THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS

Dash

EPISODE 62

BME-Podcast-Post-Title

ABOUT THE SHOW

Dash

We discuss the importance of building customer relationships in this episode.
Specifically the importance of building value-based relationships, that are not transactional but deep and long-lasting.
Value-based relationships are built with honesty, trust and integrity, they aren’t for a quick sale or quick win.
Value-based customer relationships can’t be fake or non-genuine. They take time and patience to grow.
But when they do they deliver rewarding and profitable business that will keep your customers coming back time and time again. With a value-based approach you will win more business, keep more business and you will have better better advocates for your business and brand.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Dash
  • What is a genuine value-based customer relationship
  • What is not a value based relationship
  • Learn the finer points from a real life case study
  • Learn the formula for building a value based customer relationship.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Dash

Today good day! And welcome to the Business Made Easy Podcast. Jason
Skinner, your host to you for another week of the podcast. It is all about giving
you a better business and making more money and having a better life as a
result. We’re all about making business easy here. Hope you’re well out there,
whatever you’re up to this week. I hope it’s been a good week for you. I have
been out running this morning. I tell you what I’ve had just a fantastic, healthy
morning this morning. We had nothing to rain here and then all of a sudden
today, the sun was out so I took the opportunity to start working on my health
goals that I spoke about back in episode 60.
So I am on track and I am getting there and there’s lots happening here at the
Business Made Easy. Headquarters at the moment, I’ve got a new, little well, as
of- with called a little project. I’ve got a quite a big business project and I’m just
about to start with. I’m going to share with you, probably in the coming weeks
but it’s going to be an exciting project which is all about uh, doing an online
business from a scratch with absolutely nothing.
I’m going to test it, I’m going to put things to the test and uh, report my findings
and I’m gonna share with you the lessons that I learned along the way, so it’s
gonna be an exciting journey as we do that but all now’s, I won’t spoil it right
now but, I am excited about it. I couldn’t wait to mention it that I am excited
about it. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun and to see what- see what we can learn
and do online and uhm, and grow business basically from scratch online so that’ll
be a nice, exciting project. So, stick around for that and I’ll keep you posted as we
do more, more work in release more information on that part, yeah! All righty!
Today’s episode, we got a great episode but before I get in to it, I want to thank
everybody who has left a review on iTunes, thank you so much for doing that.
I really appreciate those reviews coming in. Uhm, it- it- it’s, i- what we’re really
gets me is- is what the different things of people get out of each episode and
uhm, it’s great to hear that feedback so, thank you so much for doing that.
Remember, if you do have a question that you wanted answered on the show, by
all means, just go to businessmadeeasypodcast.com. Hit that red record button
and I will get your question in an audio file and I will answer it for you on the
show, and if I do answer your question on the show, I’ve got a fantastic gift
coming your way as well which will be a free uh, two t- shirt coming your way if
you got a question that gets answered on the show.
If you don’t wanna do the audio thing, if you don’t hit the red record button, by
all means drop me an email to [email protected] I’m more
than happy to answer that in the same fashion and I’ll even send you that as well
at that gift as well.
All righty! In today, on today show I should say, not in to today, on to the day’s
show uh, it’s a solo show today but I’m going to talk about a very important
lesson and very important concept in business that I think a lot of people forget
about ’em. Particularly the logical operations have totally lost side of this, in my
experience but uhm, a small business sign is I wanna talk about the uh,
importance of building value based customer relationships.
Now, I’m gonna take you to a case study today that happened to me just this
week as we speak it’s- which has what prompted me to uh, to raise this topic
because it really is a- a critical, critical thing that people must get right. So, we’re
gonna talk about what a value based customer relationship is and what are the
ingredients that make it up and why are they so important and uhm, but before I
do, I’m gonna take you to a case study that happened to me this week to
illustrate uh, and uh- I guess highlight the importance of what I’m talking about
and the detrimental effect it can have on your business. And the first point I
wanna make before we get in to this case study is that, your customers are uhsavvy if you like. They a- they know now more than they’ve ever known before.
