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Many people believe that to have a successful business they simply need desirable products or services. Although these are major factors in the equation for success, customer relations also play an essential role. Consumers generally respond most favorably to businesses that make them feel understood and valued. To improve your customer relations, consider your customer service strategy, how you address problems, and your presence in the community.
The goal of most businesses is undoubtedly to profit from the products or services they provide. This does not mean, however, that desire for profits can overshadow the fact that your customers are human beings. As such, there will be times when questions or concerns arise. If you want to improve your customer relations, consider what is required of customers if they need to interact with your business. On-site customer service representatives, customer service hot lines, and online contact forms are just a few lines of communication you may want to have available for your customers.
People are likely to get frustrated if they can communicate but they feel that nothing gets done or the individuals they interact with are not knowledgeable. Developing policies to address exchanges, refunds, and repairs can improve your customer relations. Although everyone may not agree with your policies, they are more likely to respect them if they know your decisions are consistent. Also, make sure everyone who deals with customers is fully aware of policies, procedures, and the products and services you offer.
The attitude that your business displays toward its customers or potential customers will affect your relations with them. Sometimes consumers get the message that they should be grateful for the opportunity to do business with a particular company. Arrogant attitudes can be extremely damaging to customer relations. You can prevent this by finding ways to show your appreciation for the patronage you receive. Customer appreciation can be displayed in the form of referral incentives, discounts for repeat business, or small tokens of gratitude.
Businesses often fail to realize that their presence and reputation in the community can have a drastic impact on customer relations. Many local businesses cry for support as they face eradication by major retailers. One reason consumers show a lack of concern for these businesses is because those businesses have shown little regard for the communities where they operate. Gestures such as providing summer jobs to teens, supporting youth sports teams, and donating or volunteering for church and community causes are great customer relations improvement tactics.