Why You Should Be Investing in Relationship Management
Relationship management, in essence, refers to how a business engages with its customers and other stakeholders in order to shape the character of the relationships.
In ACTUM Digital, we’ve truly committed to ensuring that our clients feel that they’re listened to by taking this process a step further and have someone whose sole responsibility is talking to our clients, making sure that we’re in constant contact and that we completely understand each other.
The absolute heart and soul of effective relationship management lies in fostering a strong sense of trust in both parties. The precise mechanisms used can take a variety of forms depending on the client and their needs, however, the foundation of this trust remains the same in almost all cases.
This foundation is dialogue, and lots of it. The more information flowing back and forth between the parties the better. However, this doesn’t have to be formal and strictly regimented (and shouldn’t be).
This doesn’t have to be a complicated process, in fact, the opposite is often true. When asked, ACTUM’s Christian Beck said that “it can be as simple as just sitting down with the clients and talking about what’s going well and what isn’t.
Ideally, by keeping everything as informal and as relaxed as possible as by constantly touching base with customers and other stakeholders, no one feels that they’re being left in the dark.”
Why is that important?
Well, the more comfortable both sides are, the more likely they are to broach and discuss issues. This means that a business can get ahead of and make efforts to solve problems that can severely damage relationships before the situation becomes critical.
Given that problems tend to become exponentially worse the longer they are left unsolved, open dialogue with a client can quickly demonstrate its immense value. Failing to establish a strong, working relationship with a client may appear not cause any issues, right up until the moment that it really does.
A business can find itself unpleasantly surprised when what seemed to be a happy customer comes to them a laundry list of major issues. However, more often than not these problems aren’t new and have been bubbling away under the surface for quite some time.
In most cases, the vast majority of these problems will not have started out as particularly serious ones. In fact, they’ll probably have been relatively minor niggles that the customer felt uncomfortable bringing up, either they felt they didn’t have the right channels in which to raise their concerns or because they didn’t believe that they would be listened to.
Fostering a sense of trust and creating strong and informal communications channels that mean customers feel listened to and allow for niggles to be expressed and tackled before they snowball into major problems can save a business so much time and hassle in the long run.
Given the deeply competitive nature of conducting business in the IT sphere, businesses that fail to properly manage relationships with customers and who don’t go that extra mile to ensure the happiness of their clients are shooting themselves in both feet.
Not only do they risk alienating their current customers, but they can quickly find themselves with a negative reputation that’s very difficult to change and makes acquiring new customers that much harder.
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