Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. (@sparkerjr)
It’s not enough to be everywhere your customers are and expect to build customer relationships. Signing up for social networks is a start, but you need to have a good consumer response strategy to actually connect with your consumers. One article mentioned the following ways to help build this trust and secure long lasting customer relationships.
1. Empathize with the Consumer
How you respond to the consumer is just as important as when you respond. Never respond to a consumer with the mindset that they are just another problem for you to deal with. Showing the customer that you understand what they are going through with an “I’m sorry” or “that must be frustrating” can win them over, and build trust and brand loyalty.
This is true for positive experiences as well. When a customer shares a good experience, thank them and then spread it around! You will confirm their feelings and encourage other members of your community to share their feelings and experiences.
2. Facilitate Consumer Communities
To help build positive and beneficial customer relationships, you should show them you are listening, take to heart what they are saying and be willing to offer a resolution. Provide them multiple places to speak their mind, whether that is Facebook, Twitter, forums or a product page on your website. These conversations should be open, encouraging other customers to give feedback as well.
3. Use Experience to Educate
When your consumers share experiences, they are not only providing feedback but also educating other customers on questions they may have as well. It is important to organize and archive these conversations for future use. This should not replace a blog or company newsletter, but can serve as a living FAQ on your website.
4. Maintain the Momentum
Customer relationship management requires continual attention and effort. As more customers engage with your brand, others will expect this treatment moving forward. This may mean going above and beyond for your customers, but ultimately will strengthen the relationship and garner brand loyalty.
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