Building Business Relationships

Are you struggling to create and keep profitable customers? Columns for Sales and Marketing Management who wants to build business relationships.
Saturday, September 20, 2003

Set Expectations Of Quality And Time Prior To Service

When your customer knows what to expect from their interaction with you, they meet fewer surprises and are more satisfied with the results. Consistent interactions that are predictable, more likely to produce a positive outcome, grow business relationships because the customer can come to depend on what you provide.

(Continue ... Set Expectations Of Quality And Time Prior To Service)

A Rotten Apple Is Just That, No Matter What You Call It

AOL Time Warner to Drop 'AOL'. Media conglomerate AOL Time Warner Inc. plans to drop "AOL" from its corporate name, which was adopted after the merger of America On-line and Time Warner in 2001 [SMEI, Newsletter]

How does changing a companies name contribute to increasing profits or retaining customers?  It doesn't!  Only two things can improve profits and customer retention:

  1. Improve your product or service,
  2. Improve how what you offer is delivered,

According to AOL/Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons they are moving ahead quickly to drop "AOL" from its corporate name. No other reasons are provided, at least not at the publishing of this message. Do you think just changing your name will improve what your company provides?

Your buyers will remember you for what you are, and if you provide poor service, no matter what you call it, customers will know it as such. Businesses are defined by their actions, not by their name.

Perhaps consumers can be so fickle as to be tricked into believing a new name means new company. However, in the business to business world, actions speak louder than words.

A definition of insanity is doing the same thing, but expecting different results. If your company keeps doing what it has always done, it will always get the same results.  If those results are bad, then changing your name because of disappoint performance is absurd, but happens more frequently than we'd like to admit. (There are good reasons to change your name.)

In the case of AOL/Time Warner they don't plan to spin off America On-line-- nor have they announced any broad changes to improve the quality of their services. If this was your leading supplier, how would you view this company?  Perhaps they are having an identity crisis, perhaps they are more worried about their name than the value of what they provide.

You know action influences change, to improve your customer relationships you have to take actions. How often do managers suggest superficial "changes" to improve sales?  These gimmicks don't work and only succeed in convincing customers you have something to hide.

To improve your customer relationship, look at how you can improve your offering to better serve customers needs. Also start tuning your marketing effort to focus on a specific profitable customer base. Pay more attention to your best customers with loyalty building strategies.

Often the consumer world can teach us the mistakes of our ways. They can also blur the value of change, showing us that changing the wrong things is just a waste of time and efforts. The key point you should walk away with after reading this message is, it is what a thing is that matters, not what you call it.

/ "customer-service" | "profitable-customers" /

Justin Hitt helps executives build profitable relationships with customer, employees, and strategic partners. He can be reached by phone at +1 (877) 207-3798 or on-line at https://iunctura.com/

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