As a startup business, you don’t have the time or resources to constantly find new customers. According to an infographic from Invesp, it costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Even more importantly, you have a much higher probability of selling to an existing customer (60-70 percent) than to a new one (5-20 percent).

This means you need to take big steps to maintain exceptional customer relationships to keep them buying from your company. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help your startup team provide excellent customer service so nothing falls through the cracks.

Develop a Customer-focused Culture

One of the first steps you should take when setting up your startup business is to establish a customer-focused culture. While everyone says they do this, not all of them do. You need to make this your primary focus because without customers you don’t have a business.

Make sure all of your employees understand who your target customer is and what your business is doing to help the customer meet their goals. Start by conducting audience research and fine tuning what problem you’re solving for your customers. Once you have a deeper understanding you can then establish a process to make your customers happy at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Set Expectations

A successful relationship starts with setting realistic expectations. Talk with your customers at the beginning of their buyer’s journey to understand what problems they’re facing, what their goals are, and what they expect from your product or service. Get as much information as possible so you can determine realistic goals, and then create a plan to achieve those goals.

CRM software allows you to add notes, set milestones, and schedule follow-up appointments to make sure you’re on track to meet your goals. You can also schedule recurring meetings to check your progress. Infor CRM comes with free training tutorials to give your team the know-how to make use of these capabilities. By keeping your word and being proactive you’re more likely to have happy customers that come back for additional help in the future.

Be Consistent

A large part of maintaining a successful customer relationship is being consistent so your customers know what to expect from you at all times. Not only do you have to set expectations and then meet them, but you also need a process for communicating with them. According to Lynkos, one of the biggest mistakes startups make is being inconsistent with customers. They explain that if you try really hard for a few weeks, go silent for awhile and then start the cycle all over again, you may be harming your efforts.

Create a plan for your entire company about how you will communicate with customers. Part of your plan should be how and when your team schedules regular emails, calls and in-person meetings. Make email templates for when it’s time to renew a customer or for when you want to upsell or cross-sell one of your other products. Your team should personalize all communication to develop a genuine relationship, but having a guide will make sure no one is forgotten.

Customer relationships shouldn’t be hard to maintain. Treat them how you want to be treated, focus on their needs, and check in to make sure everything is running smoothly. Keep it simple and use tools and processes to help you grow your business.