Making Sense of Relationships in the Modern Workplace
Today’s technology makes it easy for us to connect with all sorts of people. Social media outlets such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are just a few great ways to connect with those in the cloud computing world.
These outlets can also be great way to launch your business. As we all know, you need to get the word out about your product in order for it to be successful. And they can also be an open door to your customer base.
Listen to Your Customers First and Foremost
A critical piece of ensuring your business will be successful is to listen to your customers. It may seem obvious, but too many people get caught up in selling or making excuses to really listen and be able to see their side completely. The more you know, the easier it is to build close relationships with your customers. You can create a discussion board or a blog on your website for customers to access. You can provide a chat line, tips, training, and log any upcoming deals. Make it easy for your customers to provide feedback on your product or services and then use that knowledge to adapt and improve.
Being a member of the Relationship Management Team here at Fpweb.net allows me to interact with our customers on a daily basis. It’s important to us to get to know our customers and provide support whenever possible. As a Relationship Manager, providing customers with a little more support than they’d expect helps build trust and respect, which are three important factors in building successful business relationships. Getting to know your customers and having a point of contact whenever questions or issues arise will make life easier on your customer.
Three Factors to Creating Lasting Relationships with Customers
It must be important to every company to make lasting relationships with customers – as we all know too well, there are competitors living right next door. You must stand out and be different.
So, what are some good ways to accomplish this? Well, let’s discuss a few factors that I think may help. As I mentioned earlier, there are three factors that help me build relationships with our customers – support, trust and respect. Sounds easy, but let me tell you, it takes time for this to be successful.
I would put this at the top of the priority list. We all know you must be able to trust someone before you can start building a relationship with them. We all want to interact with people who are genuine and friendly. You can typically tell within the first few minutes of speaking with someone whether or not the relationship is going to work.
The solution: Just Be Yourself! Be friendly, pay close attention to their needs, and be honest. People appreciate not getting the run around. “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” – Stephen R. Covey in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (Great book to check out by the way…)
Honesty and paying a little extra attention to someone demonstrates sincere concern for the other person. Making it your goal to help someone reach their goal. This is a nice gesture and a great way to build your relationship, and your customers will appreciate the sincerity and reliability you put forth in the relationship which gives you both the connection/goal you seek to get the job done.
Always remember to maintain your relationships, even if the deal goes south, and yes that will happen. However if you started the relationship with trust and honesty, it could very well lead you into other opportunities later down the road, even referrals. Referrals can go both ways and are built on a layer of trust which usually comes with a higher closing rate. Be sure to express your gratitude after a referral, by sending a small gift or a card. You will always be remembered when showing a little appreciation to someone.
I can hear Aretha Franklin singing it now… We all know everyone wants to be treated fairly – just as the golden rule tells us: “Treat those as you would want to be treated”. This holds the key to longevity in any relationship, be it personal or business, because treating others with respect is engaging and inviting. Those who receive it are more likely to do business with you again.
Think about it, would you want to do business with someone who was rude and didn’t have any compassion for your end goals? NO.
The solution: Being respectful shows kindness and your commitment to help grow their business and, in return, helps yours. Sometimes we come across situations where the other person is not being respectful and downright rude. Well, in these instances, you need to show humility and patience (which can be hard), but in the end, they may learn something from you.
The final factor, as I mentioned above, is your availability to help your customers 24/7. You want to help solve as many pain points as possible so that your customers can focus on what is important to them. We are all too busy today and don’t have extra time to deal with issues when they arise. Therefore your customers need to know that they can count on you for support when things go sour.
The solution: Always respond to your customers in a timely manner – nothing bugs me more than to submit a support ticket and wait a two to three days for someone to respond to me. It’s very aggravating especially if it’s something that hinders me from business. Being available at all times helps build a strong bond between you and your customer.
Keep the Communication Line Open, Keep the Customer
One of the greatest ways to maintain business relationships is through communication. Keep the communication line open and be as trusting, respectful, and supportive as you possibly can be.
Fpweb.net takes pride in the fact that we are quick to respond to all inquiries (usually in about five minutes), and this is not only with our customers, but anyone who is looking/researching SharePoint possibilities. We are here to listen as well as help answer any SharePoint questions. Having a great foundation helps us create long lasting relationships with our customers as well as others, and it all starts with trust, respect and support.
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