How to Maintain Customer Relationships When Working Remotely

The current pandemic has driven most of us home to practice social distancing and keep our families safe. But working remotely and ensuring we provide support both to our teams and to our customers has been extremely challenging at times.

Luckily, we found ways to do that effectively and keep our collective sanity. It all comes down to being empathetic and listening to teams and customers. And, of course, utilizing the right technology.

Going digital with the right tools in your corner is what will help you maintain customer relationships and build loyalty during these trying times. Here’s how to do that while being cooped up at home.

Use Real-Time Communication Apps

Your phone lines have probably been constantly busy during this crisis. While you can’t avoid phone calls in certain situations, they’re not enough to respond to every customer.

With a real-time communication app, you can quickly reply to your contacts. What’s more, you can broadcast messages to all your contacts at once, keeping them informed about crucial matters.

Live chat on your website can come in very handy, but you should also utilize apps such as Slack, for instance. Slack is primarily for internal communication with teams, but you can also create public channels to stay connected with customers.

Utilize Video-Conferencing Tools

Many live chat and messaging apps nowadays have video-conferencing features. There are also tools designed specifically for virtual meetings with teams and clients.

Whichever you use, it will be excellent for maintaining your customer relationships. They’ll feel closer to you. Taking the time to meet with them one-on-one, even if it’s in front of a webcam, will show that you care.

These tools will also ensure more efficient teamwork, which is essential for brainstorming and resolving customer pain points.

Bring a Great CRM System into Play

You should seriously swear by a CRM even while working in the office. 

What is CRM? It stands for Customer Relationship Management.

It’s right there in the name. It’s one of the most critical tools for building and nurturing customer relationships.

Every good CRM system has a wide range of features. What each tool has in common is recording and storing all customer interactions.

It keeps a centralized database of emails, live chat messages and tickets, phone calls, website interactions, and much more.

For every single contact, you have a recorded history of interactions with your brand necessary for building customer profiles. Your entire team has instant 24/7 access to that information, so they can personalize conversations and meet every client’s needs.

When you use a CRM, you can generate and nurture qualified leads, align marketing and sales, and automate your workflow. You can reduce downtime and provide excellent customer support.

You can also collect customer feedback through surveys, which you can easily personalize thanks to past interactions.

CRMs also come with sales forecasting, opportunity management, sales analytics, lead source analytics, and a bunch of other useful features.

Follow Up Regularly

Whether you use a messaging app, email, CRM, or social media, it’s vital that you regularly follow up with your customers. Showing that you care about them will truly go a long way.

When someone buys your product, follow up with an email to thank them for putting their trust in you. If you’re a B2B company, check in with your clients a week or two after a closed deal to see how things are going.

Even if someone contacted you just for a piece of advice and not to buy anything, check back with them to see if the advice helped. We certainly don’t have to tell you how beneficial that can be, especially in difficult times like these.

Actively Listen to Your Customers

Every business owner, manager, marketer, sales representative and anyone else working with customers should remember Maya Angelou’s words from time to time:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Powerful words indeed. If you help your customers in tough times and make them feel just a little better, they’ll pay you back tenfold. They won’t forget about your kindness, empathy, resilience, and efficiency in solving their problems.

Listen to their concerns and do everything in your power to be of assistance. Be there when they need you and provide them with real value. That’s how you build meaningful relationships and life-long loyalty.

Adopt a Project Management Tool

When working remotely, a project management tool is a no-brainer. How else would you manage your teams and ensure seamless collaboration and accountability?

Utilizing a project management tool, such as Asana, Trello, or Basecamp, means organizing all your projects in one place. You can break down projects into smaller tasks, schedule and assign to-dos, add deadlines and notes, and much more.

In a nutshell, you’ll have a clear view of everything that needs to be done, and everyone will know exactly what and when they should do.

How is all of this important for customer relationships?

It helps your organization operate like a well-oiled machine, which is imperative for remote work. It’s especially important for your customer-facing teams. A PM tool will help them stay on top of all tasks related to serving customers.

Retrain Your Employees If Necessary

If working remotely isn’t business as usual in your organization, it might be a good time to retrain your employees. It will help them adapt to new conditions and provide your customers with better service.

That’s especially important if you adopt new technologies. You need to make sure your team knows how to use all the new tools efficiently and effectively.

Employee training software can be of huge help in creating online courses for training and upskilling your staff. You can add videos, presentations, quizzes, and surveys for better engagement, and track their real-time progress and performance.

Maintaining customer relationships when working remotely is extremely important for every business. These tips will help you do it seamlessly, and provide the support and comfort your contacts need now more than ever.