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If you want to run a successful business, then you need to work at building client relationships. Whatever your sector, your business will rely on customers to stay profitable. Positive customer relationships are more important than ever as businesses increasingly fight to stand out in a competitive climate.

Companies that establish and maintain positive customer relationships will benefit from improved stability, more referrals, and more sales. So here’s our quick look at building customer relationships that will help your business in the long term.

Personalise your communications

Consumers expect personalisation, and any business that doesn’t personalise its client-facing communication will suffer. Personalisation is an essential and effective way to improve brand engagement, boost client retention, and build brand awareness, brand value and brand visibility. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available to make personalised communications easier.

For emails, segmenting audiences and personalising messages are more important than ever. Gmail alone has multiple tools to allow personalisation. Then there are chatbots that can be deployed across your communication channels, including your website, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (to name just a few). 

For building client relationships, personalisation should always be a priority for any business owner. Whether you run an international company or run a local business and need to convince shoppers to buy locally, personalisation is the key.

Map and understand the customer journey

To build better relationships with your customers, you need to understand them. That means learning about their pain points and what you can do to resolve them. That starts with developing buyer personas to reflect segments of your target audience, but it should also include developing a deeper understanding of the journey from awareness to purchase. 

The more you understand the customer journey, the easier it will be to take the initiative and offer the solutions you know they need. This preemptive solution-sourcing can go a long way to delivering better customer service, which will only strengthen the buyer-brand relationship. 

Use surveys

One of the best ways to learn about your relationship with your customers is to ask them. Modern consumers want to know that they are being listened to, especially regarding complaints. Surveys can come in a variety of formats and can be used across multiple comms channels. They can be used not just to gauge customer satisfaction, but to segment your customers based on their levels of satisfaction. 

Listening to your customers is always crucial in business, but if you want to start improving your client relationship skills then surveys are always a good place to start. 

There are always ways to build customer relationships when you’re face to face with them, but for brands working predominantly online, surveys can be an incredibly useful tool. When customers are happy with your customer service, they are likely to return, and may even become brand advocates. And that’s only good news for your business.

The WOW factor

All SMEs are faced with the same problem. How to compete with the biggest names in the industry? For retailers, trying to take on Amazon will seem like an impossible journey. But, it might be easier than you think. It all comes down to delivering the customer service that makes your clients sit back and go “Wow.” Treat your customers as nothing more than a wallet and a bank account and your chances of being here next year are slim to none.

Pour your heart into delivering the very best customer service with every single interaction. From a happy customer to someone who has left a bad review, always take steps to blow those customers away and exceed their expectations. Make sure that your team, if you have one, is trained in active listening, and stick to using positive language at all times. It might take a little extra work, but when you wow your customers they will be back, and you could have a lifetime customer.

Building customer relationships isn’t easy

It takes time to develop and then build positive customer relationships. It’s rarely something that will get handed to you on a plate (unless your only customers are your friends and family!). That means taking a more proactive approach to how you interact with, learn from, and understand your clients. Build your business around your customers and you’ll find that your client relationship skills will improve naturally.

Two things lie at the heart of business success: your customers and your finances. Without customers, your business won’t last long, and financial mismanagement means you won’t be around long to benefit from those new client relationship skills. So while you’re learning about the importance of customer relationships and how to improve them, remember to take control of your finances. Use cloud-based accounting software to ensure that you can use your finances to grow your business.

 

Contact the team at Big Red Cloud to find out more about accounting software isn’t just something to ease tax headaches. When used correctly, your accounting software can be the key to brand growth, better customer relationships, and longevity that is only possible when high impact customer service meets more efficient financial management.

Marc O'Dwyer

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations.

In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers.

He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses.

In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO.

He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly.

Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)