5 Steps To Becoming A Leader In Customer Relationships

5 Steps To Becoming A Leader In Customer Relationships
January 8, 2015 Chris Tomlinson

Successful businesses always differentiate themselves from competition. While those that are market leaders can afford to differentiate through predatory cost or large networks, these strategies may not work for their smaller rivals. Despite being a leader in market share, the unique trait that Zappos differentiates itself right from its early days is customer service. The company is known to have done everything from sending flowers to a customer whose mother passed away to ordering pizza on behalf of a caller who craved for one at two in the morning.

How do you ensure a seamless customer relationship management for your business? These five steps will help you out.

Step 1 – Invest In A Good CRM

As a small retailer, it may seem practical to remember the details about your customer without help. But as you scale up, it is critical that businesses invest in a CRM. A good CRM tool will give you the flexibility to add any number of details about the customer. There are a number of popular, yet affordable ones available in the market for businesses – Salesforce, SugarCRM and Net Suite CRM services are a few quality ones.

Step 2 – Document Every Little Detail About Your Customer

Most businesses use CRMs to mainly keep track of user contact information and their past support tickets. This way, when a particular customer calls, you are already aware of the past issues they have faced and can hence offer a better personalized support. But this is a norm in the industry and if you are a business that strives to be a customer relationship leader, you will need to stretch further. Document every little detail about the customer you can glean from your conversations with them. Did they say they like white? Are they buying a gift for their anniversary? Every little detail. This will help the customer team in establishing a more personalized and friendly relationship with the customer.

Step 3 – Train Your Team On Friendliness

There is a fine line between a friendly and thoughtful customer support exec and a creepy stranger who seemingly knows everything about you. How your team comes across totally depends on how well you train them on being friendly and not creepy. But to begin with, hire support execs who are naturally friendly and do not act like robots at their job.

Step 4 – Allocate Budget For Individual Relationship Managers

No amount of friendliness can make up for a customer’s unhappiness with a product they paid for. While returns and exchanges are routine in the industry, the effectiveness of a customer service exec is curtailed if things have to be escalated to a manager for every little expense. Allocating a budget for customer relationship would enable the support execs to do small things that make customers extremely happy – sending flowers to a customer whose mother died recently is a fantastic example of this.

Step 5 – Pay Well

The last and final step in establishing a great customer relationship team is to realize that these employees are the face of your company. In most businesses, customer support tends to be one of the least paid jobs – the apparent assumption being that they are a cost center and do not bring direct sales to the business. But by paying well and hiring the best of talent, you could ensure that your business offers the best care and support for your customers which is the easiest way to be loved by customers.

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