Why it is Important to Treat Your Customers as Valued Business Partners

Customers play an essential role in business and we need to see them as indispensable business partners. Why? Clearly, there is no business without customers, no matter how good your products or services.

Reasons to treat your customers as valued business partners

Customers are the reason why you are in business. Your products or services meet a need they have. However, due to competition it is important to really know your customers very well. In this way you have a better chance of offering products or services that are exactly what they want.

Seeing customers as key business partners means that you are keen to hear what their needs are. Too often providers attempt to impose their standard solution on the customer. What is preferable is to find out whether you can instead provide a customised solution.  If you see customers as valued business partners your aim is to meet their requirements as closely as possible. This leads to greater customer loyalty.

Every business would love repeat business. Robert is in the electrical business. He has many loyal clients. Why? He recognises that his clients are vital business partners. Robert is highly professional: he arrives when he says he will, is very clear in his communication and takes time to clarify the exact needs of his clients. He monitors his team carefully to ensure that high standards are maintained. As a result the quality of his work is impeccable. He delivers on his commitments. Robert’s business is a real success story.

Peter has his own plumbing business. His teams drive in extremely expensive vehicles. This cost is passed on to his customers through the exorbitant prices he charges. His administrative team is incompetent: they change quotes, fail to communicate deadlines to the field staff or what needs to be done. They have no rapport with customers. In fact Peter has no contact with his customers!

Evidently Peter fails to see customers as valued business partners. In fact most of his customers refuse to have anything to do with him again.

Today’s customers are more selective with what they look for in products and services. Some are brand loyal but many others not. So this means you need to stay close to your customers to know their specific needs. You can easily carve out a niche for yourself by offering customised products or services to a select target group. In doing this you can charge more for your products or services. But then you need to deliver a high quality service or product that warrants a higher fee.

A great deal of business is generated by word of mouth. So your customers are often your marketers! However, this can only happen if you have kept them happy and highly satisfied with your services. If customers had a WOW experience with you they will happily refer friends to you. Equally, customers talk if they have a bad experience. It is difficult to come back from a bad reputation in the market. So it is imperative to see customers as valued business partners.

Staying close to your customers highlights new needs. As a result if you have close relationships with your customers you will know what additional needs there are in the market. You may be able to start a new product line or service.

Customers often want to have contact with the owner of a business. It is important to make time to meet with customers. Once a level of trust has been established you can then introduce a team member who will be responsible for the delivery and on-going liaising. Contact with the business owner makes the customer feel like a valued business partner.

Consider business mentoring if you would like to have stronger relationships with customers. Building strong, long lasting relationships with customers is a core strategy every business owner needs to master.

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Posted in Business Owner, Client retention.