With the current highs of technological advancement, it’s common for businesses to have a broad customer base. The more prominent brands have customers across the globe, and others have regional customers, say throughout Western Europe, while others manage nationwide customers.
Whatever the scale for your business is, you need to work round the clock to ensure that all your customers are satisfied. After all, they’re your main reason for existence.
Handling various customers in different regions calls for well-thought strategies. Here are some practical tips to help you effectively manage your widespread customers:
1- Focus on Fast and Accurate Deliveries
Top on the list is the timely delivery of goods and services. That’s the main reason for the relationship between you and your customers. You produce, they consume. When they order goods, you must deliver them in good time and good shape.
Nobody likes unnecessarily long waiting times. If you fail in this, your customers may develop second thoughts about your company very quickly. So, do the following to capture the hearts of your customers and forever win their loyalty:
- Partner with the most reliable transportation company: Given that your customers are spread in different states, counties, or countries, it would be very costly and time-consuming to send out goods to all these regions using your own fleet of vehicles.
What you can do is hire an already-established transportation company. It’s cheaper this way since these companies serve many companies and customers simultaneously. The economies of scale are in their favor.
Ensure the one you choose has a time-proven track record of excellence. Also, make sure that they operate in all the regions your customers are spread.
- Get your customers’ addresses right: It would be disheartening to send out paid-for goods only for them to arrive at the wrong address. Even if the initial mistake were on the customer’s side, you’d be surprised to see them demanding refunds.
To save yourself such headaches, ensure that the destination addresses for all your goods are 100% accurate.
Now, these mistakes are caused by human error. You’re bound to miss to input a letter or two, which can completely change the delivery destination. But fortunately, several online address verification services can help you get your addresses correct.
One good example is www.lob.com, which:
- Guarantees accuracy by correcting misspelled addresses
- Measures up to USPS address formatting requirements
- Identifies postal addresses of both residential and commercial buildings
- Maintains an updated database of billions of addresses
- Collects complete location details associated with a ZIP code
- Double-check the documentation: Most shipments require a packing list, commercial invoice, inspection certification, consular invoice, and/or certificate of origin.
If these are missing or contain the wrong details, your goods may not be allowed to proceed into the destination country. You may be forced to resend the correct documents, and that’s quite a delay in delivery.
2- Communicate Constantly with Your Customers
Being miles away from your customers may at times cause anxiety, especially when they’re expecting some goods from you. It would be best if you improved your communication strategy significantly so that they have the assurance that you’re not trying to defraud them. That’s a founded worry given the prevalence of scams in today’s world.
Consider doing these things:
- Set up multi-channel lines of communication: Be on live chat support, chatbots, social media, email, phone, fax, etc. This allows your customers to reach you using whatever communication platform they prefer. They’re the priority, remember.
- Operate 24/7: Respect the fact that your customers are living in different time zones. It usually doesn’t augur nicely with them when you can’t pick their call because you’re asleep. Set up a customer support team that works 24/7 and talk to your customers as soon as they contact you.
- Make it easy for your customers to send complaints: Getting feedback from your customers is very important. It’s not always that your goods will reach them in perfect condition.
You need to hear of breakages and flaws in your products not to repeat the same mistakes. It would help if you also heard that your customers are delighted with your products. Therefore, be open to both positive and negative feedback and act on them appropriately.
- Say thank you: It’s a simple act of appreciation. Never forget to send a thank-you note after every purchase.
3- Allow Your Customers to Interact With One Another
Your customers need to connect and share their experiences regarding the usage of your products. If you were operating locally, perhaps they’d gather outside your business premises and proceed with their chit-chat.
But now that they’re widely spread geographically, their best meeting place is online.
Do you already have active social media pages?
If no, consider setting up a number of them asap. And when you do, don’t forget their primary purpose and go on a selling spree. You indeed need to advertise your products, but you need to do it sparingly on social media.
Social is a synonym for companionship and should preferably stay that way.
Shoot funny videos for your customers, ask questions, answer questions, set up challenges, trigger debates, comment on real-life issues, share your workers’ life-changing stories, and suchlike.
4- Set Up Company Agents in Every Region
This is especially important if your company supplies specialized products like smartphones, computers, washing machines, electric kettles, and lawnmowers, among others. Some customers will definitely require technical assistance to operate such products.
You can’t leave them at their own mercies. Show concern by setting up regional agent offices where your customers can physically visit and voice their concerns.
Your first step is to divide the regions into manageable lots. You can go by counties, provinces, or states if your customers are evenly spread. Otherwise, consider grouping regions with a smaller number of customers to save on operating costs.
If you can follow the recommendations mentioned earlier in the letter, your global business is set to flourish. But don’t stop there yet. The list was in no way exhaustive. Dig deeper into how to properly manage customers in different regions and expand your business territory even more.