This week’s guest post is written by Nunzia Falco Simeone. Nunzia is Marketing Manager at Deskero and editor-in-chief of Deskero corporate blog about customer service and social media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about Deskero at the end of her post. One of my favorite customer service mantras is “Think Relationships or Go Broke.” Nunzia offers advice not only to “Think Relationships”, but “Build Relationships.”
Modern customer care can’t be achieved by simply answering requests. You have to reach out, engage with people, get in touch with them. Customers won’t be content with a nice service: they want a great experience.
In order to realize that, you need to build a proper customer relationship. How? Here are a few tips:
Listen to your customers
Transforming customers into advocates and influencers is perhaps your most important task. And the first step is listening to them.
Do you know who your most important customers are? And why they buy your product or service? Do you know what they think about you? These are important questions that need to be answered.
…and talk to them
The relationship between customers and company should be two-way: it is important to listen to your customers and it is even more important that you talk to them!
Monthly newsletters, blogs, social networks are great channels to keep relationships strong on a shoestring budget.
What should you talk about? New features, achieved goals, special offers, testimonials, events. Also build your reputation as an expert by giving away some free insight. Have interesting things to say!
The best way to engage with people is to act like a person and not a brand. So, be personal by keeping track of conversations, getting your customers involved and following up. Build trust by engaging conversations both online and in-store and making them feel special.
Be more responsive and proactive, delivering on your promises and listening and observing to gain insights and then acting on them. When companies learn how to deliver personalized customer service, they build strong, lasting customer relationships and trust.
Reward loyal customers
If you reward your customers, they’ll reward you with their loyalty. Ask yourself: I am doing enough to encourage my customers to buy again?
If the answer is no, you should increase involvement and give them something of value in exchange for their attention, like a coupon, a special event, helpful insights and advices. You further involve your customers with your business with special events, gatherings, contests. And remember that if you don’t keep in touch with your customers, especially the most loyal ones, your competitors will.
Ask for customer feedback
Seek suggestions on new features as well as critiques of current products and features. Gather candid customer feedback through emails, contact forms and surveys. Also listening through social media can be useful for gathering feedback from customers; you should pay attention not only to direct comments or mentions, but to all the social experience: people can talk about your brand and you might not know that!