The impact of customer relationship
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” — Jeff Bezos
by Adwright, 9 May, 2019
Customer relations is influenced by a customer’s experience with an organisation. A customer’s experience varies depending on the level of service an organisation provides. Upholding customer relationship is important for every business ranging from B2C, B2B, service-driven to product-driven. An organisation that values the wellbeing of its customer is a customer-first organisation. Customer-centric organisations are usually revered and respected by a huge loyal customer following. It would be a mistake for any organisation to believe otherwise, an example is Ofo.
In February this year, the popular Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo received news from the Land Transport Authority that their operating license has been suspended. The suspension comes from Ofo’s reluctance in keeping their maximum fleet size at 10,000 bicycles and also for the lack of QR-code parking implementation.
Ofo’s lack of concern goes beyond government regulations. Just two months before, Ofo’s customers met with a stoppage of service resulted in customers seeking refunds of their deposits from the organisation. Ofo infuriated its loyal customer base by not responding to their enquiries. Unsurprisingly, this incident smeared any goodwill between Ofo and its large customer base.
“Always leave a place better than it was before” is a value that organisations have to practice. As organisations leave a market, they might think that it is unnecessary to maintain customer relationship as it may cease to exist eventually. However, this would be detrimental to any future the organisation has with its customers. If a customer has felt the declining in service of an organisation back home, it will prevent them from associating with the organisation’s offering in another country. The resulting loss of opportunity may cost a fortune to win new customers. Remember, serving a loyal customer is much cheaper than acquiring a new one.
Consistent customer relationship matters
On average, a loyal, satisfied customer can be worth up to 10 times as much compared to a new customer. It is advantageous for organisations to put the needs of customers first, reinforcing constant revenue flow.
Following the Ofo commentary, one of the factors that led to the brand’s credibility dive was its failure to respond to its paying customers. This failure to act resulted in the snowballing of complaints on Ofo’s Facebook page. Thereby, creating a ripple of negative posts by irate customers, which was then further intensified by the press.
In the past, a dissatisfied customer would air their discontent to their friends and families. Meanwhile, in the age of social media, unhappy customers can now turn to Facebook.
48% of dissatisfied customers would make their experiences heard among 10 or more people. This transforms a social media platform into a No.1 brand reputation killer. Nothing falls faster than a brand reputation smeared on social media, while the brand fails to react.
‘Response’ – The essence of great customer relation
Upholding long-term customer relationship requires patience and a keen sense of getting deep into the core issue. Organisations that places their customers first, ensure that the relationship between the organisation and customer is equal. Customers entrust organisations with their needs. Thereby it is imperative for customers to receive a fast customer-service response from companies.
Fast response generates swift feedbacks, which converts into directions an organisation can take in ensuring customer’s satisfaction. By responding quickly to an inquiry made by a customer, it expedites the process of problem-solving. Hence, speeding the time needed to get the customer to the transactional phase.
Keeping your customers notified of the processes that are relevant to them is important. If Ofo had addressed its customers with a message about the deposits, they would have removed the perception that they were an irresponsible organisation. An organisation should never leave its customers stranded as this would only strain any goodwill and possible opportunities. Keeping customers in the loop raises their confidence and trust, which will pave the way to a long-term relationship. Good customer relationship lies in upholding mutual-beneficial exchanges. Organisations should work to understand the ways they can to keep a customer satisfied. By doing so, an organisation will benefit through a customer’s repeated patronage. Similarly, at Adwright, we understand our client’s and their customer’s needs and wants. With that knowledge, we able to create branding materials that speak to the heart and recommend the best mix of communication strategies to bring them closer to their customers.