The concept of company-customer relationships is not new. However, with more tools that allow businesses to analyze customer data, managing these relationships holds much more importance. Although it’s easier for companies to retrieve this data, the new expectations from consumers make it also very challenging. Companies struggle with meeting the consumers’ expectations.
Many companies fail to understand the basis of customer relationships. They can spend all the money they want on CRM software but without this understanding, it won’t do much good. It’s important to understand that there are many different relationships companies can have with their customers. Businesses need the capability of changing poor relationships or reinforcing the positive ones. Just because a company can obtain data about demographics and customer purchase history, does not mean they properly understand customer relationships. This just shows that a company looks at customers as only resources to be used, rather than genuinely caring about the customers and their needs.
The first step to building a good relationship with customers is learning the type of relationship consumers expect from a brand. Studies have shown that consumer expectations about their relationships with brands depends on many different factors, including the industry the brand is in. There are 29 different relationships. Relationships vary between negative and positive, and some customers feel a little bit of both. They can be intimate or complete strangers. Understanding the type of relationship consumers of your industry expect from a brand is vital in providing the right relationship to them.
One way of figuring this out is by listening through methods like surveys. Interviews are another way that companies can find out information from their consumers that will help them determine the relationship they expect. Utilizing customer relationship management software can also help businesses understand the type of relationship they need to provide.
Humanistic gestures and new technologies help companies to establish meaningful customer relationships.