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Building a strong relationship with your customer

27th Oct 2017
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Strong relationships form the bedrock of any successful business transaction. When a customer trusts your business, they tend to respond positively to your communication, thus contributing towards higher revenue. One study found that customers spend more when they trust a business. In short, building a strong, trustworthy relationship with your customer is in your own business interests.

Building a solid and trustworthy partnership does not happen overnight and is the outcome of processes built over the years. They can be distinctly categorized into one of the following best-practices:

Seamless customer onboarding

Ever wondered how companies that are constantly listed among the worst when it comes to customer service manage to acquire these customers in the first place? It’s because they have amazing sales development representatives (SDRs). It’s often said that customers don’t buy from businesses, but from people they like and trust. But when a sale is complete, this ‘account’ is transferred from the SDR to an account manager who your customer has not previously engaged with. This creates a disconnect between the experience that the customer expects and the one that they receive.

For a strong and sustainable relationship, it is important to make this account transition seamless. It is a good idea to retain your SDRs as the point of contact for at least a couple of months after the sale is completed. This ensures a smooth onboarding and a relationship that your customer trusts.

Establish an effective and transparent communication system

It emerged last year that a large chunk of the billions of dollars spent by the world’s largest businesses (including the likes of P&G, L’Oreal and Emirates) on programmatic advertising were wasted on bots, ad fraud, and inflated ad costs. This revelation not only led to hundreds of media buying contracts being revoked, but also led to a mass-migration towards alternate advertising platforms that were transparent in their pricing and the way that traffic was acquired.

A failure to be transparent about your business practices can be catastrophic to your business. Organizations like banks and insurance agencies routinely embed hidden clauses in their contracts that are deceptive and can bring about a breakdown in the relationship they have with clients. For a sustainable relationship with your client, it is important to be upfront about your business processes and practices. Such transparency aids in building trust that help retain clients.

Be there when your customer needs you

Customers are not all the same. Some need more hand-holding than others. A failure to not be there when the customer needs you the most is one of the biggest sources of frustration that brings about distrust in a business relationship. A standard 24-48 hour turnaround time for support inquiries is fine. However, make it possible for your customer to reach out to you sooner with the help of channels like chat or phone call. This way, customers can get help from a business when they need it, and this lays the foundation for a trusting relationship.

One reason why businesses are increasingly gravitating towards non-real-time support channels is because live support incurs higher overhead. One way to keep customers happy without overloading your system is by offering a fixed number of free real-time support requests. This way, customers can choose to opt for real-time support only when they need it the most. It’s a win-win for both the customer and the business.

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