Trust is an integral part of selling online. In fact, 81% of consumers say that they need to trust the brand if they are going to buy from it.
Unfortunately, earning the trust of your audience isn’t an easy task. With shady business practices prevalent online, consumers have become especially careful about who they buy from, performing diligent research before committing to the purchase.
But at the same time, brands that can build and nurture meaningful relationships with their audience are able to thrive and outcompete much larger companies with multi-million-dollar budgets.
To figure out how they do that, let’s look at some of the most critical aspects of brand relationship building below.
Choose the Right CRM Solution
If you want to manage customer relationships more effectively, you must use the right tools to make the job more efficient. That’s why the first step towards improving the relationships with your audience is to invest in the right CRM solution.
The best CRM software solutions offer a wide range of powerful features that can help you streamline various processes and stay on top of the communication with your customers.
It allows you to take complete control over your sales process, laying out each step involved from the very first contact with the prospect and mapping out the most profitable actions you can take.
You can also be confident that no tasks will slip through the cracks, scheduling automated follow-up reminders, and preparing for meetings that will help facilitate key decisions when moving forward.
When choosing a platform, you should also make sure that it allows you to unify all of your customer data in one place, seamlessly integrating with other apps and allowing you to import or export data as necessary.
Finally, a good CRM platform will keep track of the entire interaction history with a customer, providing your sales team with all the information they need to make the best decisions possible in every situation.
In the end, having a modern CRM platform is not about any single feature but about having a hub that will make the lives of your team members easier while simultaneously providing your customers with the best experience possible, which they will surely appreciate.
Learn More About Your Audience
When making connections with your audience, you’re not communicating to all of them at once. Even during wide-reaching broadcasts, you are first and foremost communicating with each person on a personal level.
Because of that, you can’t treat your audience as a singular unit and instead must find ways to break through to a deeper level where you can form meaningful connections with the people that you are trying to serve.
But to achieve that, you need to dig deep when determining which customers you’re trying to attract.
Performing thorough audience research is a given, as it will act as a foundation that will provide you with specific knowledge about how to promote yourself and where to run your campaigns.
But at the same time, you will need to be proactive and interact with the individuals you are working with, as that’s the most effective way to gain real insights that your competitors won’t have access to.
By talking with your current customers and prospects, you will discover how they think, how they perceive your company, and what challenges they’re trying to overcome. You will also find out what type of content they’re exposed to online and what shapes their opinions.
For instance, you may find out that they hold a strong belief about something that makes them hesitant about working with you. If you don’t address that objection head-on, converting your customers will be very difficult, no matter what you do.
But if you take the time to understand and dispel their concerns, you might end up gaining customers that will be the most loyal to your brand.
Keep Your Customers Informed
Keeping in touch with your audience is critical if you want your brand to stay on their mind. But with today’s consumers receiving so much information every day, breaking through and being heard isn’t an easy task.
Therefore, you need to get creative if you want to ensure that your audience gets your messages and continues to see your brand as an essential part of their lives, or at least something that they find useful.
The most popular way to stay in touch is via email. If you have an email list, you can send out regular updates about your business, announce news, and run special offers whenever you need a boost to your sales.
You can also use your social media channels to engage and interact with your audience, sharing helpful content, and showcasing your brand’s unique voice while also ensuring that people know about what you have to offer.
But if you want to take it a bit further, you could even experiment with a customizable SMS API, which would allow you to send targeted messages to your audience, immediately reaching them and keeping them up to date about your brand or even their purchases.
SMS messages have a staggering 98% open rate, so when you have a message that you need your audience to read, using this medium is always a great choice.
As we discussed in the previous section, having multiple ways to reach your customers is essential. But that’s only part of the equation.
When your customers try to reach you, they must also be able to do so easily and quickly, or they won’t bother to wait for an answer if they need to know something right now.
Even today, many companies still try to get by with only a contact form on their website and a phone number that only works during office hours. What ends up happening is that whenever someone has questions outside of those hours, they end up being frustrated and often go find the answers that they need somewhere else.
But what can you do to avoid this?
Well, it all comes down to the number of channels that your audience can reach you. Besides email and phone, there are various other options that you can consider if you want your customer service to be on-par with the best practices of today.
For one thing, you should set up a chat function on your website, having live representatives whenever possible, and installing a chatbot to answer basic questions when no one’s available.
You should also start developing a knowledge base with some of the most common questions and issues, which can be used to direct users to specific solutions instead of explaining the answer every time.
Finally, make sure that you have someone monitoring the comments and private messages on your social media channels, as many people will go there seeking answers first.
Showcase What You Stand For
There’s a reason why some companies spend millions of dollars trying to figure out the best branding approach in their situation. Branding is an essential component of success in business, as it helps you differentiate yourself from the competition and create a stronger bond with your audience.
After all, without branding, companies would be little more than the products they sell. And with hundreds of businesses selling similar or even identical solutions, breaking into a market would be a big challenge.
However, as we know from real-world examples, even small companies are able to come in and carve out a place in the market simply because they bring new ideas and a new identity that a segment of the audience associates with.
If you perform a thorough research about your audience, you should have a pretty good understanding of what they want.
At that point, your job is to figure out how to make every part of your brand, your voice, and your communications unified with their values and expectations of the companies that they want to deal with.
Be Receptive to Feedback
Mistakes are a part of running a business, and there’s no way to completely prevent them. But what separates the best and most-beloved brands from the rest is how they respond when that happens.
Some companies try to hide their mistakes, minimize their impact, or even flat out lie about what occurred. As you can expect, that never works out, and the damage to the reputation is often irreparable.
Instead, when a mistake happens, no matter how inconvenient or even embarrassing it might be, you should own it and apologize as quickly as possible. What’s more, you should come up with ways to fix it or at least do something to make the situation better.
Afterward, you should carefully analyze what went wrong, learn from the experience, and implement practices that will ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Loyal customers are hard to come by. With competitors always vying for new business, keeping your current clients on board requires a lot of effort and dedication.
But making the effort to keep your loyal customers and grow their base is an integral part of growing your brand. These customers are not only directly responsible for your success, but they are often also your best ambassadors, spreading your company’s message and attracting new prospects in the process.
That’s why you should value what they bring to the table and reward them accordingly. Make a list of the people that have been with you the longest or have brought in the most referrals, and find a way to reward them.
Making these customers feel like they’re part of an exclusive club can go a long way towards keeping them happy. If you make them feel like you value them, it won’t matter what the competition throws at them; the relationship you have built will be more important.
Building relationships with your customers is an integral part of success. And the good news is, even if you run a small company, the right strategies and the right tools can help you ensure that your audience remains happy and loyal to your brand.
Using modern tools such as a proven CRM platform, getting to know the people that make up your audience, and other strategies listed in this article can become the foundation for nurturing relationships with customers that want to work with you and no one else.
Business relationships built on trust -DepositPhotos