Customer relationships

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Let's talk about customer relationships.

This is the main touch point that you have with your customers, and it’s how you get to your customers, keep your customers, and grow your customers. So it's really important to understand how you best deliver your product or service to your customers, but most importantly, how you stay in touch with them after they've purchased your product. This may come in the form of self-service, perhaps some personal assistance, communities, co-creation and automated service.


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Knowing that customer relationships are all about getting, keeping and growing your customer base, let's have a closer look at how you can create fantastic customer relationships.

1.  Self-service

Companies that focus on cost reduction often aim for a self-service system. This is where there's no necessary human interaction, but the process and structure of the company creates a system where customers can help themselves.  

2.  Personal Assistance

The opposite to self-service is personal assistance. Companies that want to increase value for their customers will focus on personal assistance via human interaction. This can come in the form of call centers, emails, blogs, and social media.

3.  Communities

Another great way to form fantastic customer relationships is through a community. Often online, companies manage to bring their clients together through communities. Customers can help each other, talk to each other and it’s a great way for companies to stay in touch and manage their customer base.

A great example of good customer relationships in New Zealand is that of Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand does a fantastic job of maintaining their customer base, keeping them satisfied as well as loyal. The process that Air New Zealand goes through is that of automation or self-service. Often you can book your flights via the Air New Zealand app. Once you have booked your flights, you can check in the night before, and on the way to the airport it will give you necessary reference points and reference checks prior to your holiday. On arrival to the airport you can self check-in. If you run into any issues, there is personal assistance available. But every single step of the way, it is highly automated and self-serviced.

 

Learning

To get started on your own business model, have a think about what kind of relationship your customers expect. Have a think about how costly they are, and whether you already have some of these integrated into your business model. Think about examples of other industries that you can incorporate in your customer relationship process.