NB The article is originally produced in Danish
Why worry about better customer relationships at all?
Customer relationships are present in all aspects of a business, but it is most prevalent in the customer service department. Customer service teams, customer support, customer success and product development all play important roles in building a healthy customer relationship. Customer relationships also include marketing and sales teams, as these departments have a direct impact on the company’s interactions with the customer.
The customer can be of different sizes, whether it is a local Danish timber business or a global pharmaceutical company. They are similar in the sense that they are people we deal with. It’s people who buy a roof renovation from the carpenter, and it’s people who decide to buy products from the pharmaceutical company.
Precisely for this reason, the local master carpenter and the sales staff of the global pharmaceutical company should focus on the same goal; namely, to safeguard the personal customer relationships, rather than concentrating solely on deliveries of specific products and services. In other words, they should work for the relationships and not for the companies.
We do not have many years to go before the primary focus in companies was on transactions – yes, in several places it still applies – but in recent years new winds have blown in Danish and international companies. Relationships have just as slowly become more important than transactions, and there are several good reasons for this:
- At a time when the possibilities seem endless, and where technological advances have minimized the distances between competing products and services, the need for good customer relationships and fruitful networks has increased significantly.
- It has become easier than ever to switch from one supplier to another and perhaps the only thing that today constitutes a real leg up for fleeting cooperation is the good customer relations.
- On another, and perhaps more fundamental level, the need for good publicity (in terms of increased competition) has increased. You can have an absolutely fantastic product, but it will hardly help you if no one knows about it or understands the value of it.
- Finally, you should remember that customers are customers – until one day they are consultants, suppliers or even employees in your particular company.
Many companies today face one specific challenge: Their customers tell them that they are satisfied with the company’s products / services – there is nothing to put a finger on – but still the customer wants something new to happen. A new partner is needed on the field.
With thoughts about the increasing digitalisation and the unlimited access to a growing mass of competing products / services in mind, one must also ask oneself why a customer should be content with one fixed supplier. There will be anything but just always someone who is either faster, cheaper or better than oneself.
To help oneself out of that cat pain, it calls for change in the business. Changes that should be more oriented towards the extraordinary product or the extraordinary performance. It is no longer enough to deliver what appears in the catalog, website or order list.
The customer must not only be satisfied – he must be extraordinarily satisfied. That approach creates loyal customers and good customer relationships.