7 Tips for Successful Customer Relationship Management
Existing customers are more profitable than new ones, so why do so many businesses skip on nurturing those relationships?
Using CRMs, customer health scores and other software to keep track of your customers is just the tip of relationship management. Talking to your customers, and maintaining this communication, is the key to loyalty-building. You’ll have an easier time upselling if you establish trust with your customers.
What is customer relationship management?
Customer relationship management are the principles, tools and best practices a business uses to better interact with existing and potential customers.
Keeping up with your customers will ensure they’re using your product correctly and don’t feel forgotten. If you neglect your existing customers, it will just make it easier for your competition to swoop in and convince them to switch.
Of course, if you have a large customer base, it’s unreasonable to expect your team to check in with everyone. But there are personalized ways to reach many customers at once if they don’t have a dedicated account manager.
7 strategies for managing customer relationships
- Use a CRM and define a strategy
- Involve your customers in feature updates
- Send emails more often
- Anticipate customer needs before they ask
- Invite your customers to a call
- Be transparent, even if it hurts
- Reward loyal customers
- Userlike: your ultimate customer relationship management strategy
Use a CRM and define a strategy
A CRM is necessary for maintaining good relationships, but so is a strategy for using it. The software needs to be simple for your team to use so that it can become an integral part of your business.
Solutions, like Lime CRM, onboard your team so your CRM is tailored to your existing business processes, or to improve them. Once your software is embedded in your company, it’s important that your whole team is using it the same way. This ensures a more effective workflow with timely customer follow-ups, updated profiles and more.
Involve your customers in feature updates
Customer feedback is incredibly valuable, so don’t let it go to waste. Popular feature requests will help grow your product, and is a customer-centric approach to growing your business.
Customers will see that they do have an impact on your product. Giving customers what they want (when reasonable) will also make it unlikely for them to want to switch providers — your product proves to meet their changing needs.
Use surveys, chats and calls to learn what your customers need. Perhaps they have an idea in mind but never find the time to reach out and request it. Give them the opportunity with an easy feedback form in your next marketing email.
Userlike: Instant chats, long-term customer relationships
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Send emails more often
Regularly sending emails doesn’t equal spam. You likely earned a customer’s business with your convincing blog articles, demos and lead magnets, so why stop sending content?
As a live chat business, our customers frequently ask for tips on how to get more chats, use proactive messaging and make feature requests. This is the perfect opportunity to share our blog posts on the topic or link to any helpful content we’ve created.
The best approach, however, is to give customers this relevant, valuable content before they ask. Tips, videos and feedback forms will empower customers to use your product and give them the chance to speak their mind.
This content can also be used in your lead generation strategy. Read our post, “9 email lead generation strategies that hook customers” for inspiration on how to earn more customers through email.
Anticipate customer needs before they ask
A successful business keeps up with changes in their industry and adapts accordingly. This means researching what new challenges your customers face in the current economy. Your competitor may already have the solution to a growing problem.
Customers can detect when they have an issue, but may not know how to fix it. You’ll maintain better customer relationships and prevent them from wanting to leave if you confidently present solutions.
For example, we added automation to our customer messaging software. This prevents our customers from having to pay for external software to build a chatbot. Everything our customers need to provide instant human and automated service is in one place.
Invite your customers to a call
Though it’s not a modern contact channel, we can’t deny that phone is still one of the most personal ways to communicate.
Calling your customers will allow for an effortless flow of information and ideas. There’s a sense of novelty to it, being able to talk directly to your service or software provider. A customer may appreciate you reaching out to them and take that as an opportunity to share feature requests or constructive feedback.
For example, during a customer call with a member of our marketing team, we received a request to add auto-playing videos to our chat widget. It’s a feature you don’t see often, but is a great proactive approach. We now have a working prototype and it’s in our pipeline.
Both parties benefit from one-on-one conversation. Your customers are given a platform and you get specific feedback on your business offerings. Here’s a few questions you can ask during your customer interviews:
- How did you find us?
- How has our solution helped your business?
- What problems are you facing?
- How could we improve?
Be transparent, even if it hurts
Bad news can mean good news in customer relationships. If your business messes up and gracefully owns up to it, customers will trust you more.
It’s easier for us to empathize with issues if we understand the context behind it. Imagine you’re standing in a long line at the grocery store and only one cashier is open. Instant frustration.
Now imagine that the manager makes an announcement over the speaker that they’re severely understaffed due to illness. That’s an understandable reason, and far easier to make peace with. It erases feelings of neglect.
If an unhappy customer approaches you with an issue and it’s your business’ fault for not living up to quality expectations, explain why and offer a solution if possible.
To develop more healthy communication habits at your business, read our post, “6 tips for transparency in business.”
Reward loyal customers
Loyal customers are more likely to refer your business to their contacts and buy from you again.
They’re also less expensive — sending a discount code may be all it takes for them to upgrade or buy something new. Try sending an email with an offer and a catalog of your new products/services to active and/or longtime customers.
If you’re not quite sure which customers are eligible for rewards (we can’t all afford to be too generous), there are six ways to measure.
Userlike: your ultimate customer relationship management strategy
Before you can begin nurturing customers, you need to use the right tools and processes to capture them.
Userlike gives you a unique blend of live chat, messaging and automation features for proactive, personalized support. Here are some notable features for getting your customer’s attention:
Widget routers. Different site visitors want different things. Customize their user experience by offering support in their preferred language or by using a specific approach mode, like proactive chat.
Video/audio calls. Chat is perfect for your first contact with a potential lead. And if a conversation is better handled face to face, Userlike makes it easy to escalate to a call.
On-page guidance. Take the customer by the hand and guide them through your website. This will help them solve their problems more quickly and prevent any frustrating experiences.
Sign up for a free Userlike trial and turn your website into a lead generation powerhouse.