You’ve put in a lot of time and money into acquiring new customers.
And with customer retention cheaper than acquisition, it only makes sense to put in the same amount of effort, if not more, into retaining them.
But to do so, you’ll need to build meaningful relationships with your customers. Ones that convert them into promoters of your product.
And today we’re going to be talking about how you can do just that!
We spoke to five customer-centric companies – Aircall, Gorgias, Hire Horatio, Lessonly, Tymeshift – to find out what they do to build stronger connections with their customers.
And we’ve broken down their answers so that you can do them too.
Hire people with a passion for helping
You cannot force a meaningful customer relationship. It needs to be a part of your brand’s DNA. This means you’ll need to hire people who share the same mission and values that you hold dearest.
And it all starts with your recruiting process.
You’ll obviously need to look for people with the right set of technical skills. But it’s equally important to focus on their other attributes like empathy, self-awareness, and communication.
PS Check out Tymeshift‘s book Undefined World, where seven professionals who got their starts in CX tell you how they built careers they love.
Skills can be learned. But attitudes are much harder to change.
So look for candidates that are honest, sincere, and have a passion for helping others.
? Speaking of recruiting customer-obsessed folk, we’re hiring for roles in content, design, product, and across the board. Check out our job openings and give us a shout if you know someone who fits the bill ☝️
Understand the why behind the what
Your customers use your software to solve problems.
But in addition to learning what the problem is, you need to understand why they’re trying to solve a certain problem.
And this can be hard. Because oftentimes customers themselves will struggle to articulate their problems.
So you’ll need to do a lot of discovery and ask a lot of questions. And listen carefully to figure out the underlying basis of what they’re trying to solve.
From the Lessonly blog: The Importance of Training in Customer Service
Getting to the crux of the issue will allow you to work with customers to solve these problems together.
Helping customers effectively solve their problems is a sure-shot way of building a stronger relationship with them.
Be communicative and follow up on expectations
It’s essential to understand the individual needs of each customer.
And then setting very clear expectations.
Read more: Struggling to Increase Sales? It is Time to Focus on the Customer Experience
You’ll then need to follow up on these expectations to provide them with the best experience possible.
You should not only answer their questions as quickly as possible but also proactively keep them informed every step of the way. All while remaining friendly and empathetic.
Additional listening: Drive Profit with Purpose Podcast: Q & A with Jose Herrera, CEO and co-founder of Horatio
And every once in a while, it helps if you can go above and beyond and surprise them. Whether that’s through a gift, a discount, or something else.
? Further reading: Mercer Smith‘s article on ‘The 14 best tips for effective communication with customers‘ for Front.
Empower customers to help themselves
You want to be there for your customers whenever they need you. But you also want to help them help themselves. That is, empowering them to do things on their own.
For example, you can do this by educating and guiding customers on how to make a certain change rather than implementing every change for them.
This ensures that your customers always feel like they’re in control.
Doing so could take many forms. Whether that’s an extensive library of help articles, videos taking them through features or personally guiding them through different actions on your product.
? Further reading: Mathew Patterson‘s article on ‘Using Customer Self-Service to Deliver Better Support’ for HelpScout.
Don’t be afraid to show your human side
Over the last year or so, we’ve all been forced to work from home.
And this has had a great equalizing effect.
We’ve all had meetings where there are dogs barking, toddlers squawking, or doorbells ringing.
And there’s absolutely no need to shy away from any of it. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to share a bit more about our families and lives.
Read more: Practical Support Tips From Gorgias Customer Support Team
Finding commonalities, not necessarily related to work, is one of the best ways you can learn a little bit more about customers while sharing a little bit about yourself too.
And common interests, experiences, and connections are very helpful in building rapport with your customers.
When you actively listen and genuinely care about your customers, empathy comes naturally. And that’s a crucial element in building meaningful customer relationships.
You also don’t want to take yourself too seriously. When the situation is appropriate, feel free to show off your ‘non-work’ side with humor, emojis, funny GIFs, etc.
? Want to get a chuckle out of one of your customers? Download and use one of the Klaus Zoom backgrounds for your next virtual meeting.
Build a community for your customers
Your goal is to help customers get the best possible results for themselves. And that means, giving them different perspectives. Including ones that you may not have.
By creating a space where your customers can directly interact and bounce ideas off each other.
Getting insight from people in a similar situation as them can give your customers a different yet relatable perspective. But more importantly, can help foster a sense of community.
Listening to everyone involved in the field can help make you an even better partner to your customers.
? Looking for inspiration to create a community? Check out what we’ve done with the Quality Tribe. (Which you should consider joining if you’re interested in all things CX)
Keep your team motivated
We started off by speaking about how having a customer-centric company starts with your hiring. But it doesn’t end there.
If you want to build meaningful relationships with your customers, you’ll want to make sure the people who interact with them are always motivated and empowered to do so.
It’s essential to constantly make your team feel appreciated and optimistic.
Here are some ideas you could consider trying to keep your team’s morale high:
- Creating a shout out channel on Slack where anyone can praise a coworker
- Virtual coffees with rotating groups of team members during work hours
- Putting together swag packages, written letters, or surprise gifts
- Audio-only meetings that encourage people to walk and talk
- Group activities like trivia, online games, etc.
? Can’t go out for drinks with the gang after work? Show off your mixology skills from home instead with one of these Cocktails with Catitude.
And we’re done!
Investing time and effort in your team as well as your customers is what’ll help you build meaningful relationships.
While it does sound fairly straightforward, you’ll need to actually make it a central part of your brand’s DNA.
And once you do, you’re sure to see the results!
A big shoutout to the awesome folk from Aircall, Gorgias, Hire Horatio, Lessonly, and Tymeshift for their time and valuable insights.
If you have any questions for them, leave us a message on the Quality Tribe and we’ll pass it along!
Articles you should check out next:
- 17 Ways Intercom Builds Customer Relationships that Last
- Most Effective Ways to Motivate Customer Support Agents
- CX Reads You Don’t Want to Miss from Supportreads.com
- 7 Impactful Customer Service Training Ideas & Activities
- The Illustrated History of Customer Service
- Subscribe to the Klaus podcast
- 9 Aircall Integrations to Take Your Voice Support to The Next Level