How to Build Satisfactory Relationship with Customers

If building a business involves building satisfactory relationships with custom­ers, then one of the best ways, not to say most obvious, of doing this is simply to keep your promises. Put someone in charge of that and make it quite clear to the customer who that someone is. That person then has the overriding concern of ensuring that the supplying company achieves its commitments. He or she will en­sure that it meets all its deadlines and produces complete customer satisfaction by living up to expectations. People often say, and it is certainly true, that the job of such a delivery manager is as much about selling internally as to customers. When companies make complex proposals, particularly ones that involve new products or services, there is always a risk that something will go wrong.

It is also frequently true that, during the sales campaign, you will have stretched your company to the full to make sure that the offering is competitive. This stretch­ing process adds to the risk and it requires some dedication to keep your company up to the mark.

You may have dreadful conflicts of priorities at this time. When you are in­volved in delivering or implementing, you are not involved in selling. In a small business this leads to peaks and troughs of orders and deliveries with the subsequent cashflow problems. But then, if you keep selling and don’t deliver, you will eventu­ally come unstuck anyway. The goal is to do business with the customer frequently and for ever. It is a waste of time to try to develop a customer if there is any sugges­tion of dissatisfaction. You have to see the effort involved as building for future orders as well as delivering today’s.

Make sure that the person taking responsibility for delivery does not form so cosy a relationship with the customer that they become an oasis of competence, at least in their view, in a desert of your business’s cackhandedness. I have often seen project managers with good relationships with their customers fall into the trap of blaming their people or their company for any shortfalls in performance and not taking accountability themselves.

This is a short-term attitude and in the extreme leads to a situation where the customer puts his arm round your shoulder, if you are such a project manager, and explains that while he has no problem with you, the supplying organisation is not up to it and he is going elsewhere.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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