One of the most important aspects of any business is the relationship between the business and its customers. CRM means customer relationship management – and that’s something that every business owner needs to do. You own a business but you’re not sure how to nurture and grow those relationships? No need to worry! Just follow these 7 pro tips given to you for free by our very own Head of CRM, Tom Marcus.
CRM pro tip #1: Do your homework
You need to get to know your customers, in order to show each customer that you recognize their uniqueness and don’t treat them like a number. But how do you do that?
Here’s Marcus’s advice:
“I would recommend two directions. The first is direct communication with your clients. The first thing you’re looking for is what their problems and needs are that your business can help them with. If you’re a personal trainer, you need to know if your client wants to lose weight or if they have a hard time sticking with their training. If you’re a dentist, you need to know your client’s dental history.
“You’re also looking for general information about your clients, like age, gender, marital status, where they live, income and occupation. And you want information about their relationship to your business: Where did they first hear about you? Which of your services or products are they specifically interested in? Are they happy with your services/products? How engaged are they with your business?
“The other direction is market research. You can do online research, and you can talk to other business owners in your type of business. Ask them about their customers.”
CRM pro tip #2: Keep it relevant
“Always keep your offers to your customers relevant. Always remember who your customers are and offer them things that are relevant to them. For example, if you own a cleaning service and you know one of your clients is moving, you can send them a coupon with a discount on a move-in and move-out cleaning.
Personalize your offers, so that you don’t send the same offers to everyone and waste your customers’ time with offers that aren’t relevant to them.”
CRM pro tip #3: Push, don’t pull
“Try to always stay (at least) one step ahead of your customer. When I say you should push and not pull I mean that you should approach your customers with ideas, insights and offers, and not wait for them to approach you. For instance, if you’re an accountant, you should send your clients an email reminding them which documents they need to prepare in order for you to file their taxes, and how to organize them, well ahead of time. If you’re a hairstylist and one of your clients tells you she’s about to get married, you can send her the latest bridal hairstyles.
“In your relationship with your customers, you should always be proactive. You can communicate with your customers and share ideas and offers in various ways: via a newsletter or social media posts, and of course when talking to them.
“A great way to stay in touch with your customers is by building a marketing calendar. Insert important dates into your calendar, like national holidays, special shopping days like Single’s Day or Black Friday. I would recommend collecting your customers’ birth dates and adding those too. These kinds of dates are always a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship with your clients, as well as make extra sales. You should get in touch with your clients around these dates to wish them well and show them you are thinking of them, as well as making them special and relevant offers.
“For instance, if you are a personal trainer you can send your clients a coupon during the holidays offering them 50% off an extra post-holiday training session, to make up for the extra calories they consumed during the holiday.”
CRM pro tip #4: Treat your customers the way you would want to be treated
“Think about what you expect from a business or a service giver and treat your customers the same way. Transparency, attentiveness, trustworthiness, reliability, service orientation, compassion – all of these are important in maintaining great relationships with your customers.“
CRM pro tip #5: Feedback, feedback, feedback
“I can’t stress this enough – feedback is enormously important in the relationship with your customers. It helps you improve your business and your service, and it makes the customer feel heard and listened to. So give your customers as many opportunities as possible to give you feedback. There are many ways to ask for feedback. You can gather pre-sale feedback using tools like website surveys for instance, and there are many ways to gather post-sale feedback.
You can add a few questions to all communications with your clients, whether in person or by phone, chat, email etc. You can prepare a periodic questionnaire, you can place feedback pop-ups on your website, open your social accounts to customer reviews, or give out your email and tell your customers you’d love to hear from them. You can also ask happy customers to write an online review about your business, and then post great reviews on your website.
“If you own a beauty salon, you can text your customers after each treatment to ask if they were happy with it. If you are a massage therapist, you can send your customers a follow-up email to ask how they are feeling after your massage. These are just a few options and examples. Any way you choose to do it, always gather customer feedback and always respond to it.”
CRM pro tip #6: Don’t hide behind the screen
“Face-to-face communication is always best. Customers need to know the real face behind the business – that’s how the relationship between the business and its customers grows stronger. During COVID-19 business owners shouldn’t hide behind the phone – they should try doing video-chats. After this is over, I would recommend not hiding behind the screen, and trying to meet in person.”
CRM pro tip #7: The customer isn’t always right – but you need to make them feel good
“If there is a dispute or a problem with a customer, make sure the customer comes out of it satisfied, whether they’re right or not. At the end of the day, in order to keep your customers, you need them to feel they’ve won. This doesn’t mean you have to give a customer a refund if they don’t deserve it, but you need to find a way for the customer to feel that the problem was solved in a satisfactory manner.
For instance, if one of your clients couldn’t hear you well during an online Zoom lecture you gave, due to a faulty internet connection, you can send them a recording of the lecture. If you are a hairstylist and a customer’s hair color didn’t come out as they imagined, you can try and fix it.”
Want to learn more? Here’s another post on How To Build a Strong Relationship With Your Customers from the 12handz blog.