4 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Customer Relationship Management Remotely

One of the most important aspects of business is creating close relationships with your customers. When customers feel they have a relationship with a business and are not just being treated as a faceless conglomerate, they are more likely to return and regularly seek out services. Greeting customers when they walk into the store and offering them friendly service are two ways to build relationships with these clients. However, in the wake of COVID-19 and with the rise of internet based business models, these sorts of interactions are becoming more rare.


When the staff members are all working remotely, the task of employing proficient strategies for maintaining customer relationships may seem rather difficult. Fortunately, you can learn new techniques for bolstering connections with customers even when you aren’t in the same physical space. From creating variety in your communication options to having extra patience, here are 4 ways small businesses can improve customer relationship management remotely.


Vary Communication Options

The first and possibly most important customer relation tactic for remote interaction is to keep a variety of communication options open. Many customers are most comfortable walking into a store and having a face-to-face interaction about products and services offered by the business. When that option is unavailable, vary the ways in which you provide customer service so that clients can select the method that is most suitable for them. Make sure that you’re monitoring the company email. Offer text messaging as a way for customers to contact you. Furthermore, ensure that the phone line directs customers to these other options if long wait times exist.


Update the Inventory

When customers walk into a store, they can immediately find out if the products that they want are available. With online ordering, however, they may place an order for important items only to discover that the products are no longer available or are unavailable at this time. By keeping your inventory updated in real time, your customers can feel that sense of immediate and present interaction and knowledge that they usually only get in a physical building. A NetSuite provider could help your business to maintain a more accurate inventory, which can thereby improve relationships with customers. Remember that a major part of customer relationship has to do with their overall shopping experience. Keeping your website and inventory up to date reinforces and recreates this traditional shopping experience.


Employ Social Media

Many customers prefer the semi-open transparency of contacting companies through social media, so be sure that you have employees monitoring these channels as well. Customers who cannot access the physical store may feel a lack of connection with the business. Even worse, they may have started to forget about the good times they spent shopping in the store or meeting with staff members about professional pursuits. Using social media can help you to stay connected and to post updates about new products or in regard to when the shop may reopen. Social media can serve to recreate the feelings of interaction and real-world communication that physical locations naturally give. Think about how to give your social media a sense of personality and real-time updates.


Practice Extra Patience

The distance inherent to remote work and remote interaction takes its toll on both customer and businesses. In trying times, taking out frustrations on other individuals often feels like the easier option, and many customers will vent their frustrations on your employees. This is especially if they feel that they are dealing with a faceless, impersonal conglomerate and not a living business full of real people. Train your staff to remember that many of the customers are going through difficult times too. Individuals may feel perplexed or upset about the fact that they cannot visit their favorite businesses. Having a little bit more patience with them, whether the interactions are through social media, text messaging or a phone call, can help customers to feel more appreciated and respected.

Owning a small business means that you really have the opportunity to connect with your customers and get to know them. When all transactions are taking place online, bringing in this human element is even more important. With some practice, your team can master strategies for doing so.

About the author

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan


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