Strong customer relationships are crucial to your success both now and in the long term. In this United Consumer Financial Services article, we outline everything you need to know to cultivate customer relationships that result in better shopper experiences and more growth for your brand.
Read on to discover our comprehensive guide to building positive customer relationships.
Customer Service vs. Customer Relationships
Customer service and customer relationships are intricately intertwined, but they’re two distinct factors that support the overall customer experience.
Customer service is highly transactional. Your customer service teams exist to support shoppers and existing customers in their purchase journey. They answer questions, address and fix issues, and resolve customer tickets.
Customer relationships are more intimate and personal. Building positive customer relationships is a holistic approach that shapes customer perception and brand affinity at every touchpoint. From marketing to sales through support, customer relationships are long-term and have lasting effects on your brand’s success.
Customer Relationships Benefit Your Bottom Line
Building positive relationships with customers isn’t the end goal. Strong relationships are one component of a successful, thriving brand or business. Ultimately, you pursue customer relationships because they strongly and positively impact your revenue.
Below we explore the many benefits of building positive customer relationships.
- Better Reputation
Relationships with your current customers affect relationships with your future customers. When you create a customer-centric culture that invests in those relationships, you establish a positive reputation that helps you earn more business.
- Higher Rate of Returning Customers
Customers will shop where they feel valued. Today’s expansive digital shelf allows shoppers to be selective with the businesses they patronize. When you build strong customer relationships, you create a personal connection with your shoppers.
If a consumer has a positive experience with your brand and feels valued and catered to, they’ll return (and likely bring new customers with them!)
- Compete in Your Market
Investing in customer relationships will help you compete in your market. Customers expect personalized experiences from brands they shop, and you can only deliver personalization if you know your customer.
You’ll gain a competitive edge when your customer relationships allow you to provide the personalized attention and experiences shoppers seek out.
- More Frequent, Honest Feedback to Shape Your Decision-Making
When customers feel valued by your investment in their relationship with you, they’re inclined to support your success. Getting honest customer feedback regarding your services and support can influence your business decisions.
There’s no better insight than direct customer input. When you know what customers want, you can deliver, which in turn helps increase your sales.
Practical Steps to Building Positive Relationships with Customers
As we’ve explored, the strength of your customer relationships directly affects your business success. Now we walk through practical steps to build and secure those relationships.
- Make Yourself Accessible
You must be available to customers to build relationships with them. Customer service channels allow you to bridge the gap between your customers and your brand.
Reduce friction where possible in customer support avenues. Make contact information easy to find. Enable DMs on your socials. Set up a live chat feature on your website.
Consumers engage in omnichannel retail. Make yourself accessible across all channels and at every customer touchpoint to begin and build lasting relationships.
- Respond to Complaints the Right Way
You can deliver the best service or product on the market. Your customer care teams can say all the right things. But you will likely never achieve a customer satisfaction rate of 100 percent, especially as your business grows and reaches a broader audience.
When complaints or poor ratings come, respond to them correctly. Address every customer complaint and concern, even public-facing negative reviews. Acknowledge fault, ask how you can remedy the situation, then fix it quickly the first time you’re alerted to the issue.
Showing empathy and a sincere concern for customer complaints will often endear them further to your brand.
- Be There for Customers When They Need You
Consumers shop all hours of the day, not just within business hours. Your customers need support and access to a brand representative on their timeline, often outside the 9-to-5.
A dedicated customer service team available 24/7 ensures the customer is always heard, helped, and valued. Real-time responses and service translate to strong and trusting relationships.
- Anticipate Needs and Deliver Solutions
Brands and businesses with deep customer relationships know their shoppers’ needs before they voice them. Today’s consumer wants and needs alternative payment methods for their large and small purchases. Anticipate the need for financing and provide simple solutions that work.
United Consumer Financial Services delivers financing options built for businesses like yours and the customers and clients you serve. Simple customer application, prompt notice of approval, and affordable, scheduled monthly payments empower your customers to bring home the goods and services they want –– when they want them. Installment loans allow shoppers to upgrade their purchase or add to their cart, providing a satisfying customer experience that will keep them coming to you again and again.
Without good credit or lump sum cash, many shoppers must postpone or forego purchases. Providing consumer financing helps meet your customers’ needs and provides an avenue for them to make confident purchases from your business today and in the future.
Cultivating Strong Customer Relationships
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Creating, maintaining and cultivating strong customer relationships is central to your success –– whatever market you’re in.
UCFS understands the value of caring for customers and meeting their needs. When you’re ready to deliver financing solutions built for your business and your customer base, reach out to the team at UCFS. We’re here to help you build strong customer relationships that last.