Nurturing Customer Relationships – Advice from a Customer Success Expert

Relevance is Key to Customer Retention

customer success nurturing customer relationships

Have you heard about the yin & yang principle?

Every situation has two sides. Like any other organization, at Geopointe we faced challenges with the global pandemic, but we learned to make the best out of it.

The positive side was the validation we received from our customers that we had nurtured over the course of years. A huge thanks to our Customer Success, Support & Account teams for their continued support.

But what does nurturing a customer relationship truly mean?

“Relationships are like houseplants, if you don’t nurture them, they eventually die” – Anonymous

And the follow up question: how do you nurture customer relationships effectively?

The answer is simple: relevance.

You can nurture your relationships one step at a time by providing relevant information to your clients that they can use right now!

At Geopointe, we have divided this into four different factors: the who, why, what & how.

In this article, we will be discussing part 1: “Understanding who your customer is.”

Understand: Who is your customer?

Figure out who your customer is by talking to them, socializing with them. The more you get to know your customers, the more you will understand what makes them happy & what you can provide them today that brings them success.

Be Empathetic

Understand one simple factor: You are working with humans on the other side. Embrace conflicts, step into your client’s shoes & think from their perspective prior to each ask or suggestion.

One thing the pandemic taught us better than anything, is the importance of nurturing each relationship whether it is personal or professional. Nothing is more important than being there for one another.

It’s the little things that you can do for your customers. Ask about their day, their family & what are they looking forward to over the weekend or next month?

Understand Priorities

Part of understanding who your customer is includes getting to know what is important for them today vs tomorrow or in a few months. You can begin to understand their priorities by asking open-ended questions such as:

  • What are your goals for this quarter?
  • Are you working on any projects that are keeping you busy?
  • What are your initiatives for the next/upcoming year?

Understanding their priorities also includes knowing their pain points & their worries – basically, what is keeping them up at night. Who are your customer’s customers, and what outcome is important for them today?

Share Stories

Do you remember making friends for the first time? How do you bond with your friends or strangers that become friends or relatives? By sharing stories. Do the same with your clients.

Socialize & share stories to break down barriers. Talking about similarities you have with them, or experiences you have from other customers, can help you relate to them.

One of the best ways to do this is to tell stories about how you’ve helped other customers use the product you’re a Customer Success Manager for.

If not product, start by sharing stories of any relevant topic – the weather, the last vacation you took, a childhood memory, or even a simple ice breaker question.

Customer Success - How to Nurture Customer Relationships infographic
Nurturing your existing customer relationships is just as important as nurturing a prospect. Ensure customer success by building those relationships using these techniques.

Talk Less, Listen More

This is the most important lesson of all. When speaking with your clients, aim to speak 20% of the time & let them talk 80% of the time. Although this may not be possible all the time, try to at least give them space to share everything.

  • Listen to them when they are not even speaking & most importantly, don’t interrupt!
  • Listen to gain an understanding of what makes them happy & what could make their job easier.
  • Listen to their answers when you ask probing questions & collect information that can help provide relevant information immediately.

Listening also involves understanding, thinking, and processing before speaking or answering. Put yourself in their shoes while listening & imagine what would help them at that moment, then discuss a plan accordingly.

Nurturing Relationships

There can be many more factors to consider in order to understand who your customers are. For example, the “who” cannot be defined unless you go a step further to try to figure out the “why” next.

As a sneak peak, check out our infographic explaining all four factors of nurturing customer relationships. It’s a combination of knowing, being, understanding & doing what’s best for your customers.

Stay tuned the next couple weeks for part two of our customer success series. We’ll dive into the “why” next and discuss Doing your Customer Homework!

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