“The customer is king.”
We are all familiar with this phrase, right?
But why is treating customers in the best possible way vital for a business? And how can you ensure that your business has established the most robust relationship with all your customers?
In today’s blog, we will first discuss the impact and principles of building solid relationships with customers. After learning why it is important to build relationships with customers, we will delve deeper and learn some basic things that make your customers unsatisfied with your service.
Finally, we will learn how to build strong relationships with customers and identify some practical eCommerce customer relationship management strategies.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Impact of building good relationships with customers
In order to tailor the most effective strategies for the best kind of customer service, you will need to know “why” you should focus your time and energy on this. Here are some of the apparent benefits that you will experience when you have a satisfied and happy customer base-
- Customer Retention: An increase in customer retention is guaranteed if you can keep a good relationship with your customers. When the customers are happy and satisfied with your service, it is natural for them to stay with your brand rather than go for another.
- New customer acquisition: Happy customers will refer your company to their friends and family; it is a common psychological fact. In this way, you can increase customer acquisition with the least effort and money.
- More sales: with an increasing number of customer retention and acquisition, it is only a matter of time before you will see a surge in your sales as well! The growth of eCommerce businesses relies hugely on customer satisfaction.
- Better and easy marketing: A brand that thinks about the customers as much as they think about selling their products is favored by all. You can promote your business in a different but fruitful way through excellent customer service. Your brand identity will be stronger, and the public perception of your business will be better.
Now that you know the advantages a good relationship with customers can bring to your business, let’s get on to the basic principles of this concept.
Principles of making good relationships with customers
Here are some of the fundamentals to ensure that you are providing top-grade customer service in your company-
1. Making the customers feel valued and welcome
You must make your customers feel welcome whenever they reach out to you. Be it a first-time customer or a regular one, you need to converse with them in such a way that they feel valued and welcome.
2. Understanding their demands and preferences
You can automatically gain customer satisfaction if you can understand what they want. Getting to know the customers deeply and identifying their preferences and demands will help you get closer to your customers, and you will definitely build a better relationship with them this way.
3. Maintaining individual relationships with different customers
Each customer is different, and their demands and queries are different as well. So, it is natural that you will have to maintain individual relationships with them. Giving everyone the same solution and suggesting a generalized proposal for everything cannot help you get closer to your customers.
4. Maintaining a single face
Even though you have to come up with personalized solutions for their problems, you must maintain a single face for all the customers of your eCommerce business. This is to maintain a strong brand identity. Your brand cannot deviate from its beliefs and base. And customers rely on the brands that are ethical.
5. Providing employees with top-notch customer care training
If you own an eCommerce business, it will not be possible to do everything by yourself, and there will be times when your employees will handle customers too. Thus, you must train your employees adequately to be skilled enough to handle customers.
Signs that your customers are not satisfied
Before making the most effective strategies to build relationships with your customers, you need to identify the signs of your customers’ dissatisfaction. You have to understand what you are lacking and what is making them frown or trust lack in you.
Take a look at these signs to realize that your customers are not satisfied with your products/services:
They complain frequently
This is the easiest way to know that you are doing something wrong. Your customers should be smiling, not complaining about this and that all the time. Frequent complaints are a confirmed sign of an unsatisfied customer.
They are aggressive in behavior
Again, your customers would not be behaving aggressively or roughly with you or your employees if they had been satisfied. This kind of behavior always comes from dissatisfaction and frustration.
They compare you with other eCommerce companies
You can conclude that your services are not up to the mark if your customers constantly compare you with your competitors. The customers possess vast knowledge about different companies now, and if they compare you with others frequently, that can only mean they are not getting what they expected from you.
They are not ready to commit to any deal
Suppose you have regular customers and you offer them a deal that can be in their favor in the future. But still, they are refusing to commit to it. That would mean that they are not entirely satisfied with you, and they are not feeling confident about getting into a long-term commitment.
They are not interested in discounts or other offers
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a reasonable discount offer?
If you see that the customers are not interested in the offers, you can understand that they are not satisfied. That is why any discount or offer from your business does not entice them.
Strategies to make strong relationships with customers
Now you know the importance of eCommerce customer relationship management. You also know the signs that indicate your customers are not quite satisfied with your service. So you are ready to make a strong customer relationship strategic plan for your business.
Here are some very fruitful strategies that can help you make that plan-
1. Excellent customer service
First things first, the service that you provide to your customers should be top-notch. Listen to their feedback and work on those. You need to be there for your customers all the time.
Constant and effective communication can take you miles ahead in making your customers happy and satisfied. You have to work on yourself to give the best customer service constantly.
Have a glance at these few things that you can consider:
- Let them speak first
- Listen to them attentively
- Always use positive language
- Try to acknowledge and accept your mistakes gracefully
- Maintain an accessible demeanor
- Be empathetic when necessary
- Be prompt at taking any action, etc.
These are only a few things you can consider to make your service excellent. You have to pick on many others to assess the particular situation you will be in. However, you need to understand that customer service does not define the whole customer relationship concept; it is just a segment of it.
2. Connecting through social media
When you have an eCommerce business, you must rely on the internet to connect and communicate with your customers. The internet world is basically the only place where you can build a relationship with your customers.
Also, social media platforms are where people spend most of their time a day. So, eCommerce businesses like yours must have a well-built online presence dedicated to your customers on social media.
Here are a few tips that you can follow while connecting with your customers on different platforms of social media:
- Always be quick to respond
- Fix a specific tone to answer, and that tone should be very positive and energetic
- Keep answers to some FAQs ready all the time
- Focus on the channels where the customers are the most active and spend more time on those channels
- Maintain a fixed protocol when it comes to solving customers’ issues, etc.
