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A comprehensive guide to Customer Relations and how it boosts your ROI

What is Customer Relations?

Customer relations covers the process businesses use to engage and form meaningful relationships with customers. It is a sum of every interaction with your customers and their experience with your brand.

Customer relations efforts combine company resources and customer-centric ideologies to create the ideal customer experience. A proper strategy can help you add value to your products and services.

Customer service is often mistaken for customer relations. While they are similar, they have distinct meanings and applications.

Customer service generally involves assisting customers who have complaints or responding to inquiries. You can respond to complaints or requests during face-to-face sessions or communication channels like calls, texts, and social media. Customer relations, however, takes a more proactive approach toward customer engagement.

What’s the role of customer relations in your products and services?

The modern global market offers the consumer much more freedom than ever before. Competition has become an integral part of all industries as several providers are vying for a limited number of users.

You need to pay attention—not just to what you’re selling, but to how you’re selling it. The consumer’s interest stretches beyond the product alone and encompasses your presale and post-sale efforts.

This perception is what accounts for customer experience. Your relationship with your customers and their experience with your products and services significantly influence your brand’s success.

Fostering meaningful relationships with your customers is the ideal approach to earning their trust and loyalty. A winning customer relations strategy will help you maintain brand value and boost revenue by encouraging repeat business.

Support professionals use several collaboration tools to manage customer interactions. They can directly influence the customer’s perception of your business. Their efforts offer extra value and help keep customers connected.

Benefits of an Improved Customer Relations

There are several benefits to investing in customer relations. Creating a strong connection with your brand helps you drive customer loyalty and preserve your revenue stream for years to come.

Here are some of the things to look forward to when you improve your customer relations:

  1. Heightened customer trust and loyalty

Businesses that invest in customer relations stand a better chance of recording high customer retention rates.

Customers’ experiences inform their choice of a product or service provider. They look out for signs of authenticity and a dedication to providing value for money. Transparency can be critical in helping you create a positive experience for your customers.

Practicing transparency in dealings could mean using solutions like a VoIP service with caller ID to foster commitment and trustworthiness. It also has meaningful financial benefits. Studies have indicated a direct influence on profits when you work on improving customer retention rates. 

  1. Increased customer satisfaction 

Many businesses use surveys to measure customer satisfaction. They invite customers to measure their satisfaction with a product or service using a scale of 1-5, where ‘5’ is very satisfied and ‘1’ is very unsatisfied. 

This helps businesses arrive at a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) which informs decision-making. With this direct line into customer satisfaction, you can judge their experience with your brand and keep track of possible improvements to implement.

  1. More customer recommendation & referrals

A happy customer is the best marketing tool any business could have. When a customer has a great experience with your business, they tend to tell others about it. Word-of-mouth referrals are the best way to promote your brand and get new prospects. 

  1. Churn reduction

Every business bemoans ‘the ones that got away’. Churn is the term used to describe those customers that your business has lost over time.

Customer relations shows the customer that you care about more than the transactional aspect of your interaction. Providing extra value outside the purchase gives them a reason to choose your brand over the competition.

  1. Encouraging customer feedback

Feedback provides valuable guidance on how to improve product quality. Excellent customer relations opens the door to insightful communication with your customers through feedback. Customers are more willing to share their opinions when there is a proactive approach in place to address their needs.

Avoid sending your customers lengthy surveys. Use micro-surveys to optimize engagement and get a better response rate from your feedback forms. 

Traits you should possess as a Customer Relations Champ

There are 4 qualities that define a real customer relations champ:

  1. Good in identifying and providing underlying problems

You must understand and identify with your target audience to have a meaningful relationship with them. Basics like what they want and how you can offer added value are critical to a successful relationship.

As a customer relations guru, you must empathize with your customers. You can achieve this through managing Google reviews, excellent customer support, thorough market research, and encouraging feedback.

