29 Nov 2012
Regardless of your product offering, industry, or target decision maker, customers matter. As a company, not only do you want to create positive customer experiences, you want to be considered a partner rather than a supplier or vendor.
A recent conversation about client services and best practices sparked a connection. I recognized the following common threads between building long-lasting relationships and the 1972 Bill Withers classic, Lean on Me.
If we are wise, we talk with our ears: Listening skills are paramount to success. Everyone wants to be heard. Listening can be more important than talking, as it showcases your ability to hone in on what matters to find a solution - whether it's a challenge or a new goal.
You might have a problem that I'll understand so think outside the box: Yes, this term appears on all the lists of overused business phrases, but it truly means something. Foster creative-thinking skills to ensure your team has answers, even when they aren't obvious.
Lend a hand to find a solution: When challenges emerge, focus on the solution, not the factors that led to the problem. Challenges are opportunities to work collaboratively in order to find new creative solutions.
When customers know they can lean on you, they will stick with you for the long haul. These tenets, coupled with innovative thinking that supports all of your out-of-the-box thinking, will keep your customer base strong.
Jay Reilly (pictured) is vice president of global services at SoundBite Communications