4 Areas You Need to Assess to Improve Customer Relationships…

Anytime we’re dealing with people, life is going to be messy. This truth is clear to anyone who has worked in customer service. People can be downright nasty sometimes.

But most of us have also experienced terrible customer service reps who have made us never want to return to a particular business again. Fiascos such as the one United Airlines dealt with a few months ago are still fresh on the public mind.

Any company that hopes to succeed must learn how to truly value its customers. Doing so includes turning potentially explosive situations into victories.

But it also means that companies already doing a pretty good job of building customer relationships can get better. While succeeding in some areas, they might be blind to ways they are falling short.

Tips on How to Improve Customer Relationships

Here are few tips for small businesses that want to improve how they are serving their clients.

Don’t Let Touchpoints Distract You from the Big Picture

Are you aware of your average client’s journey with your brand beyond the touchpoints? Your customers interact with your product when you are not around.

They could be frustrated during certain parts of their journey without you being aware of it. This frustration might be causing customer churn without you knowing why or even that it’s happening.

Harvard Business Review notes that “A company that manages complete journeys would not only do its best with the individual transaction but also seek to understand the broader reasons for the call, address the root causes, and create feedback loops to continuously improve interactions upstream and downstream from the call.”

It is essential that companies apply “tailored metrics” for each part of the overall customer journey. Be sure to gather information about both employees and customers to determine where customers are most dissatisfied.

One example of this type of problem is a company making a successful sale of a TV installation, but then the customer experiencing difficulty with the installation.

Even though the client can call to resolve the issue, the company could have explained the installation process better in advance. The salesperson could have eliminated the reason for the call, as well as the time and energy the customer spent resolving the problem.

An extremely important point to note here is that the source of customer service issues is internal. Because the problems arise from employees (even if unintentionally), employees must play a key role in coming up with the solutions. If they do not, the solutions will not last.

Reduce Unnecessary Pain Points

Another example of what it could look like to take steps to make your clients’ lives easier is implementing a tool such as a client portal.

An all-too-common frustration in the business world is following up on payments owed. Beyond that, there is the challenge of keeping documents organized and keeping sensitive information, such as W-2s and NDAs, secure.