3 Actionable Tips for Startups to Build Better Customer Relationships

On average, startups have an ideal target market size of 1,000 to 5,000 people. Even then, business success depends upon a thorough understanding of one’s offerings and the ideal customer profile (ICP).

Did you know that 15.4% of the US business population are startups across industry verticals? Sadly, around 90% of startups fail within the first year of commencing operations. After that period, the success rate rises fairly.

Customer Relationships

Given the tough competition, it is no surprise that attracting and retaining customers for startups is a massive challenge. So, let’s focus on fostering better customer relationships. In this article, we will discuss three actionable tips for startups to build rock-solid relationships with their clients.

Implement/Maximize Your CRM System

A customer relationship management (CRM) software or system helps companies gather, store, manage, and protect customer information. Now, many entrepreneurs falsely believe that their startup does not need a CRM due to the small target market size.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If you have not invested in a CRM system yet, now is the best time to do so. It will enable you to keep track of customer relationships throughout their lifecycle with the organization. This will in turn help fine-tune sales and marketing.

In case you’re wondering, Salesforce CRM is hands-down the market-best as of 2024. The company has over 140,000 clients and holds a market share of 32.58%. If you already own a CRM tool, make sure you’re making the most of it. Some general ways to maximize your CRM system would include –

  • Regular cleansing of data and updates
  • Automation of strategic processes like leads management
  • Customizing and streamlining workflows
  • Regular data analysis and reporting
  • Seamless data migration whenever needed

Another way to utilize your CRM to its fullest potential is to integrate it with other useful tools. An example would be software that enables relationship mapping in Salesforce or other CRM.

This way, you can identify all key personas involved in a single sales cycle. Not only that, but you can also document each individual’s role and influence in decision-making.

According to Prolifiq, scorecards will be available for lead qualification and dashboards will allow stakeholder engagement reporting. In a nutshell, you can maintain existing client relationships and develop new ones through proper prospect nurturing.

Keep the ‘Human’ Touch Alive

Even if your company acquires hundreds of thousands of customers someday, keeping the ‘human’ touch alive is imperative. This is exactly the secret sauce of successful Fortune 100s and 500s. A study found that 71% of the surveyed customers agreed that they always expect personalized experiences.

Personalization is important but it is not as simple as using the customer’s first name for every email. You must do that by all means but other ways to treat your clients as fellow humans include –

  • Letting the marketing message be tailored to suit their pain points. For instance – a CTO would be more interested in knowing the product’s USPs, whereas a CFO would be concerned about the budgetary aspect.
  • Creating multiple touchpoints for customers to increase brand engagement.
  • Matching customers to agents with relevant skills to tackle their grievances or queries.
  • Recommending personalized products based on purchase history. You can also leverage this for upselling and cross-selling.
  • Collecting customer feedback regularly and implementing their preferences wherever possible.

Provide Exceptional Customer Service

We can say that keeping personalization at the forefront of customer interactions is one way of offering exceptional customer service. All business owners (even those of startups) know that one’s enterprise is as good as its customers feel.

Nobody wants to feel like another statistic on the ROI timeline. Your customers want to feel valued and appreciated. The best way to convey deep respect for their relationship with your company is to provide good customer service. Let’s look at ways to do that –

  • Customers hate waiting, so have a system in place to offer prompt assistance. It can be something as simple as having a chatbot on the website or building a team of representatives to handle queries and requests.
  • Keep track of common customer grievances and have a ‘resources’ section available. This way, customers do not need to wait for reps for the same issue.
  • Keep clients updated about the latest offers, product launches, upgrades, etc.
  • Conduct regular employee training programs so that they are well-equipped to better serve customers.

Finally, you can develop a solid customer loyalty program. This can be done by way of rewards or attractive discounts. Don’t forget to celebrate relationship milestones and thank your clients for their constant support.

Keep in mind that customer retention costs way less than acquisition. If you keep your customers happy, they will be willing to spend more. The three strategies mentioned in this article should boost your customer relations throughout their lifecycle.


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