Regardless of how talented your staff is, or how great your product is, the one thing that customers are highly likely to remember and hold on to is the direct interactions they have had with your company. Customer service plays a significant role in your business. Building strong customer relationships gives you a high return on the time, money and effort that you invest in providing excellent customer service. Great customer relationships lead to customer loyalty. When your customers are loyal, it means that they will buy more, frequently, and the cost of selling to them is significantly lower compared to when you are selling to new ones.

It is crucial that you take the time to train your staff on how to build strong customer relationships. Remind them that they are representing the company and that the clients’ experiences will be based on the skill and quality of support they offer. For you to build strong customer relationships, you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to improve your service. This can be achieved through attentive listening and attending to your customers’ needs and desires.

Here are 6 practical ways on how to train your staff on building great customer service:

1. Create customer relations policies

First, start by thinking about what your goal is and then create policies that are in line with them. For instance, if you need all customer calls to be dealt with within an hour and all business emails to be responded to within one or two business days, create a policy that clearly sets out these rules and ensures that every worker is aware of it.

It is also a great idea to shed light on the reasons behind the policy. You need to discuss with your employees and explain that you want the business’ response time to be quick and reasonable. This way, if the staff has other great ideas, they can take them on board as well.

2. Create templates and scripts

When creating these scripts and templates, always keep in mind that each customer interaction is an opportunity to introduce and sell your brand. Hence, you need to make sure you are using a language that best portrays your company’s values as well as suits your industry. For instance, if you are dealing with improving fun loving lifestyles, consider using a “Hi Name” instead of “Dear Sir/Madam” greeting. Together with your staff, create templates and scripts that best portray your brand.

3. Equip your staff with the necessary skills

Building strong customer relationships is largely about skillfully managing your customer's expectation, whether the staff member is in finance or IT department. Training your staff on how to communicate is a great way of ensuring that they are all on board in handling customer expectations. Invest in a qualified communication trainer to give your staff pointers on conversation skills, email etiquette, and phone manners.

Man speaking at a podium for a conference

4. Give feedback

Mastering great customer relations takes time and practice. Hence, make sure you monitor all the communication your employees have with customers to ensure your policies are keenly followed and try to identify the gaps. Following up on your staff will give you a chance to evaluate their progress. Other than raising awareness in the areas of improvement, make sure to acknowledge when communication is done well.

5. Encourage valuable customer interactions

Another critical aspect to remember when training your staff on how to build strong customer relationships is how to practice thoughtful interactions. This can be achieved by sending valuable information of interest to the client, gifting them, or even sending them a thank you card for doing business with you. For instance, you can tell your staff to send out a commemorative gift to all the clients who mark an anniversary or achieve a particular goal.

6. Finally, Be a model

You will need to model best practices in the area of building strong customer relationships to act as an example and a constant reminder to your staff on how to create sound customer relationships. Remember, there cannot be a “boss way” and a “staff way” of communication.

Being a model helps foster good customer relations exercise throughout your business. This means that every interaction with your customers will be in line with your business’s brand.