Establishing and maintaining a satisfied client base is one of the cornerstones of a stable and prosperous business. With happy and loyal clients by your side, you can achieve substantial and continued growth, but the task of managing multiple relationships as you grow can be a challenge. In order to maintain client relationships, you need to be able to capture and monitor multiple communications and lots of data over time. This is where a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy comes into its own as it enables you to prioritize client relationships. Here are 4 key reasons to make your client relationships a priority in your business this year.
01. Loyal clients improve sustainability
A loyal client who returns to your business time and time again is hugely valuable to your future prospects. If you can establish yourself as a trusted and reliable brand with clients, they will continue to buy from you and will recommend you to their friends and family. If your business model relies on having to continuously attract new clients, you will be spending much of your time and resource on marketing. While a new influx of clients is vital, maintaining a happy and loyal client base is the key to long term sustainability.
02. Client reviews can make or break your reputation
An unhappy client is far more likely to be vocal about their experience than one who had all their expectations met. Social media and dedicated review platforms have given consumers a way to air their grievances and complaints about brands, and just a few negative reviews could be enough to lose you a client. Studies have shown that we are influenced by reviews, even when we have no personal connection to the reviewer. This means a business’s reputation sits on a public knife-edge, and why it’s so important to prioritize the client relationship. You should work to encourage positive reviews but also to address negative reviews that raise criticism and concerns.
03. Technology has raised client expectations
Technology has moved on leaps and bounds in the field of customer service and communications, and while this has meant an increase in client expectations, it has also provided businesses with a range of tools to meet them. For example, listening tools keep you up to date with what’s being said about your business. Live chat can resolve simple customer queries efficiently while there are lots of software options that schedule your communications and record all client interactions. There also are several online tools that enable you to capture and analyze feedback from clients while they are using your service. Visit happy-or-not.com for more information on using Smiley feedback systems in your customer journey.
04. Complaints should be resolved ASAP
In addition to complaints being in the public domain like never before, social media platforms can and often do help them to spread like a virus (hence the term ‘going viral’). A small mistake, if managed badly, can quickly become common knowledge either on a local, national or global scale. The media are ready to jump on stories relating to poor customer service or errors made by brands and, even if the initial issue was minor, the reputational damage can be significant.
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To minimize the risk of a small problem becoming a PR incident, you should be proactive about achieving high customer service standards. If a mistake does occur, address it as soon as possible, and be responsive to minimize negativity. Social media listening can help brands to stay alert to what is being said about their brand online and enable them to resolve issues before they spread.