Customer relations is the sum of interactions and experiences between the company and the client over a period of time. Companies aim to foster long-term relationships based on frequent communications.
In the article, we explain the importance of customer relations and the difference between this term and customer service, highlight the benefits of positive customer relations and provide the ways to build them.
The Importance of Customer Relations
According to the Microsoft study, 56% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service from year to year. This is why customer relations today are essential: people choose the company to buy not only by the product features but also by their previous customer experiences and service you provide.
Working with existing clients is easier than with new ones because they are already loyal to your brand. On the other hand, your company needs to spend a lot of time and costs to attract new leads, make them trust you, and turn them into customers. Establishing good customer relations is the way to decrease these spendings without loss in profit. Customer satisfaction and good relationships help increase customer retention and customer lifetime value (LTV).
All well-known brands provide excellent service to build strong relationships with their customers. It helps them make the company grow and get a stable income.
However, the difference between customer relations and customer service is not obvious but extremely important. Discover more about it in the next section.
Customer Relations vs Customer Service
Some beginners misunderstand the terms ‘customer relations’ and ‘customer service’ and do not pay enough attention to these processes. We describe the difference and provide the peculiarities of each one below.
Customer service is an inbound function and usually involves solving clients’ problems when something goes wrong with the product. It is the support team's responsibility and depends only on certain managers. Customer service is focused on solving short-term customer pains.
Customer relations focus on proactive steps that will make the customer experience better in the future. Companies build customer relations with a long-term approach to get the benefits for years.
The advantages of good customer relations are inspiring, and we will describe them in the next section.
4 Benefits of Positive Customer Relations
Good relationships can help your company grow faster and become the leader in the market. Discover what benefits you get from building strong customer relations below.
- Customer satisfaction. HubSpot states that 68% of people are ready to pay more to a brand that offers positive experiences. If your company has good relations with the clients, they will be more satisfied, and, consequently, you will be able to get bigger profits.
- Customer loyalty. Satisfied clients are more likely to become regular ones. Such people ignore small mistakes in your company, they recommend friends and come back again and again. Good customer relations can help you get more regular customers and make them more loyal.
- Customer retention. According to Khoros, 65% of customers switch brands because of a poor experience. Strong customer relations prevent you from losing clients because they have only positive experiences. Moreover, they help you increase profits. Retention Science states that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.
- Customer feedback. Good customer relations make it easier to get customer feedback. If people trust your brand, they are more likely to share their needs and pains. Moreover, strong customer relations lead to more individual interactions with every customer, and such an attitude positively influences their buying decisions.
Now you understand why good customer relations are vital. Continue reading to discover the ways to build strong relationships between your brand and clients.
5 Ways to Build Strong Customer Relationships
There are lots of details that most companies miss while building relations with their clients. We will provide the most important ones and explain how to take advantage of them.
- Understand your customers. You should analyze your target audience and define your future customers' needs, pains, and problems before starting to work. It might be a good idea to create an image of your ideal clients and describe their interests, preferences, and social status. Then think of ways to solve their problems and provide amazing service. Support this strategy by conducting market research and regularly interviewing your customers about their needs.
- Hire people with good communication skills. All the companies’ employees should work on building good customer relations, but especially they depend on the customer service department. Hire people who can find the way from any situation, be patient and polite with every client. It might be a good idea to make every manager responsible for a certain group of regular clients and create client cards to make your communication more personalized.
- Communicate on social networks. Strengthening a company's social media profiles can help you become closer to the clients. You can show backstage of product development, announce future launches and gain more insights into customer experiences. Additionally, it becomes easier for the client to contact your brand and solve their problems faster.
- Ask for feedback. Customer feedback can help you define the needs of the target audience and estimate clients’ satisfaction. It will be easier for you to develop your future products and attract new customers based on the experience of existing ones. Moreover, people feel more loyal to the brand that values their feedback and takes it into account.
- Be thankful to the clients. You should give people more than they expected to build strong relations and make them regular clients. Thank your customers for being with you. You may do it by providing special discounts for regular customers, certain gifts or congratulating them on birthdays and other holidays.
Congrats, now you understand the importance of customer relations and the difference between them and customer service, know the benefits of good relations, and the ways to build strong customer relations with your company.
Last Updated: 22.03.2023