So, it’s very, very important that when- and this is why this concept, the value
based customer relationship comes in, very, very important that you do not ever
treat your customers as if they don’t know any better or they wouldn’t know
what you were talking about anyway and trying bluff you away through a
situation.
So, I’m gonna show you the story that happened to me, uh, this very week,
where I got a- like I said had this two weeks ago. I got a phone call from a phone
company and for the business, and they have- I’m not gonna mention any
branding names or anything like that, that- I don’t believe in doing that, it’s more
of the illustration of the- of the point but I will make up a couple of fictitious
names. But, let’s say Jim from this company gives me a call and he says, “Good
day, Mr. Skinner! I’m Jim, your account manager. I now look after your phone
lines.” and with being this company ever since we’ve been in business, we only
one phone system but what we’ve hired these people for the lines. and the calls
like in and out. And he said, “I’m you new phone manager or account manager, I
look after all your phones and I’m ringing you to let you know that they’re
turning on the new internet phone network in your area, very shortly.
And what’s gonna happen there when they turn this on because you’re on the
old covered network, you’re going to lose your phone numbers if we don’t take
remedial action now.” so, he’s raised a problem there for me. O- wow! I just
don’t wanna lose my business phone numbers obviously. and I said, “Well, Jim
that’s very kind of you to ring to that.” and he said,”Yes. Well, might what we’re
doing is civil.
Do we have to change anything? Is our phone system okay?” and everything like
that. And he said to me, I’m going to send, Roger out and Roger is- he’s going to
have a look at your phone system and tell you whether or not its going to be
compatible with the new network.” ’cause we’ve had this phone system for
sometime. I do notes digital though, I did know it was a digital phone system so, I
couldn’t foresee to bigger problem.
But Roger’s going to come out and he’s gonna explain it all to you and he’s gonna
have a look at your phone system and he’ll be able to tell you whether or not,
you’re going to be affected by this with your phone system but we do need to
get you changed over because it’s very important that you don’t lose your phone
numbers on the [inaudible]. Now, immediately after my call with Jim, I sort of
had a- a heightened level of concern that I was gonna pot- potentially lose my
phone system and I booked in an appointment with Roger to come out and have
a look at that. So, when Roger came out, I’ll cut the story short so you don’t go to
sleep, when Roger came out, I went out and greeted.
Now, Roger didn’t look like a technician when I went out. Then he was dressed
up in this suit and I said, “Go, Roger.” and introduced myself and took him in to
my office and we sat down and I said so, “Roger, tell me all about this what’s
going on?” and he said, “Well, Mr. Skinner they’re gonna turn the phone systems
off shortly because they’re turning on the NBN and your going to lose your
numbers if we don’t make these changes to your system right now.” and he had a
piece of paper with him. He had a copy of our bills and he had a piece of paper
with some numbers and everything written down I need. He turned and around
to me and said, “When you go over to the new internet phone system, I’ve
calculated that you’re going to save something like 4 or 500 dollars a month
which is a fantastic saving, isn’t it?” and I said, this is exactly how the
conversation went, I said, “Yeah! This is- Roger, thank you so much for that.
That’s fantastic, and thanks for bringing it to my attention because I wasn’t
aware that we could potentially lose our phone numbers, and you’re going to
help us with this new internet system so, phone numbers so could you tell me a
little bit about how that works?” and Roger goes, well, yes we don’t have to
change anything too much with your cabling in your building.
What we just need to turn something on the outside and pretty well, you’re
away to go.” and I said, “Well, fantastic! That sounds great. so what is the cost
gonna be, Roger?” and he goes down the page, he goes the bottom he goes,
“We’re going to be out to get your bill down to- I don’t know what it was, $300
a- a month it’s the same, $400 am month.” and I said, “Well, that’s fantastic!
