14 Feb Build Client Relationships with Great Customer Service
Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.
Companies often don’t recognize the importance of building and maintaining customer relationships. They are focused on staying ahead of the competition and as a result, building customer relationships can sometimes slip through the cracks and that can lead to ill feelings. Remember the old adage, “the customer is always right?” It is hard to deal with an irate customer, but well-trained company representatives can effectively handle it, using basic “acting skills.” It’s important to maintain a cheery attitude when dealing with a problem client. Difficult customers or clients can make or break a business. In these days of social media, opinions of customers quickly spread. This social interaction can destroy or improve the reputation of a business.
Obviously, it is also important to stay on top of trends and what the competition is doing, as well as developing your company’s products and services. But if potential customers aren’t coming through your door, you might as well pack up and go home. Here are just a few tips that offer advice on how to develop good customer relations and improve the way you deal with clients that will keep them coming back.
Take a Deep Breath and Be Patient
It is common for customers to be frustrated and confused with a product and then suffer the humiliation of being treated like an idiot. It is a pleasure for them when they talk to a sympathetic customer service rep who patiently helps them with their issues. Resist “fake” interest as this can backfire when the client senses your interest in their problem isn’t genuine. Take the time to develop a relationship with the client, and personalize the situation. Provide them with the help they need, and focus on solving their problems.
Along with being patient, it is also necessary to pay attention to a customer’s issue. Ask about, and stay up to date with, your client’s company and their industry, which they will appreciate. Really listen to them; this will make the customer feel you are genuinely trying to help. The feedback your business receives after a positive experience will benefit your business as word spreads. Remember, with positive comments, your reputation grows and subsequently, your business, all because of your efforts to develop and maintain client relationships. What a customer tells you may give you ideas of where you could improve your product. Should you receive negative feedback, identify the source of the problem and deal with it. In other words, keep the good feedback, change the bad.
Every Client is the Most Important One
Treat every client as if they are the most important one. Remember, referrals drive your business success, and satisfied clients are going to be the ones that provide these referrals. From a small business owner to a powerful multinational corporation, all should be offered your undivided attention. Don’t assume Mr. Small Business Owner won’t have the influence to provide positive feedback to others. You never know who he’s talking to. And also, remember that today’s mom and pop shop could be the next multinational company. And you want to be their go-to business when that happens.
Do More…and Then Even More
Sometimes you may need to think outside your current services toolbox to cater to the specific requests of a client. They will remember how you went out of your way to meet their needs. And the resulting new product and service will also increase your bottom line by allowing you to build your client base as you now have something new to offer.
That’s Not What You Said
Miscommunication is one of the biggest problems, both within a personal and business context. Ensure that customers understand what you are saying and vice versa. Some clients prefer face-to-face communication. Indulge them. Phone calls can often lead to miscommunication if there is no record of what was discussed. Email is a good option. No disputing who said what if you have a written record. Don’t be long-winded, keep to the point, and focus on the problem at hand. It’s imperative that the customer fully understands what you are saying, in terms of how to solve their problem and how to use a product. Putting yourself into an “I said, they said” situation is very counter-productive, and can potentially lead to the loss of a valuable client.
I Think It Works Like This
One of most frustrating scenarios is when a customer walks into a business and the rep is totally unaware of the product. How can a rep effectively assist a customer if they are totally ignorant of the product? Reps must be required to understand the intricate details of the product and be able to explain how to use it to a customer in ways that aren’t too technical for the customer to understand.
You Don’t Have All Day
It is a delicate balance to assist a customer, while not letting them monopolize your time. A customer who needs help must get it but only up to a certain point. If a rep gets jammed up time-wise and can’t help the customer in an efficient and timely manner, then the rep may need to turn over the issue to another rep who can better assist the customer.
Not all customer-related issues deal with product problems. Some reps get messages that indicate curiosity about a product, rather than complaining that it sucks. The rep will need to employ some very sophisticated persuasion skills to capture the attention of the potential client, making them want to know more. Reps need to always be on the lookout for new customers and must use their skills of persuasion to ultimately close the deal.
These tips are by no means a comprehensive list of what constitutes developing and maintaining long-term customer and client relationships. But they are a start.
This is How We Do It
Cyber Fision prioritizes building customer relationships by really listening to our customer’s needs, the first and most important step. Once we fully understand what is required, we then brainstorm and determine a solution that will provide—often built from the ground up—the product or app that meets their requirements. If they want something specific, then we will do what’s necessary to build it for them.
For example, Cyber Fision built an app for Acadian Home Theatre and Automation and Acadian Security Plus, a company that provides home theatre services, automation, and security to their clients. They wanted an easy way for their customers to be able to send in service requests through the app, rather than having to pick up the phone and call. So, Cyber Fision created a way for the customer to send in these service requests through the app. For example, “my TV isn’t working.” This alert goes directly to Acadian through the app, and their service people will be able to fix the issue quickly and efficiently. This is a good example of customer service, specifically adapting to the customer’s needs, making it as easy as possible for their clients to use their services. Everybody wins.
We Thank You
Cyber Fision strives to maintain good customer and client relationships because we realize that customers are at the core of our business. We focus on our customer’s needs and as a result, they leave happy and satisfied, and continue to come back to us. Without them, we would certainly not be the success story that we are. So, we would like to take this Valentine’s Day opportunity to thank our customers, for their business, their support, and their continued patronage.