Businesses, from whatever industry, thrive because of their customers.  Customers are their most valuable assets and every business should take pride in their customer relations.  This is because a business’s relationship with its customers is the measure of its success.  Customer relations should be  valued and protected.  The quality of a business’s customer relationship should be consistently maintained and always improving.  This is because there is no greater gain than customers’ loyalty.  Customer loyalty ultimately brings more business to a company.  When a customer is loyal to your business, they do not just come back for repeat business, they refer.  And if the customer relationship is nurtured properly, it should bring more transactions, more customers and more business for the company.

There are 4 important factors we need to consider when we want to nurture and grow our customer relations. 

1.  Customer Service

Customer relations may seem like it is customer service.  However, this is incorrect.  Customer service is the service businesses provide their customers.  This is what businesses market and promote.  This is what we train our employees for.  An example would be in a car wash business.  A car wash business owner hires, trains and employs individuals to carry out these functions.  Aside from efficiently washing cars, they are also trained to be courteous, cheerful and respectful in doing so.  They may be trained to upsell services like waxing or buffing, etc.  All of these aspects are what comprise a car wash business’ customer service.  If there is a survey given to the customers after the job, what would be asked? Would they all be car washing related questions?

2.  Customer Experience

Customer experience is also the main part of a business’s customer relations.  This does not only comprise of the job or service that is done, but also, the feedback of the customer on how the job was done, how they were treated during the entire transaction and also their thoughts on what may be needed to improve if any.  An example of this treatment could be that customers are entitled to an unlimited offer of refreshments while waiting for their cars to be washed or an exclusive offer to customers who are repeat customers.  Anything that the business provides ‘extra’, aside from the normal service they provide that can make the customers feel special, feel valued or feel important, is what brings out excellent customer experience.  It is gauged with surveys, feedback or a simple smile from a customer or, most importantly, repeat business. This is the ultimate goal of every business owner, to see their customers constantly doing business with them because it means, they are doing their jobs right or providing service correctly, and that the customers are happy.

3.  Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is the factor that makes a business different from other businesses in the same area or field.  This may or may not be indicated in the feedback that customers provide after a job or service is rendered.  This is ultimately what makes customers come back for repeat business, or, refer the business to their friends and relatives.  It is something that may not be measured by data, however, it is one of the main ingredients of great customer relations.  This is what makes customers loyal.  This is what makes customers remain customers of a business for a long period.  At the end of a service or job, when the customer sees his or her friends and engages in small talk, it is likely that they will say something about their experience with your business or company.  It could be how efficient the job was done on their cars, or how cheerful the employees were, or simply, how nice the ambience was at the waiting lounge.   And if those small talks or chats encourages those people to later check out your business, then, that is because of excellent customer relations.

4.  Customer Retention

Customer retention is the last factor to consider when mapping out a business’s customer relations path.  This is the clearest sign that the business is doing its part in providing jobs or services that they advertise.  It demonstrates that the business is doing a good job, and that the business is something that other patrons or customers may want to keep on transacting with.  One loyal customer who stays with a business for years, is much more valuable than any new customer on any day.  A loyal customer will always do business with you.  They may even refer your business to their friends and family.  A new customer may or may not be a repeat customer….it all depends on their customer experience and satisfaction at the time the job or service was done. 

Customer relations is a process that needs to be consistently monitored and improved.  This is to ensure customer loyalty and retention.  Businesses thrive on repeat customers and referrals.  Businesses grow when their number of customers or patrons grows.  Customer relationships are cultivated and nurtured to grow the business.  Companies or businesses must maintain the quality of their customer relations at all times.  An evaluation must be done regularly, and innovative ideas should always be used in attracting new business and keeping repeat customers so they remain happy and contented.