That’s great!” and he says, “Now, that includes the new phone system on a five
year contract as well.” and I said, “Woah! Woah! Woah! Hang on, Roger. Woah!
Woah! Woah! They’re all came up until this point but now we’re talking about a
five year lock in contract with a brand new phone system.” he said,”That’s right.
I worked out that you can have a new phone system in this deal as well.” and I
said, “Roger, thanks so much for your care but I don’t think that’s correct. I know
that we have a digital phone system. Would you mind going and checking with
your technicians because I was off the understanding from Jim that you are
going to you’re going to actually inspect your phone system and tell us that it
was all okay or what needed to change.”
And then so, long story short,, Roger says, “Look, I’ll go and check it out and I’ll
talk to our technicians and then I’ll come back to you.”. Now, I had a sneaking
suspicion that somehow our phone system was not going to be compatible with
the internet the new lines that were going , it’s just a gut feeling from Roger.
So, my gut is all of a sudden. Now, I’ve lost trust in Roger ’cause I’d that feel that
Roger does actually my best interest that I- actually don’t think Jim did either
when he rang to tell me about this. it was all down on the frovised[?] that it was
going to save us the problem of losing our phone line but it didn’t actually come
out that way in the delivery when Roger came to deliver it to me.
So, long story short, what do you know, Roger rings uh, Roger was gonna get
back to me that afternoon., he was keen to get back to me that afternoon and
then I never heard anything from him and I- away for a couple of days so I sent
him an email. Said, “Roger, I still haven’t heard about our phone system, you
know. When’s it being cut off, what’s the- is our phone system compatible?” he
said, he- he left it another day and then he rang me and he said, ” I’ve put up a
query now uh, what’s app uhm, group on- on the phone- on the internet and
uhm, and the response was: Good luck trying to find a technician that is going to
uhm, work on that phone system.”. That was his message back to me, so, that
was his solution so, I said,”Roger, what are you telling me? We are going to have
to get a new phone system?” and he said, “Well, you’re not gonna get a
technician that’s gonna be out of a work on that phone system.
It’s not compatible as to old and you’ll need to- need to change.”. Now
remember, I’ve lost trust in Roger at this point in time in the relationship. So, I’ve
said, “Well, look Roger, thanks very much. I’m going to make some inquiries and
I’m going to get back to you, okay?” so, I hang up the phone and immediately
rang out the manufacturing, the head officers of the manufacturer of our phone
system.
They put me in contact with a- with another company in our area and I spoke to
them and I said,”I was wondering if you could help me explain the situation.” and
they said, “Oh, no. All we need to do is change X, Y and Z in your phone system
and you’ll be fully compatible and uhm, you’ll still on phone system and you’ll be
totally, totally compliant and you’ll also have these extra features that are
available with the new- the new uhm, equipment and it’s a minimal cost. We can
come and do it for you but, before we do, we’d like to come down and just have a
look at your system, make sure that everything’s okay to change over and then
we can give you a more thorough and, accurate process to it because it’s going
to be and we can also look after your feature on going phone, uhm, needs, phone
line needs if- if that’s required as well.
Now, that’s the story. Now, this is where value based uh, customer relations
come in. We’re gonna pull this apart here because this goes on all the time. And,
unfortunately, for Roger’s company that employs Roger, they have now lost a
customer and they’re doing this, and when I was talking to couple of other
phone uhm, suppliers, they are doing this across the board. Uhm, they are doing
this going around, talking- telling creating fear in people that they’re gonna lose
their phone numbers and they’re also on the- on the basis of that fear, selltrying to sell as further fear by selling them and locking them into a- a contract
for phone- a new phone system.
