carts and reach out to new customers using local phone numbers.
Put Yourself In your Customers’ Position
Although businesses can try to understand their customers in various ways, none of them beat putting yourself in your customer’s position. Tapping into your customers’ psyche, emotions, and motivations can help you understand them better. When doing this, it is important to look past the demographic and try to find out why your customers need you.
Understanding what drives your customer’s decisions gives you a deeper insight into them, makes it easier to communicate with them, and helps you deliver exactly what they need.
Building amazing customer relationships is not always about having great customer service, although that certainly helps. It is also about taking a deeper look at who they are and understanding them at a deeper level. Communicating and reaching out can provide a lot of insight into what motivates them, which leads to easier communication, your customers feeling you care, and them sticking with your business.