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You can have a friendly relationship with customers, but you can’t be friends

You can have a friendly relationship with customers, but you can’t be friends

In business, customer-facing professionals can have a friendly relationship with their customers, but they can’t really be friends.

When you deal with a long term customer, you will become more comfortable in each other’s presence and will start to feel relaxed. It is probably a good thing. The good feelings that result will change the dynamics of the relationship. But, it shouldn’t change the nature of the relationship.

The moment you forget the nature of your relationship, problems arise that can destroy not only your business relationship but also the good personal relationship you might have developed.

For example,your customers, will start asking for favors. They might want to play with pricing as per their demand or expect you to support them any time they want. If you don’t give it, their feelings will be hurt and will take offense. And once that has happened, it is almost impossible to get the relationship back on track.

During a recent customer interaction, I let the guard down. I was too friendly helping the customer in setting up a feature and in the progress, unknowingly, a mistake was made which could have costed them. Though the situation was handled on time, I was still too casual which irked his frustration and anger. On realization, I had to switch back to my professional mode but the damage was already done. Further interactions, weren’t the same way it used to be.

So, never let your guard down. No matter how comfortable you become with each other, your relationship is still that of buyer and seller. You can be friendly with customers, but not a friend

“Promoters” engagement strategy

“Promoters” engagement strategy

In customer success, NPS (Net Promoter Score) is one of the very important metrics that give you a heads up about the customers who could possibly churn out or become brand loyalists. Before deep-diving into the Promoters engagement strategy, know the calculation behind NPS.

There are 3 kinds of customers who contribute towards calculating the NPS.

  • Promoters
  • Passive Customers
  • Detractors

On a scale of 10,

  1. The supremely happy customers are those who give your product and service a rating of 9 or 10. They are your Promoters.
  2. Passive Customers are the ones who are neither unhappy nor very happy with your product or service. They are the ones who would rate it as 7 or 8.
  3. Customers who rate your product and service between 0 and 6 are the Detractors. I call them the unhappy ones.
NPS = (Promoters — Detractors) / Total responses

It goes without saying that the detractors are the ones with the most attention, as the probability of them to churn out is very high. On the other hand, the passive customers and the promoters should not be ignored. Many times CSM’s assume that they would remain happy forever using your product or service.

A strategy designed to address the concerns of the detractors ignoring the promoters and passive customers can cost you a fortune as it won’t take them much of a time to become a detractor.

It is absolutely necessary that as a CSM, you do have a promoter engagement strategy to keep your happy customers engaged. So what are some of the ways through which you can keep them engaged? Come, let’s see them one by one.


Pitch your Promoters for a written or a video testimonial that can be published on the website. This is actually a win-win situation as it is a promotion for your brand and marketing for their business.

Market your Promoters and build the brand by publishing it across various mediums. By engaging them in this promotional activity, your customers would feel elated.

A few may not engage as much as you expected. In that case, request them to review your product on external apps like G2crowd, Capterra, etc.

Make them feel like family

Grab the opportunity when a new product or feature is ready for release.

Organizations may offer early access build for all its Promoters to join them in their testing and requesting for their opinion. For their feedbacks, appreciate their time and effort. If required you can go a step ahead to give some gifts.

Felicitate brand loyalists in user conferences, trade shows, etc. If willing, invite them to be a speaker for conferences and events.

Drive product value

As a CSM, you would be aware of the customer requirement and would have also been keeping a tab on their product usage. Based on that, you can ask the customers to try implementing other features of the product that they are not currently using which might add value to the current process they follow.

Reach out to the customers, when their expected feature made it to the release. Be genuinely happy and educate them about the feature. Make them feel valued.

Look for opportunities

Customers who are happy using your product are termed “Promoters” for a reason. They will be more than happy to spread the word about your product/service. You can identify opportunities within the customer’s organization where you can see your product solving a problem or adding value. Just identify the opportunity and position your product as to how it is going to solve the problem, your customers will take care of the rest.

All the efforts taken to keep a happy customer, happier, shouldn’t go unnoticed. It is important that you list out all the promoter engagement strategies and showcase their impact during the business reviews. This will let the customer know about the value you have added to them.

These are some of the plans that you can come up with to keep your Promoters engaged. If you can think of any other ways through which your customers can be made happier, please do drop them in the comments section.

Written By
Karthik Sheshadri 
Handsome  :P | Young | Introvert | Music Enthusiast | Budding Writer | Budding  Photographer | Cricket Fanatic | Fashion Admirer | Thamizhan | தாய்  பாசம் கொண்டவன்  
The original article was published in Medium
Why keeping your customers informed is important

Why keeping your customers informed is important

In continuation of my previous blog on ways to enhance cx, my second ideology is to show why keeping your customers informed is important.

In 2014, Home Depot was hacked—and 56 million credit cards were compromised. It was one of the largest data breaches to befall a major corporation. Then-CEO Frank Blake wanted to preserve Home Depot’s relationship with its customers, so he came up with a plan: Unlike other companies in this situation, who hid the breaches from their customers for months or even years, he was radically transparent about the problem with his customers. Check this podcast

For businesses, communicating with your customers is key to a healthy relationship. Sales promotion, feature announcements are good; whereas updating outages or security breaches isn’t. However, it is important for both types of communication.

Here are the reasons why it is a good thing to keep your customers informed.

“Customer First” attitude

With the advent of social media, consumers are accustomed to receiving information about virtually everything the instant they want it. Do your customers feel that they have been taken care?” One step toward turning that answer into a “yes” is to communicate with them.

Customers love promotions and offers. They may feel left out when they are updated only on websites and social media as not everyone has the time to visit those pages daily. Instead, share it directly to customers via email or text message. This reminds them that they come first and customer service is your priority.

Don’t expect them to find the information on their own

If you have something that your customers need to know then you can’t hope that they will find that information on their own, you need to tell them about it. For example, if your business closes on a holiday then you need to let your customers know that you will be closed. The last thing you want is for them to be trying to contact you and not be able to get hold. Otherwise, they are going to take their business elsewhere.

Be transparent

It is a hard thing to admit, especially to paying customers, when something isn’t working. But, it is the right thing and that is what Home Depot did it to save their business. Though there was a choice to ignore customers and hope they don’t notice it. But, customers these days notice everything. If they find that business has been hiding it from them, then you don’t get any grace period. They would have switched their loyalty.

By keeping your customers informed about a problem you are proactively showing them that you are aware of it. And, you are doing something about it. For most customers, this is enough to let them give you the benefit of the doubt and they will give you the time you need to fix the issue.

They always want to know how your business fares

Customers are like facebook friends. They like to know what goes on within your business and how you are doing. So, set up social media pages and update them regularly. Post company news, share coupon codes, update on promotional offers and blog. This will show customers that your business is active and it will make sure your customers don’t feel left out.

“Our communications have been focused first and foremost on our customers and what they want to know and need to know,” said Home Depot corporate communications director Stephen Holmes.

Customers want to feel special. By keeping customers informed, you make them feel valued. It shows your commitment. When done right, loyalty increases and business gets the reward it deserves.