And it’s just not true. And, the deceit comes in. The deceit shows and the- this isthis is my message for you today: In business, customers know their people. And
it doesn’t matter whether they are on the internet doing business or whether
you’re in a- in a, physical bricks and water type business. Your customers know if
you’re lying to them. They know if you don’t have the- the best interest at heart,
and it will come through at some point. You might have a quick win, you know
Roger might have got me on you know, on a list maybe where,”I just gonna look
a cable if it’s got to change the phone, we’ll just change it. Here you go.” but it
was because I was more educated, I already knew something didn’t same right
although I had already heard a lot about these phone system and when I had
bought my phone system originally, I asked them about the- the, the feature
changes i- with the uh, internet phones and they said this will be compatible
because of these reasons.
So, I already had a hunch and your customers have a hunch too. They know,
they’ve been googling, they’ve been looking and reading information. They’ve
been talking to their friends on social media, they’ve far more educated than
people give them credit for when they come to buy from it. And, it’s- this
information, look, th- the only difference, between providers is how well you
build a relationship with that customer. And what Roger did is decimate our
relationship, a long term relationship of- I don’t know how many years for being
with them, let’s call it a 10 year relationship with a- with a phone company has
now- has now gone because I don’t trust them anymore.
I don’t trust that brand that much. My trust in that brand has eroded. That
phone company’s brand and your people that worked for you, this is the thing
with this, when your building relationships, people build uh, people a- a
relationship with people but the end result is how they see your brand.
I repeat that again, people build relationships and trust with people but the end
result- the e- the- end thing that they say is your brand. And- and so, we’ve got
a- we’ve really, really have to uhm, stress out [inaudible] enough really the
importance of building integrity and honesty in everything that we do. In every
relationship, we need to build integrity and honesty and trust.
All have to be there. They’re all key ingredients of these value based
relationships. And not only that, not only gotta have those elements but we also
have to have a problem solving mind set when we meet with people. And this is
anybody that you come in contact with your business. It could be ’cause that
person may not be a customer today, but they are customer uhm, they are- it
could be a customer in the future or they could no more potential customers of
you.
So, I’ll say it again, that integrity, the honesty, the trust and the- and the problem
solving uhm, mentality or attitude when we- when we- when talk with people is
critical to growing your business and having a sustainable, long term customer
based. And growing it, yeah, growing your customer based is what its- what it’s
all about, that relationship.
Now, let’s just go back. If Roger had of c- come in to that of my office and said,”I
was gonna explain ab- about the phone system changes and things like that.”
and he said, “I’d like to take a look at your current phone system and I wanna get
to the bottom of whether or not it’s going to work on the new network.” and
let’s say he didn’t know the answer but he went away and got a solid answer and
came back with something that was uh, made sense.
And that’s a lesson too. If something doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because
usually somebody’s hiding something or being dishonest. If you don’t- if
someone can’t clearly articulate to you- or- or uhm, explain something to you in
lame sense that makes sense to you, then they are the hiding something or uhm,
th- there’s something dishonest going on. And 99.9% of the time that is- that is
the- uhm, the truth. If you’re getting that feeling from somebody.
So, I wanna stress to you the- the importance of this because it really, really is a
critical, critical uhm, uh- concept in business. Uhm, and- and marketing and sales
and- and growing relationships. Uhm, so, I want you to take this away from
today’s episode uh, I want you to approach every relation- look at every
relationship in your business. Your relationship with your staff and team. Your
relationship with your potential customers, your relationship with your supplies.
These are all the- the, the business relationships I’m talking about.
The relationship with your accountant, with your lawyer, with your banquet
manager, uh, with people you see in the street. Integrity, honesty, trust and with
the problem solving mindset, “How can I help this person?”, “How can I add
value to my relationship with this person?”. Now, it will serve you through life. It
will just serve you so well through every relationship you have and the trust
builds the- each time that person sees you and experiences that from you at
every time. That- that- that builds in that person, that relationship between the
two of you builds and uh, I love this concept which I believe was Steven Covey
from 7 Habits of highly Effective People concept of an emotional uh, bank
account. And with an emotional bank account, uhm, you basically have deposits
and you have withdrawals.