Social media is an excellent place to build relationships with customers for eCommerce businesses. You need to properly utilize this blessing of modern technology to get closer to your customers and give them the best experience.
3. Follow-ups after purchase
Providing after-purchase service is one of the sweetest things you can do for your customers. Many businesses simply forget about their customers after a successful sale. While it might not be unethical, following up after a purchase definitely makes a difference.
A simple call or text, even an email asking whether they are enjoying the product or facing any problems, can do wonders! This increases the chance of a repeat sale, and at the same time, follow-ups can also allow you to transform a no-sale into a successful sale.
These activities show that you care for your customers. And what better way is there to create a foundation for a strong relationship than caring? None, right?
4. Special offers and surprise rewards
Everyone loves surprises, especially when it is a gift or a discount from their favorite store! Making customers amazed and feel honored in this way can help you create a deep mark in their minds. They will feel valued and will remember your brand for a long time after this.
You can surprise your customers on different occasions like this-
- Customers’ birthdays
- Customers’ anniversaries
- Your stores’ anniversaries
- Holidays like Christmas, New Year, etc.
Arranging something special for your customers on special occasions adds a personal touch to your relationship. Read some of the holiday marketing ideas that your customers will love and it is also a great way to re-engage with them.
Sometimes these offers act as reminders as well. Getting a surprise gift from a store they had bought from quite a long time ago would make your customers want to revisit your store and see what’s new. This can also lead your store to have new sales.
5. Loyalty programs
Loyalty schemes for recurring customers can be one of the most effective ways to build a sustainable relationship with the customers. The loyalty programs usually offer special discounts and rewards for customers with your business for a definite period.
Unlike the occasional rewards and gifts, the loyalty program benefits are usually long-term. These incentives are supposed to get increased with time too. Now, you might be thinking of it as a loss for your business. But in reality, it’s far from that.
The customers who are included in the loyalty programs eventually become unofficial brand ambassadors for the company as they feel appreciated and valued by the company. This good feeling makes them promote your business subconsciously and the relationship between your brand and the customer becomes even more potent.
6. Opting for user-generated content for your business
User-generated content is basically the content of your business or products that the users create themselves. This is actually an excellent marketing strategy that works tremendously in the brand’s favor.
However, this also strengthens the relationship between the business and the customers. If yours is an eCommerce business, you will have to depend on various digital methods and platforms to interact with your customers.
Now, the customers are the ones who tailor the user-generated content. This might be a simple photo of them using your products, a video of them unboxing their order parcel, or better, a gift from you.
If you, in turn, share their content on your brand’s social media pages or website, it inspires the customers and they become more interested in creating that kind of content. User-generated content of one customer gives another customer the confidence and trust to buy things from you.
By showing this little gesture, you will become able to instill a sense of good feeling among the customers who have not even shared content like this, and eCommerce customer relationship management will be easier for you.
7. Arranging events/programs
Even if yours is an eCommerce business, you can also consider arranging events or programs where you can invite your customers and even potential ones. These events are a great way to enrich customer engagement and give your brand a lot of exposure.
Besides, it will be an excellent way for you to meet with your customers personally. Owning an eCommerce business does not allow you to get to know your customers face to face, but it is really advantageous if you want to have a solid relationship with your customers.
The events usually have a lot of fun activities that will help you know your customers’ choices and preferences and further help you in scheming your business strategies.
8. Communication through emails
This might be the oldest trick in the book for building customer relationships, but surely one of the most effective ones. Keeping in touch with your customers through emails will keep on reminding your customers about you.
While too many emails could bother them, the right amount of informative emails now and then will make them feel they are not forgotten; instead, they matter to your business. This feeling will help them in believing your brand and you can subsequently create better bonding with them.
9. Live chats and call now buttons
The goal is to enhance the customers’ experience so that you can gradually build a rock-solid relationship with them. Live chat and a call now button can make their experiences so much better.. If your eCommerce business page has live chat options, you are basically there for your customers all the time!
Your customers will know that they can get answers to any of their queries any time of the day or night through your support system, and this is undoubtedly a good way to start a positive relationship, don’t you think?
10. Quick response to feedback and complaints
It must be pretty clear to you now that you need to be very quick in responding to your customers, especially when they are giving their feedback about something or complaining. Being prompt at listening and solving their issues would make them feel respected and appreciated.
Here are a few things you need to focus on while responding to feedback and complaints;
- Listen to what they have to say with patience
- Apologize for their inconvenience
- Ask in detail if you do not understand anything
- Resolve the matter as soon as possible
- Get back to them to follow up with the issue
Frequently asked questions:
What are the keys to establishing a solid customer relationship with the customers for eCommerce businesses?
Understanding the customers’ needs, maintaining good communication with them, and responding to them quickly and effectively are the keys to ensuring strong eCommerce customer relationship management.
What are some examples of customer engagement activities?
Arranging events, offering loyalty programs and rewards, and sharing user-generated content are some examples of customer engagement activities.
How to deal with an unsatisfied customer?
The best way is to listen carefully to what is bothering them and devise a solution that might please them. Apologizing for their inconvenience and ensuring they do not have to face further hassles is also essential.
The relationship between a business and a customer cannot be strengthened overnight. This is something that needs to be nurtured every day.
At the same time, you cannot stop coming up with innovative and creative ideas to engage with your customers after you have made sure that they are satisfied. This is a continuous process.
Hope this blog helps you identify the best strategy to build a strong and solid relationship with your customers. Do let us know which one of these you think would be the best for your business!
Maliha Tasneem is a professional content writer who has been writing creative and technical content for 4 years. Currently, she is working at Webappick – a giant WordPress Plugin development company as a content writer.