It’s Valentine’s Day, and sweets, flowers, and relationships are on the brain… customer relationships, that is. February is not only a time for love, but it also a time to re-evaluate business operations, taxes & finances, and compliance. If your metrics haven’t exactly been up to par, consider working on the number-one driver for your company—your customers.

Effects of Poor Customer Relationship Management

The effects of poor customer relations are cyclical. Without proper training and customer care, your business may result in the following:

  • Reduced Sales. Though it may seem like common knowledge that quality customer service equals higher sales, many businesses lack attention to the center point of the business—the customer. According to American Express, 52% of Americans did not complete a business transaction due to poor customer service.
  • Damaged Reputation. When customer service fails, customers will go where they are valued—giving your competitors an edge. In this digital age, word travels fast. Bad reviews go a long way, and future customers will follow the crowd.
  • Loss of Quality Employees. Having bad customer service sets a poor standard in the company, and exhausts quality employees to pick up the slack for the negative performance. Loss of those employees just furthers the poor customer service and starts the cycle again. 

4 Tips to Improve Customer Relationships

What are some ways to improve customer relationships? We interviewed our client, Sophiah Rodriguez from Keto Mini Donuts, for some advice on how to "sweeten up" those relationships.

#1 – Invest in Customer Service Training.

Invest in your team the way you’d invest in your customers. Customer service originates from the leadership. If you lack the training to provide quality customer service, service will be inconsistent across the entire company. 

Keto Mini Donuts, for example, “… love[s] to treat everyone with the same attitude, acceptance, and respect. By staying consistent with your customer service, your customers will always feel welcomed and appreciated.”

Additionally, be sure to monitor and follow up with certain customer service representatives on their performance. Setting a standard for the representatives that you hire will improve your company's service in the long-run.

#2 – Be Honest.

If you encounter a challenge with a customer or issue within the company, keep your customers updated by communicating the issue. For example, many customers question Keto Mini Donuts and the legitimacy of their ingredients, as most of their clientele follow the Ketogenic lifestyle.

 “We make sure to give every customer the peace of mind by sharing exactly what we use in our products,” responded the shop owner. “We also make sure we educate all new customers about our bakery and how and what we do, we are an open book when it comes to ingredients so they can feel confident in what they are purchasing.”

#3 – Communicate Consistently.

In addition to communicating the issues with customers, explore opportunities to interact with your customers on a daily basis, other than in-store. To remain a part of their every day lives, encourage customers to connect with you on social media, subscribe to newsletters, and more.

“In the first 6 months, I utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I would make sure to stay active on our accounts as much as possible to stay connected with all our followers […] I see our Facebook page as our digital store, I make sure to stay connected as much as I can every day and give them as much attention as I possibly can. Best advice I can give is, stay connected with your followers, keep them updated as much as you can.”

#4 – Work with Customers to Grow.

Include the customers in your marketing strategy to grow with them, either by incentivizing them, or… simply asking! Some ideas to encourage customers to return to your store include hosting social media contests, giving out punch cards for a free item, or sharing the customer's story on your business's social media.

“It’s awesome to have regulars at your store, it shows you’re doing something right for them […] By staying consistent we made sure we gave all who walked into our store an experience that they just had to share with their friends and family.” 

Instead of thinking of customers as a separate part of the business, think of them as if they are part of your team—communicate constantly and utilize their skills to grow your marketing strategy. When we concluded our interview, Keto Mini Donuts provided one final piece of advice – “Give every customer the red carpet treatment, cater to them, and build a relationship with each one of your customers.

Hello everybody! My name is Sophiah Rodriguez, I am the owner and keto mini recipe creator of Keto Mini Donuts. We are located in deep down south Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. I personally have been a keto warrior since March of 2018 and it has been the best decision I could have ever made to change my life for the best. I started KMD'S as a way to offer my friends and family a much healthier sweet alternative while challenging their sugar demons while dieting or dealing with high sugar readings. My mini's were created to have the fewest macros within each donut, allowing individuals to guilelessly be able to consume 3-5 mini's throughout their day and not taking too much away from their daily macro limits. Our mini's are universally suitable for anyone and individuals who follow the Ketogenic, Atkins, or low carb diets, they are also diabetic and kiddo approved. We would like to thank everyone for all the love and support that we have been receiving from all over the world. It has been so surreal, I at times had to stop and ask myself, "Is this really happening?” Thank you everyone who has shared, liked, and tagged all their friends and loved ones. Let’s continue to show that keto is not a diet, it is a way of eating! Stay strong and Keto on everybody!