No matter how great your marketing strategy is, or how attractive your advertisements are, if you do not have a customer relations plan, you are fighting a losing battle.
Taking care of customers is paramount to any company’s success and growth. Being able to cultivate and nurture relationships with customers is the only way to assure that you will have repeat customers. Since the battle for customers is pretty much neck and neck, you find that if you do not take care of your customer, they will readily fly the coop, and look for others that seek to take care of their customers better.
The great thing about technology is that it continually offers a myriad of opportunities to please your customers. Technology also offers an ever increasingly easy, effective and practical means for you to build strong customer relationship.
The internet is truly a wonderful thing. It has opened up the avenues for companies to make constant and effective communications with their clients and prospective customers. Whereas, in the past, communicating with customers was a costly and time-consuming activity, today’s technology makes it so easy to establish a customer relations set up. It is so practical that major companies today no longer have any excuse to push up their efforts in the field of customer relations.
Earlier efforts in customer relations involved either the use of print ads, customer service representatives, and correspondences. While these methods remain effective, the advent of technology such as the internet has improved these methods to the point that they are no longer as time-consuming as they used to be.
For example, print ads, while effective are costly. You have to have a commercial printer create a number of handbills which, after some time, will need to replaced, calling for another round of costly printing. This is well and good. The internet on the other hand allows you to create a handbill design and send it directly to your target market through email, or simply on popular sites on the web. This is a lot more cost effective that traditional means. It reaches its intended destination instantly too.
Here are some of the recent innovations in technology that have helped shape the way companies maintain relationships with their customers.
1. Blogging – Blogs are, in essence, online journals on the internet. It is, in every sense, an online diary. Blogs were, in the beginning, a minor component of early websites. However, as time went on, blogs rose in popularity. And everyone, especially savvy marketers, realized the potential of blogs to reach an online audience effectively. This led to the proliferation of blogs on the internet.
Blogs are effective because they are simple, personal, in-depth, and regularly updated. Reading a blog is like having someone you know tell you what you want to know in a chatty manner.
The intimateness blogs create is a great way for you to bond with your customers. It also helps you get them on your side pretty quick.
2. Web-assisted Services – Aside from having your customers call customer representatives to air out their grievances, concerns and comments, you could set up a web application that will take these concerns through the internet.
This is great when you consider that some people can organize their thoughts better in writing and are more comfortable communicating through it. Text support personnel can then evaluate the problems better and communicate with their customers through email. They can also continue communication through the phone if needed.
3. VOIP – Voice over Internet Protocol is the new wave in communications as it allows people to talk over the internet at rates lower than traditional telephone companies. This technology also allows people to see each other’s faces. You will want to explore how you can leverage this technology to your advantage.
4. Webcasts – webcasts are prerecorded serialized broadcasts that are available for download on the internet. It is pretty much like a radio show or TV show that can be downloaded every week for your enjoyment at your own leisure.
In all, the internet is steadily becoming a powerful medium for communication. Companies that seek to improve their services to their customers should never neglect the study of how the internet can aid them in this endeavor.
However, they should also beware of neglecting traditional methods of customer relations as they too are still effective and desired by many of the more traditional-minded customers.