Customer Relationship Management and Its Implications for Business Sustainability
Satisfying your customers partly depends on your relationship with them. The kind of satisfaction or dissatisfaction a customer derives from a product will determine if they will continue patronizing that particular product or try out another. Building a sustainable customer relationship should be one of the intentions of every entrepreneur, and as such, aim towards it. It is no lie that you cannot satisfy everyone, especially in business. No disputing that you will encounter some customers who are unreasonable, but doing what is expected of you will always justify you. To grow your business, you need to make sure your customers are satisfied since you are in business because of them. So, work towards keeping a sustainable relationship with them and satisfying them as much as possible. Below are some of the ways to manage your relationship with customers.
- Know your customers: you cannot start moving from door to door just because you want to know who your customers are. No, it is never done like that, rather know your customers, know what they want, understand what they expect from your brand. You might not have been giving them enough of what they expected from you in the first place, this why it is important to know what your customers expect from you. You could do this by running a survey on your product, whether online or offline. Ask customers what they feel about your products, they will tell you if they are getting lesser than expected from your product. Cumulate the results and use the data to help improve your product.
- 2. Listen to your customers: customers see a lot, and some of them know a lot, because they are the ones who go out there using your products and receiving compliments or mockery. They see other products and compare them to yours. Endeavor to listen to your customers always. Sometimes, their feedbacks might sound like criticism and could make you get angry or feel discouraged, brace up yourself and promise them you will take a step. Customers love it when you make them feel like they play important roles in your business, or when you make them feel you respect their judgments. So listen to your customers, they might have seen a chance you never saw. Listen!
- No favoritism: much more than listening to your customers, you need to be polite. No favoritism, treat all your customers as equal. Give the same respect as you would to a customer who ordered hundred pairs of trousers to another who ordered just a pair. It makes the later feel warm and acknowledge of your care and concern for him as well. Even when they do not normally like the particular product you’re offering, there are customers who might not want to their purchases simply because of the warm embrace and reception you have always given them.
- Do not stay ignorant of competition: always stay awake and aware of your competitors. This is to keep you abreast of situations, especially on what your customers think about them. If they are able to cater for your customers more than you could, you might lose your customers to them. So, always stay awake of your competitors, study their strengths and their weaknesses, see which of their strategies that could be employed in satisfying your own customers and employ them with immediate effect. This will work the magic of taking off your customers’ eyes from others and concentrating them on you. Be wise.
- Communicate with your customers: communication helps to bridge the gap between you and your customers. If you do not communicate with your customers, you will make them feel alienated. Communication helps to strengthen your relationship. I always make use of mobile banking for all my online transactions, including airtime recharge, but in about six weeks I have not used my app, so some weeks ago, I got a phone call, and surprisingly, it was from my bank, they asked about why I have not been using my app, so I explained to them that my phone was faulty. We spoke at length about other things and at the end of the conversation, I felt happy that I was recognized by my bank. It created a kind of reassurance in me that I was not irrelevant. Communicating with your customers creates an assurance that you do not see them as being irrelevant.
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6. Be convincing: customers are coming to you because they feel your product or service could help them. Now the gist is, even if you have all the power in the world and you know this, convincing them to employ your service or your product is what would help. No matter how good your product is, if you cannot convince customers and make them see reason or reasons why they should buy your product, they will never or might not buy. Because you sound rather timid than convincing. So learn to be convincing, convince your customers to buy more of your products, convince them of its effectiveness, it helps create a pre-satisfaction in them.
7. Be honest: as much as you want to convince customers so that they could continue patronizing you, you must also endeavor to stay honest and truthful. You do not want to build a customer’s relationship on lies. Let them know the reality of what to expect. Do not overhype your product, because it might not go well when they get disappointed at the use of your product. Tell them plainly, what they should expect, but sound convincing as possible.
8. Embrace complains: complains are like feedbacks. Make it easy for your customers to complain. Their complaints signal you to your failings, recognizing them will help you get better.
9. Offer discounts: try to offer discounts on some occasions, this will increase sales for you and Foster customer satisfaction. Offering discount will help you attract more customers, especially when you are established in a competitive location where you are not the only one involved in that kind of business. Slashed sales help in growing businesses.
10. Make your products affordable: customers will not actively patronize overpriced product. While pricing your products endeavor to make the price as low as possible, except in some cases where reducing the price might reduce the quality of the product.
I hope the tips help you get better in satisfying your customers.
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