It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that your business exists for your purposes. But it exists for your customers because otherwise, nothing happens without them. When all is going well, you will have a customer base satisfied with what you give them and not thinking about leaving anytime soon.
However, it’s essential to know that challenging situations can permanently damage your customer relationship. It is your job to proactively prevent any of it from happening. Our collaborative blog points out common problems that can damage your customer relationships and provides suggestions below for avoiding them.
Be Mindful Of Your Customer Relationships
A website doesn’t have to crash entirely to be problematic for your visitors. Your customers will likely interact with your brand most frequently via your website. But, if your website doesn’t work as well as it should, it is inevitable that you’ll encounter problems with your customers. Unresponsive, slow, and overly cluttered website design can cause issues that may lead your customers to lose patience. Avoid this by handing over your website design and maintenance tasks to a third-party company.
Hard to Reach
It’s easy for your customers to love your brand when everything’s going well. But what about when they have an issue? At that point, they’ll need to get in touch with you to resolve the matter. Problems will quickly arise if they’re unable to do so. There’s nothing more frustrating than speaking to someone from a company only to find they respond other than one expects. It’s worse when contact information appears to be unavailable. You can prevent this problem by listing as much contact information on your site as possible — and making sure someone’s always there to answer.
Your employees aren’t just there to push your company forward. They’re also ambassadors for your brand. A bad interaction with an employee can make a customer look for alternative businesses to spend their money. And note that a bad interaction doesn’t necessarily mean rude behavior — it can just mean an unhelpful exchange. For example, the staff member can’t help the customer with their query. Ensure all employees interacting with the public are well-trained and know their stuff. Most of all, they are well aware of the care you take for your customer relationships.
Your job only completes once you make a sale, the customer receives their product on time and is happy with what they receive. However, you want your effort to continue, as creating a loyal clientele for ongoing business is preferable.
Customers will become rightly annoyed if their products take extra time to arrive. You will do well to find a shipping process that ensures your goods arrive on time. Of course, one-off delays will happen from time to time. But if you’re getting constant customer complaints about how long it takes for products to arrive, you know that something has to change.
Even worse than slow shipping are products that arrive broken. Customers feel the stress upfront because they know they will have to go through several more processes to end up with the product. It’s unwise to believe that a product will arrive safely and sound without proper packaging, especially if it travels a long distance.
Reviewing your packaging across all parts of the supply chain is a good idea. Investing in new wood pallets can be helpful for safely transporting your goods from your warehouse to the supplier, as can investing in adequate padding. You may also want to test your packaging periodically to ensure it can withstand a few bumps.
Significant Price Increases
You will need to raise your prices from time to time. However, it’s essential to do so tactfully. If you increase your pricing too much, too fast, then it’s inevitable to cause damage to your relationship with your customers. Even small increases need serious consideration. It’s always a good idea to alert your customers to any price increases and explain why you have to do so. If you’re raising your prices due to external factors (a spike in the cost of raw materials, for instance), it will be wise to lower the prices once things are back to normal.
Social Media Controversy
You’ll want the public to pay attention to your brand on social media. However, they notice your brand for the right reasons. You’ll be in trouble if they’re paying attention because you’ve said something controversial. There have been many people who have abandoned a company all because of something written on Twitter. In general, it’s best to avoid overly political stuff and to play it safe with any attempts at humor. If you end up offending someone, then take the time to understand why what you said was offensive and make a genuine apology. Always have in mind that your customer relationships come first.
Your customers came to your brand for a reason. However, times change. If it feels like your company is failing to evolve or improve, then there’s every chance that your customers will begin to look elsewhere. No one likes to think they are giving their money to a company that is past its best. You will need to show investment and innovation in your products and services to stay at the top. It’s vital to ensure you are always the best you can be.
Taking Them for Granted
Finally, the most subtle and common way to damage your relationship with your customers is to take them for granted. They might be supportive of your brand today, but that doesn’t mean they will automatically stay with you forever. Many companies spend all their energy trying to acquire new customers, but there’s value in nurturing relationships with current customers.
In Conclusion: Don’t Damage Your Customer Relationships
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Find varying ways to thank them for their loyalty. One possibility is to send a special promo or discount code “just because” to show them you value their business. Appreciation gives way to client loyalty.
Related: Do You Realize To Sell Well, You Must Include Everyone You Encounter?