  1. Strong and Intuitive customer support

Effective customer relations are characterized by consistent and intuitive communication. The customer shouldn’t feel abandoned after a sale. Consistent communication keeps the customer in the loop and helps you build trust. It ensures quicker identification and resolution of issues.

  1. Analytical skills

Customer relations involves gathering valuable customer info and analyzing said info to inform decision-making. Analyze data from surveys and feedback to gain actionable insight and improve your service delivery.

  1. Out of the box thinking

Be creative.

Try not to get stuck on what the competition is doing. Instead, think about what they’re not doing. Finding your UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is an important factor in providing value to your customers.

Pay close attention to the small details. Your finance department structure might not be the biggest fan of the ROI of such efforts, but your customers will appreciate your dedication to going the extra mile. 

Ready to boost your ROI? Here are some advice to improve your Customer Relations

  1. Boost your employee morale

Excellent customer experience does not depend on the product or service alone; the employees also play a prominent role. Your employees should be motivated and adequately trained to resolve customer issues.

Customer service training for employees could include improving professional communication and active listening.

  1. Always make sure to resolve the customer’s concern on the first reach out

Customer complaints are inevitable for any business. You must see each negative comment as a chance for growth. The more open you are to criticism, the faster you can find lasting solutions that keep the customer happy.

  1. Invest in a good Tech Stack

A tech stack is a suite of frameworks, front-end and back-end tools, applications, and programming languages used by product companies to measure user and product analysis. Investing in a good tech stack can be the differential you need on your journey to improve customer relations.

  1. Educate customers in self-help basic troubleshooting

Make sure your customers can get help when they need it. You may not have the means to offer customer support at all times but ensure there is a contingency for them to fall back on. Chatbots and knowledge bases are great options for keeping customers independent.

  1. Make them feel that you’re always reachable for help

Never leave your customers out in the cold. Your support team should be readily available to field requests and resolve issues. Customers appreciate being prioritized and respond positively when their needs are quickly addressed.

  1. Show your gratitude

Appreciate your customers for their patronage. Use personalized thank-you messages or special offerings to show your gratitude. Loyalty programs or discounted offers are excellent ways to keep them happy.

  1. Always ask for customer feedback 

Customer opinion is vital to growth. Ask for feedback from your customers and adopt a system to measure, analyze, and act on this feedback. Acknowledging and implementing the customer’s feedback increases the value of your products and services.

  1. Initiate an online forum for customers

Online forums help customers interact with one another in a receptive environment.

Create an online community for your customers to share ideas and opinions with other users of your products. Maintain a regular presence on the forum to provide support and address concerns.

  1. Come up with content to educate your customer

Keep your customers up to date with relevant information concerning your products and services. Share user tips and provide effective materials to support them.

  1. Avoid sounding robotic

Customers tend to respond poorly to over-rehearsed scripts. Maintain a friendly, personable manner when communicating with customers. It doesn’t start and end in call center customer experience best practices alone. Emails, chat rooms, and other communication mediums should be managed personally or by a representative.

  1. Always make the customers feel that they are all VIPs

Creating a customer-centric approach to your service delivery makes customers feel wanted. Constantly reward your customers. You can offer a complimentary service on special dates like birthdays or weddings.

When customers feel respected, they are more likely to make more purchases. Personalize the experience for each customer by building a journey map that shows the customer’s journey through the sales funnel.

You can leverage customer journey management to identify precisely where you played a role in the customer’s journey and improve.

Boost your profits with customer relations

Customer relations go beyond basic customer service and efforts made during the transaction stage. It extends beyond the purchase and includes all efforts to engage the customer and ensure satisfaction—even after a purchase. 

Using customer relations to improve your service delivery can influence the ROI your business generates. The better your customer engagement levels, the more value the customer gets from your services and products. Prioritizing your customers’ needs will determine their satisfaction levels with your brand. 

About the author

Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna has also written articles for AgencyVista and Together. Check out her LinkedIn profile.

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