Customer relations is a business term that refers to the interaction between a company and its customers. All companies have customer relations, even those that choose to ignore how the company relates to its customers. Good customer relations are the key to customer retention and customer retention is the key to a growing business; customer relations are as important as the product.
Customer relations management is not just for the customer service department; it may begin there, but a customer’s satisfaction and loyalty effect everyone in the company.
A helpful tip is to develop a method to get feedback from customers about your products and services; what worked and what didn’t work. Make sure all departments are on board from order takers to the sales department. Ensure as much information available is captured, the order department may not think something is as important as the sales or marketing teams. For example, if an order taker gets a complaint from a customer and he doesn’t record the incident no one but the order taker will know that the customer had an issue. One unhappy customer can spread the word about your business and cost you potential clients very quickly. You can expect to have only one chance to make a good impression with your customer service department. Focusing on your customers’ needs and providing excellent customer service is an efficient way to grow your business and earn customer loyalty.
Another tip would be to empower the customer service people to resolve problems, offer solutions and remedies themselves, within reason of course. Customer service reps should know when to escalate but at the same time know when it is not necessary-this can be accomplished by:
• Providing a list of FAQ’s with the solutions to avoid adlibbing answers, promoting consistency
• Assign teams to specific problems; shipping, shortages, backorders for example
• Ensure all incidents are answered promptly then follow up with a customer satisfaction phone call or email.
• Incident logging of all customer complaints/ support requests.