Having great customer relationships is always important. Change is constant, so it’s important for your customers to know that they can count on your shop. The two steps to making strong customer relationships are communicating and building trust.
At the beginning of the pandemic, you probably received many emails about what various companies were doing to handle COVID-19. While getting so many emails from different companies can be a little overwhelming, the thought behind it was good. Those companies wanted their customers to know how things would be changing, and why they would change.
If your shop is making changes, it’s a good idea to tell your customers about them. Is your shop allowing visitors to come in again? Are you scaling back up? Are you making PPE instead of or in addition to what you usually make? If you haven’t reached out to your customers, it’s a good idea to do that now. For some shops, email works best. Others have found more success with social media or a banner on their website. Some shops may use all of these methods. Whatever method works best for your shop, it can be helpful to share some common questions and answers with your customers. You may even get some new orders out of it.
While communicating with your customers is great when things are changing, it can also be helpful to talk to them when things are going as expected. For example, it can put customers’ minds at ease if they get an update when their job gets to a certain point in the process, or when it’s being shipped to them. Sending these messages manually can be difficult and time-consuming, but some ERP systems can automatically send out emails to keep customers in the loop. With these systems, you can set it and forget it. Your customers will appreciate the update from you.
Don’t forget to reach out to customers after a job is finished as well. Are they happy with the product? Is there anything else they need that your shop could help them with? It’s important not to sound too salesy when following up. Instead, it’s more helpful to focus on making sure the customer is happy with their order and offering that same level of quality and speed for any other job. If they have more jobs you can help them with, great. If not, keeping a human connection with them will help them think of your shop first when something comes up later.
Trust can be difficult to build, and it takes time. Communication is a great place to start building trust. However, even if you’re communicating with your customers, there’s more you can do to build trust.
One of the biggest ways to earn trust is for shops to get their jobs out on time, without charging for overtime. Great scheduling will make this happen, and a great ERP system will make scheduling a snap. With an ERP system, you can see how long a job will take and your system will tell you when to start the job so you can make the deadline. They can even help you adjust your schedule if something happens.
When your customers call your shop, they want you to know everything about their order without having to search for it. With a great ERP system, you have all of this information at your fingertips, along with up-to-date information from the floor. Customers feel more valued when you can tell them quickly and accurately where their jobs are on the floor and that helps them trust your shop more. If they have to wait for you to run out and track their job down, it takes more of your time and theirs and that’s less than ideal for both of you.
It also helps build customer trust if they feel like their needs matter to your shop. It can be helpful to talk to your customers every so often and ask them what your shop could improve on, what it does well, and if there’s anything they wish your shop did that it currently doesn’t. Some of the things your customers want for your shop may not be possible. However, sometimes you may be able to accommodate their request. If you hear similar requests from many of your customers, it may even help your shop decide to grow in a new direction.
Every time you take customer feedback to heart and use it to make changes in your shop, your customers feel important. So, making these changes could help your shop overall as well as improve your customer relationships.
With so much changing every day, it’s important to know who you can rely on. Making your shop something your customers can count on will do wonders for your relationship with them. Your referrals to new customers will also likely increase and your shop can get even bigger and better. The road to better customer relationships starts with communication and trust.
Want to learn about how else your shop has an impact?