Switchers are unhappy customers who switch from one company to another. Across the nation, businesses are losing close to $62 billion every year because of switchers.
As a business owner, you work hard to provide your customers with incredible experiences. However, sometimes things that are outside of your control are going to happen. Thankfully, business owners can learn to build customer relations that survive bad experiences.
Are you ready to find out how to create loyal customers? Read on to find out the secret to building resilient customer relations.
Build Customer Relations
The first step in learning to build customer relations that last is by knowing where you stand.
Here’s a short quiz to evaluate your company’s current customer relations:
- Are your customers recommending your company to family and friends?
- Are you attracting new customers regularly?
- Do you have a positive customer retention rate?
If you can’t answer yes to the questions above it’s probably because you need to improve your customer service in one or more areas. If you want to be a customer service expert, that means you want to build meaningful relationships with your clientele. Depending on the nature of your business and the budget you have at hand, you can achieve this goal by investing in phone systems for small business or training your employees to improve their customer service. Any of these strategies will require resources from your business, but as long as they’re implemented with consistency, these can serve as bridges for your business upon which to build customer relations.
The best way to lay the foundation for any relationship, whether business or personal, is with trust — and it’ll be very easy for customers to trust your brand if you prioritize their needs and provide excellent customer service whenever they reach out to you.
Be Real With Your Customers
Customers can’t trust you if they don’t know who you are. One of the biggest steps in learning to build customer relations involves learning to be yourself.
Customers want to know the real you. While it’s true you can’t come to work and behave the same way you might at home, this doesn’t mean you have to be fake. Authenticity will go a long way with each of your customer interactions.
If you want to be real with your customers, start by letting them know what your business does and what your brand is. Are you a business that prioritizes customer service? Or do you want to be known as a business that provides high-quality products and services? Regardless of what you want your business to become in the eyes of the public, it’s important that you communicate this message properly.
As a business, you should be real with your customers by setting their expectations and letting them know what your business can and can’t do. Transparency is always key when building customer relationships with your target audience.
Ask the Right Questions
One way you can be truly authentic with your customers is by asking them questions that matter. Let’s say for instance that you work in the hospitality industry.
As the customer is getting ready to leave your hotel, ask them, “Will we be seeing you again soon?”. After you ask the question, be quiet and give your customers a chance to answer. There are typically 3 answers your customer will give; Yes, Maybe and No.
Aside from building customer relations that can’t be broken, asking the right questions at the right time can also help your business improve its process. The information you can gain from your customers during this phase can help your business streamline its efforts, so you’ll end up providing products and services that suit your customers’ needs and wants.
Retaining Happy Customers
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. You can always ask customers if they’ll be bringing their business to you again.
If the customer says, “yes”, you’ll know you provided A-class service. However, just because a customer says they’ll return, that doesn’t mean you should end the conversation.
A happy customer is likely to want to share details about their interactions with your company and employees. Taking the time to listen to a customer talk about their positive experience, shows them you truly care. If the competition isn’t willing to really listen, you’ll instantly have a loyal customer.
You can also use the conversation as an opportunity to learn more about what you’re doing that’s working. Perhaps the customer loved the way you packaged their documents, or they enjoy your user-friendly website. The more feedback you can get from customers, the easier it’ll be to keep making them happy.
Winning Back Unhappy Customers
Let’s pretend you ask a customer if they’ll be returning to your business and they say, “maybe”, or “no”. When a customer feels comfortable saying they’re unhappy, you have a golden opportunity to win them back. However, it’s a delicate situation and you have to be careful to position yourself correctly in the conversation.
Contrary to popular belief, winning back unhappy customers is an attainable task. When you come across unhappy customers, take the time to listen to their concerns or complaints. Often, customers are unhappy about a specific business if they were unsatisfied with the products or services given to them. If this is the reason why your customer is unhappy, provide a guarantee that your business will do better moving forward.
Stop Saying Sorry
You never want the customer to feel as if you’re arguing with them or pushing them to choose your company. This is why you should avoid saying “sorry”, and instead show sincerity by actively listening.
Statements like, “I’m sorry to hear that”, can sound like an excuse to customers. It’s also a bad idea to say sorry since you don’t know what the customer’s experience was yet.
One of the best ways to have difficult conversations with customers, is by asking open-ended questions. An open-ended question is one that you cannot answer by saying yes or no. Instead, open-ended questions cause people to think, speak, and reflect on how they’re feeling.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
After a customer tells you they might not be returning to your company, or they’re not coming back, politely ask them why they won’t be returning. You can say, “I don’t want to bother you, we pride ourselves on the experience. Please tell me, why wouldn’t you come back?”
The main idea here is to ask an open-ended question that will help reveal the full story of your customer’s experience. After the customer explains why they’re unsatisfied, make sure you reply with a real response, not something fake.
To keep it real, avoid having employees use scripted responses. Instead, summarize and speak back the story you just heard to the customer. Now, they’ll know you were listening, and they’ll be able to offer any details they may have left out.
Express Genuine Interest
Chances are you’re super excited about the product or service you have to offer customers. Your excitement is contagious and people want to know that you care about your brand and your products. When you’re interacting with your customers, listen more than you talk.
Focus on Customers Life
When you speak with customers, the majority of the conversation should focus on things that have to do with the customer on a personal level. Ask the customer how they are doing, how their family is, what life goals they’re achieving, and so on. If you’re providing a service for their business, find out how their company’s doing.
The more you can learn about your customers, the more you’ll be able to find ways to provide value to them in your relationship. Oftentimes, companies fall into the trap of promoting their specials or deals or packages to customers that don’t need it.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Actively listening to your customers will help you avoid suggesting products or services they don’t need. Sure, a company’s package deal may be great for somebody looking to get a bundle, but what if the customer just wants to buy one thing?
If employees try to push the package deal on them, the customer may leave upset, or worse buy the product and not get enough value. A customer that doesn’t feel heard, or doesn’t receive value from your company, isn’t going to come back.
Small Words Big Sales
Listen to your customers, the smallest things they say can sometimes lead to the biggest sales. Not only will you get sales opportunities, but you’ll also be building meaningful relationships.
Another benefit of listening closely is you’ll create a work culture that cares about the customer first. When new customers see the way you treat your existing customers, don’t want to be a part of it.
Strengthen Every Relationship
Now you know how to use expert customer service to build customer relations. Taking the time to listen to what people have to say, is one of the strongest ways to show you care.
Remember, customer relationships aren’t static, they’re always changing. For more ways to keep up with your customers in the ever-changing market, check out the rest of the site.
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