How to Build Customer Relationships

If you are a new business or a pre-existing company dipping its toes into e-commerce, you will want to know how to build customer relationships. Where to begin? Don’t worry. We have got you covered.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The most important aspect of building customer relationships is to keep the lines of communication open.
  • Set up social media accounts, employ live chat agents, and operate a customer service phone line if economically viable.
  • You should also work to regularly exceed the expectations of your customer base.

Why Build Customer Relationships?

This may seem obvious to some, but building and maintaining solid relationships with your consumer base can be a key component of growing your business. In other words, building customer relationships will lead to greater profits in the long term. Customer relationships can also be directly affected by fake product reviews, and that’s where using Fakespot comes in.

How to Build Customer Relationships?

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that relationships with your customers are as solid as a diamond.

Insider Tip

Building and maintaining solid relationships with your consumer base can be a key component of growing your business.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

In survey after survey, one of the key complaints from customers is that companies don’t have readily available lines of communication. Many large tech companies don’t even have open phone lines, for instance. If you really want to build good relationships with your customers, spend some time and money building out a communication infrastructure. This could be as simple as allowing direct messages to a Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, or Amazon account.

If you really want to go the extra mile, staff someone to man a customer help email line or invest in live chat capabilities. The final piece of the puzzle will be an actual phone line. Make sure that your customer service phone number is readily available, easy to find, and limit wait times as much as possible. Customers want to know that you care about their business.

Take Their Concerns Seriously

Be sure to always take the concerns of the customer seriously. Do not hesitate to hand out coupons, refund money, send out vouchers, or perform other acts of gratitude. A little bit can go a long way. Sure, you may be losing a bit of money offering a refund when the details are not 100% clear, but that gesture will engender customer loyalty. In other words, they will post about it online and tell friends and family about the positive customer service encounter they experienced with your business. At this point, customers will also be interested in knowing how to get a refund when it says no refund.

Insider Tip

If you really want to build good relationships with your customers, spend some time and money building out a communication infrastructure.

Ask for Feedback

The winds of e-commerce are always changing. To stay abreast of the current desires of your preferred market, ask for customer feedback. You can attach a feedback survey to a coupon email or a customer service number. Or, you can just address your customers directly via social media. Compose a tweet asking customers how you are doing from time to time to get some honest and vital feedback. Of course, the most important part of receiving feedback is implementing change when necessary. If you get a ton of feedback surrounding one area of your business, you may need to change with the times.

Exceed Expectations

One way to engender loyalty with consumers is to exceed any expectations. For instance, ship a product faster than what your website indicates. To simplify this concept, under-promise and over-deliver. If you can expect to get items shipped out within two days, advertise as being able to ship items within three days. There is a bit of magic to this kind of thing, so keep changing up the formula until your customers are sufficiently wowed by your service. They will reward you with repeat business. Another good example of exceeding expectations is to honor any expired coupon codes, within reason. If a customer missed out on a coupon by a day or two and you still honor that code, they will be sure to tell friends about your excellent service.

Connect in Any Way Possible

This goes back to communication but it bears repeating. Open up any possible avenues of connection. Set up accounts with any viable social media network and have someone staffed to answer messages. Write blog posts that seem friendly and informational. If possible, hold in-person meet and greets. Don’t hesitate to create giveaway campaigns either, or adopt coupon codes when necessary to drum up business.

Warning

Make sure that your customer service phone number is readily available, easy to find, and limit wait times as much as possible.

F.A.Q.

What is the importance of building customer relationships?

Customers are the building blocks of your business. Without someone to buy whatever you are selling, you will not be making money. Building solid customer relationships is the most important aspect of building out a business.


Are customer punch cards a good way to increase loyalty to my brand?

They can be, no matter if you are an e-commerce operation or a brick-and-mortar business. Be sure to weigh the economic benefits against whatever costs it will take to employ such a model.


How can I win back customers?

If you have lost a customer, don’t be shy about reaching out to them and asking for feedback,. You can also sweeten the pot with a robust and personalized coupon.



STAT: Over the last five years, customer acquisition costs have increased 50%. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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