We all have our opinions on how we can build relationships and best serve our customers. Combining strong relationships with a motivated team can put you way ahead of the competition. Recently I spoke with a business owner who understood why they should build better relationships with their customers, but didn’t know how.
The exact method would depend on a number of factors including the type of business, their customers, and the sort of relationship they want to build. If every business went back to basics, they’d see a marked improvement in service levels and customer loyalty. The basics include principles we are taught as children, ones that we often lose sight of when we grow up and enter the world of business.
Those principles are the following:
- Be polite. We all like to be treated with common courtesy, even in the age of the “Me generation”. As I write this, my wife and I are reminding my son to say, “Please” and “Thank you”.
- Respect everyone. Whether someone is a loyal or potential customer, a teammate or superior, a friend or stranger, treat everyone with the same respect. It is one of the highest honours you can give.
- Keep your promises. We all like reliability and trustworthiness. When you make a promise, keep it, even when it might hurt the other person, otherwise they could mistake silence for bad news.
- Do things on time. Time is one of our most precious resources. Keeping appointments speaks volumes about how much you respect the other person’s time.
- Be honest. Most people just want others to be straight with them. Tell the truth. Even if it upsets them, they’ll respect you for being honest.
- Be open. Great ideas can come from our customers, our team, and ourselves, so be open. We can do a great disservice by not building our businesses on this principle, but it can go against many corporate control structures. If you have the courage to be inclusive, imagine how much more receptive everyone will be. Being open is such a great way to build trust and drive creativity, innovation, and productivity.
Put together and implement these principles to lay a powerful foundation for better relationships with customers and team members alike. Who would have thought that such powerful business principles were taught to us when we were kids?
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