NB The article is originally produced in Danish
Why even worry about customer relations?
Businesses differentiate as day and night, and often it can be difficult to draw direct parallels between a local Danish timber business and a global pharma organization. On one point however, they do look alike: they do business with people and not companies.
It is people (in a company) that purchase roof renovation at the carpenter, and it is people (in a company) that decide to purchase at one pharma organization rather than another. This is exactly why the local carpenter, and the sales employees in the global pharma organization, should focus on the same goal: cherish the personal customer relations instead of solely focusing on delivering specific products and services. Said differently, they should for the relations and not the organizations.
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 relations and fruitful networks has increased significantly.
It has become playfully easy 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.
Good customer relations - Benefitting both parties
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 it’s time for change. 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 the back of one’s mind, one must also ask oneself why a customer should be put up 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 and 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.