[This guest post was written by professional writer and CRM specialist Jamaica Sanchez.]
Customer service is an integral part of any business. Your product is the skeleton that builds your business while customer service is the muscle that fortifies it. There are many customer relations strategies that can translate to tangible results for your business. The important thing you need to remember is that it should benefit your customers first before your business. If you do it otherwise, it will appear like a hard sell and your customers will probably not be receptive to it. When you put them first, you can be assured that they will appreciate what you offer. Here are some tips to creating a results-driven customer relations strategy:
Hire the best people.
From your front liners to call center associates and social media responders, every person you put there should have the skills in providing the best customer service. They should be accommodating, respectful, considerate, and professional. These people should also be trained properly and be rewarded for their good customer service. Having the right personnel will result in smooth interaction with your customers, better assistance to their needs, and customer retention.
Entice customers with freebies.
Rarely do customers say no to free items. This will encourage them to purchase more or remain loyal to your brand. It is a good strategy to offer a free sampling of your new item so you can gauge the market’s reception. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small freebies, anything that comes as a gift always makes customers feel special. If you’re offering a service, you can offer free hours or free test periods for your new service.
Offer loyalty rewards.
You will always have a consistent set of loyal patrons. You need to show them that you value them by giving them loyalty rewards. This involves close coordination with back office services in creating a database of your loyal customers and their purchase activity so that you can tailor fit your rewards to them. It is important that you remember their birthdays and give them something special. Loyal customers should also enjoy certain privileges like the first pick in the clearance sale bin, discounts, and premium items.
Post relevant content.
Customers always need information. By posting relevant content in your website,blog, or social media sites you can provide helpful information to your customers. It also shows your authority and expertise in your industry. Being a source of high quality information makes you a reliable brand, which in turn, results in more customers. Make your posts attractive by adding infographics, photos, and videos. This will make your blogs more interesting and readable. Always ask the question, “What do my customers need?” and make it the springboard for all your posts.
Localize your promos.
Company-wide promos are great but localized ones are better. Why? Because if you have multiple branches, certain products are patronized more in other branches thus you can modify your promos based on this information. You can also create a variety of discount coupons for different branches. It also adds excitement because each branch has something new to offer. It doesn’t have to be unique per store. Branches with the same demographics can have similar coupons. What matters most is that the promos match the store performance and its customers.
Engage with your customers via social media.
One cannot over emphasize the importance of social media in any business. Social media is a venue for customer feedback, praise, and criticism. By engaging them in social media, you’ll be able to know if you have a throng of satisfied or dissatisfied customers. The best thing about it is that you can get their feedback real time. You don’t have to wait for survey results anymore. You can throw out a question in your Facebook page and get a quick response from your customers. The key here is having a delegated person or team who will manage your social media accounts.
If you value your customers, you will keep their best interests in mind. You will come up with products that are useful and beneficial to them. You will strive to please them by providing effective customer service strategies that will make them valued and appreciated. It’s relatively easy to do as long as you recognize that your business rises and falls on the support of your customers. Being consumer-centric is one of the best things you can do for your company. It gives you a laser point direction in terms of overall business strategy.
Jamaica Sanchez is a professional writer and CRM specialist. Aside from developing initiatives to improve customer relations, she is also passionate about dancing, cooking and playing golf. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.