Building Lasting and Satisfying Client Relationships


- Lance Johnson 02.10.2015

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Long lasting customer relationships are the key to business growth. We talked about effective contracts in our last post. Once the contract is drafted, signed, and in place, customer relationship management becomes the essential part of day to day business management, and cannot be pushed to the backbench. Whether you sell products or offer a service, client relationship management is one of the key drivers for business development. The important thing to understand here is that customer relationship management is more than just offering quality customer service. It is about winning the customers trust and loyalty that contributes significantly to your revenues. It is about creating a working relationship that benefits the customer and also your company.

In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to build lasting and satisfying client relationships.

Clear and Effective Communication

Communication is the basic tenet that any relationship is built on. A client-business relationship is no different. Open and honest communication with the client on a regular basis is essential to build a strong relationship that lasts long. Businesses should prioritize and practice effective and timely communication. At the same time, communication with an individual client should not be the sole focus of your team. The idea of clear and precise communication is to ensure that all your clients are well-informed about your company, your values, and your offerings.

Attitude of Service

A positive attitude towards your clients is essential for building a long lasting, mutually profitable relationship for both you and the client. Just as you would want to grow the business and make profits, your customers expect quality product and good service at reasonable prices. While your operations team takes care of product quality, your customer support team should take care of customer relationship management.

Building a strong relationship with clients is not easy and should be handled delicately. Your marketing and service teams should work together to create a CRM strategy that can enable your brand to win the client's trust and loyalty. The focus here should be on the customer, without compromising your company's value and revenue.

Treat Your Client as An Individual

Your client is more than just a paycheck. It is important that your marketing teams and your customer service team realize this and treat your clients as individuals and not just sources of revenue. This attitude towards the client can go a long way and will also enable you to build a personal relationship with your clients in the long run. Asking them a simple thing as how their health is or how the kids are doing or how their dog is can lead to healthy client relationships. Know the customer and who they are to ask the right questions that can help you in customer relationship building.

Honesty and Integrity

Honesty is the most important ingredient that you should put into any relationship. The same goes for relationship between a business and its clients. Honest communication enables you maintain clarity about who you are, what your business has to offer to the client and what they can expect from you. Honesty also allows you to share knowledge and educate them more about your brand and your area of expertise.

Knowledge sharing also lets your customers and clients know about your expertise, thus enhancing your credibility among your target audience. When the clients understand what you do, they will be in a better position to understand who you are. Telling the customers what you do and how you do it will also make your clients feel knowledgeable and a part of your system.

Networking

Your clients will connect better with you when they have a sense of belonging. Your clients will have a sense of belonging when you make them a part of your network. So along with sharing knowledge, sharing contacts from your network will also help you strengthen the relationship with your clients. Knowing the clients is key to ensuring that you share the right kind of information with the clients.

Offer them networking information only after considering your customers needs. The idea is to contribute to your clients' growth as well as your business' growth. Whatever you do for client relationship management, make sure it is mutually beneficial for both the parties involved.

Client relationship management mistakes to avoid

Even the simplest mistakes in client relationship building can lead to great losses for your business. That is why care should be taken when creating strategies for building a lasting and healthy relationship with customers. Here are a few common mistakes that you should avoid in customer relationship management.

  • Ignoring customer needs - This is the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to customer relationship management. The goal of client relationship building is to create a mutually beneficial environment for both the client and the business, and not just to earn more revenue.
  • Using old customer data - Old and outdated customer data prevents you from meeting customer requirements. Make it a practice to review and update existing customer data to be able to offer the right products and services that your clients would be satisfied with.
  • No special offers for clients - While your attitude towards all your clients should be the same, not all customer needs are alike. That makes it important to have updated customer information so that you can provide the right solutions and offers that the client would be satisfied with.
  • Not giving a choice or asking for permission - A newsletter is an excellent way to share information with your clients. That said, whether or not they receive the newsletter should be absolutely their choice. One of the key aspects of client relationship is respect of the individual's choice. So before you determine to use the clients' email to send them newsletters or other offers, it is a good idea to seek their permission. Also, give them the option to unsubscribe if they have subscribed your newsletter.

Customer relationships formed on strong foundations will last long. Remember, one happy, satisfied customer is a great source of leads for your company.

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