Unlike more established companies where there is already a corporate culture in place, startups often have the advantage of building their own corporate culture from the ground up. Depending on how this task is handled, it can either be a blessing or a curse.
One of the most critical aspects of building that corporate culture is the attention that is given to managing customer relations. In today’s marketplace, most startups understand that they need for customer relationship management, but there is much more to that idea than simply buying and implementing a great CRM software solution.
In addition to utilizing some form of CRM software, startups also need to focus on how that software will become a part of their corporate culture. They also need to focus on other simple strategies to improve the customer experience.
Here are five simple concepts that startups can use in addition to CRM software to improve their customer relationship management:
Have a Clear Strategy
Most businesses are guided by the vision of their leaders, and that is even more true in a small business environment. Your startup needs to establish a clear strategy that puts a high priority on customer relationship management.
It’s not enough to just pay lip service to this idea. You have to actually implement processes to make sure that everyone on your team understands the importance of great customer service and how that can translate to top line growth and bottom line profits.
Target the Right Customers
Of course, no amount of relationship management is going to save you if you are targeting the wrong customers. You need to focus your efforts where they can be most productive, which means you should be making sure that your customers are the right customers for your company.
The best way to gauge whether or not you are targeting the right customers is to develop relationships with them. Since that should already be in your CRM strategy, this should be an easy concept to implement.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp the idea that the easiest way to improve customer relationships is to communicate with them regularly. Whether you prefer email, text messages, phone calls, or in-person meetings, getting to know your customers is a whole lot easier if you talk to them more often.
This regular communication doesn’t have to be very sophisticated. Simply calling and asking how the customer is doing and if there is anything you could do for them is going to be good enough to get the relationship building in motion.
One of the biggest mistakes that many startups make when it comes to customer relations is working really hard at it for a few weeks and then forgetting about it for a few months…then repeating the cycle. This can actually do more harm than good because your customers will not know what to expect from you.
Instead, you should be focusing on executing a minimal amount of customer relationship building on a daily basis. Don’t overcommit yourself to doing more than you can do on a regular basis.
Handle Complaints Well
Every business hates dealing with complaints. But every business gets them. This is an area where you can build relationships by separating yourself from the pack as a startup that can turn a complaining customer into a raving fan.
It takes some skill and a ton of practice to get good at dealing with frustrated customers, but it will be time well spent because you will be able to quickly improve some of your most fragile customer relationships.
As you probably know, most of these concepts can be augmented and systemized using CRM software. However, if you do not have the proper culture in place prior to implementing the CRM software, it will end up being just another piece of software that your team doesn’t bother to open.
The culture behind the CRM software is what makes it so valuable. Are you working to create that culture?Lynkos, Business Tips, CRM