Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics recently estimated that by 2025, 70% of the global workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month. While this will please many employees with arduous commutes, it may have a detrimental impact on customers relationships if not prepared for correctly. For example, sales teams may lose touch with clients and potential leads due to fewer in-person interactions and face-to-face meetings, which are key to building relationships. As some businesses look to implement flexible working on a permanent basis, they must be prepared to adapt their approach and implement new technologies to ensure client relationships remain strong despite the challenges of partial or full remote working.
Building close relationships with clients is important, as they can often be the foundation for upselling. They can also be used as case studies to gain wider interest from other prospective customers as well as being ideal for testimonials, public relations, and supporting continued return custom.
With various software features, customer relationship strategies and communication methods, businesses are well-equipped to create and develop customer relationships despite not being in the office full-time. Here, Adam Hannath, Client Relationship Director at BuddyCRM, outlines his advice for businesses looking to build and maintain client relationships whilst working remotely.
Use data to create unique customer relationships
With entire teams working remotely, monitoring and tracking progress can become more difficult. As COVID continues to impede sales and put a strain on businesses, client retention has become more important than ever, and using data to inform a team can help to better target and manage relationships with customers.
CRM software has the ability to collate and present customer data to sales teams allowing them to analyse customers and improve product or service suggestions. Using information such as core customer needs, latest communications and buying habits, teams can begin to paint a picture of their customer history and future requirements. This information can then be used to tailor unique communications and product offerings will make your customers feel understood and strengthen your relationship. In contrast, a customer who receives general communications that aren’t designed to meet their needs or requirements may not feel heard and can be detrimental to relationships.
Set and manage expectations
Ensuring that your customers understand what they can expect of you and when, will go a long way in creating a trusting relationship. This can take the form of frequent reporting to aid transparency and demonstrate that deadlines and briefings have been understood and delivered.
If your teams can maintain a history of planning and executing tasks on time, the relationship has the potential develop much more as clients gain confidence in your ability and trust you to deliver more diverse or challenging products and services. Supporting these tasks with a CRM system will also reduce the chance of human errors whilst increasing productivity with tools such as task tracking and workload management.
Implementing a range of technological and organisational measures that motivate, incentivise and support employees when helping clients is essential in keeping customers content and improving relationships build on dependability, trust, and reliability.
Make the most out of CRM systems
Customer relationship management software often provides businesses with a range of solutions designed to create, monitor, and make the most of relationships with clients – amongst other benefits. Incorporating tools such as email marketing, targeted product promotions and client habit tracking can all help to ensure that any communications with clients are relevant and beneficial. The tools available are designed to support sales teams in building and maintaining fruitful client relationships, so investing in a comprehensive and feature-rich CRM system that provides insightful data is key to making customers feel valued and understood.
For example, utilising automated, time dependant rules within CRM is key to good client engagement and account management. If the time since your last engagement goes on too long, CRM systems can prompt you to contact that client again. Using software to support timely and balanced account management whilst eliminating human errors can help to build longer lasting client relationships from home.
Customer relationships are the foundation for business growth. Strong relationships can foster trust and confidence whilst increasing the likelihood of those customers further financially committing to your business.
With many businesses already implementing CRM, those who aren’t risk being left behind and becoming less competitive when it comes to customer service.
Using organisational and communication techniques supported by CRM systems, businesses can be well equipped to ensure that no customers are left feeling undervalued and relationships can continue to prosper.