Business you loveThere are a few key elements you’ll find in most successful long-term relationships – great communication, trust and commitment.  This goes for business relationships just as much as it does for personal.

When someone buys a product or service from you, especially something important for their home, they’re essentially saying they trust you and your product enough to give it a try. You better believe that they’re hoping things will work out so that things may progress into a “long-term business relationship.”  If they love your product and you take steps to ensure you keep their trust (especially after you’ve made that initial sale), they have no need to go elsewhere for future related purchases.  You’ll be their #1, and they’ll shout it from the rooftops for all to hear.

All fun and games until…

Sounds easy enough, right?  Fast forward to the first big misunderstanding – the true test.  Even the most reliable products sometimes malfunction, leaving the buyer feeling misled.  How you and your team handle the situation will determine whether your relationship grows from there or shrivels with little hope of recovery.

Real life examples rock

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review describes a business relationship from the customer’s perspective – one that was headed to long-term commitment, but took a wrong turn on the way there.  While intentions were good from each party, something was missing – and now the dirty laundry is airing for all to see.

Is your business set up to ensure optimal service and communication for new and existing customers?  What steps have you taken to make sure your previous customers remain raving fans? Is your team staying committed even after that big sale – and are they communicating that message to the client, or leaving them hanging in their time of need?  If it’s the latter (or if you’re unsure), you may want to re-think some of your business strategies.