Managing your relationship with your customers is key to your business growth. When firms engage with their consumers proactively, they are ensuring several things. First of all, their key customers stay loyal. Secondly, by retaining these key customers, companies are building and developing their revenue streams that are so vital for future business growth.
The modern corporation is no longer focused solely on making world-class products. Customer relations are key, and one important factor influencing customer relations is customer experience. In a 2018 study, 59% of consumers expect better customer service from their companies. Businesses are facing the challenge of providing a superior customer experience to their buyers as part of their customer relationship strategy.
Any customer relations strategy should stand on two legs. The short-term objective of your approach should be to remove all possible roadblocks in the customer experience. In the long term, this strategy anticipates all problems and creates solutions, thereby ensuring customer success. There are various tools for developing such a strategy.
Customer Relations and Its Functions
How you relate to your customer shapes their experience with your product or service. There are two functions in customer relations. The Reactive function includes all that a brand does to solve its customer’s problems. These problems might relate to the product trial, setting up software, and other issues. Responding to unanticipated problems is key to delivering a world-class customer experience.
• A customer need is a strong motivation to buy a product or a service.
Proactive functions are those that foster customer loyalty in the long run. World-class brands understand evolving customer needs and look for ways of satisfying them. Some of these companies are coming up with product updates and removing bugs and fixes. Technology brands, such as those in the mobile phone business, are always proactive while dealing with their customers’ needs.
In this context, it is important to differentiate between customer relations and customer service. The latter is a proactive activity because it solves the immediate issues facing the customer. Customer service is an inbound marketing activity. On the other hand, customer relation is an overarching concept. It includes immediate customer issues and problems that might erupt in the future.
Customer Relationships and CRM
Relationships with customers are forged and developed using CRM tools. What is a CRM? This abbreviation stands for Customer Relationship Management and has two meanings. CRM can mean the process of managing customer relationships as well as the software to optimize the relationships of firms with their potential customers. CRM encompasses sales, marketing, after-sales, and information management.
The CRM software stores your client database and fulfills many other tasks. It analyzes your client data and provides meaningful insights. These insights help the business owner in business planning. A good CRM software also tracks the interactions of your clients with your product, store, or website and improves your sales conversion. This tool identifies hot prospects and also tracks customer service management.
Modern CRM tools have evolved significantly over the years. In the late 1960s, sales representatives used to store their client data in Rolodex files and cabinets. With the introduction of computers in the late 1970s and 1980s, companies began using Excel spreadsheets for storing this data. The modern CRM software emerged sometime in the 1990s and has since morphed into cloud-based solutions.