You can put money in to this emotional bank account uh, or this relationship
bank account if you like and you can- and you can make mistakes and take
money out of this relationship bank account. So, let’s say you and I have a
relationship together. We meet for the first time. That’s the day that account
opens, and at that point, if I rep- if I uh, present to you with a smile and an open
face and I shake your hand or uhm, and- and we have a great chat, great
discussion and that’s an open and honest discussion and we form a rapport, and
uh, we have a- I don’t trans sell you anything or don’t try to fluck you any
products or anything like that, but we just have a general discussion about and I
asked genuine questions about yourself and I listen to the answers and I
understand the answers, and I learn from you. I learn your problems, I learn
your- all that- all that time, I’m building deposits in our relationship bank
account with each other.
And we have these with everyone, everyone we come in contact with, we have
this relationship bank accounts. And the- th- the- each time we do that, now if
we meet several times and you have that same experience time and time again
and every time you meet me uhm, I listen to you. I ask you questions that are
relevant to you that- that I, I’m inquisitive about what’s going on with you. I want
to learn from you, understand what’s going on with you then, the net account
grows.
That account grows in- in value. The deposits keep going ’cause I haven’t them
withdraw. That the moment that I uh, show you deceit, the moment that I try
and so your quick win, th- the moment I try I’m dishonest, uhm, or I have an
ulterior motive in- in my discussion with you, that- that deletes that account.
Th-th- the balance of that account in no time at all. And if you think of that
phone company that I’ve been just dealing with, I have 10 years, I have- I’ve
been you know, happy with them.
They’ve done an all right job. Their pricing’s being fine, they’ve always been
fairly responsive etcetera but I need took this one incidence to actually rip that
out because I no longer trust them. So my account with them is gone, it’s
depleted. And- and this is what happens in-in, in everything as well when- ththat’s just- it’s not just customers you ha- you do this with. You do this with
everybody. And it was uhm, C. S. Lewis who had a really great saying about th-
uhm, along this and it’s uhm, “Integrity is doing the right things even when
nobody is watching.” and I love that saying because it means that if you’re- if
you’re walking- if you’re walking and talking, you’re walking through life with
the right uh, with the right attitude to honesty, integrity and the principles uhm,
and that moral campus, then- then you, you will have far uh, more rich- or I guess
richer relationships. more valued relationships and your customers are going to
keep coming back to you time and time again.
Why would they go anywhere else? They trust you. Why would they go
anywhere else? You solve their problems. Why would they go anywhere else?
Because you’ve always shown integrity and had the- their needs uhm- uh, at the
fore front. So this is not about not selling to people, it’s not about giving people
things for free, but it’s being about understanding, upfront honest, showing
integrity and- and, and not hiding prices. Not giving surprise bills, not uhm, not
trying to lose some money into a contract and the false pretentious.
This is a sort of thing that uhm, will wreck your business. And- and- and there’s
no short, there’s no shortcut to doing these, doing these relationships. They take
time to build. And just as another side, quick story, uhm, I uh, uh- we lost a client
at- at one point and- and uhm, truth of all I’ll be honest, circumstances have just
changed. But we didn’t, “Go lost, see you later, get out of here.” you know, or
anything like that. We maintained the relationship. We were always friendly,
courteous and never bad mouth anyone or anything like that but guess what?
Two or three years later down the track when they- when the circumstances
change together they weren’t happy with you as- as helping them. They came
back. And- and this- this happens when we build value and build integrity in our
relationships and that’s- that’s I want for you. That’s what I want for your
business. I want- I want you to have a buzzling business of- of rewarding
relationships that- that just gets stronger and stronger every time somebody uh,
needs you. And there’s lots of little things you can do to do this year. Just a
simple things of remembering your last conversation you had with someone.
Uhm, they were going uh, if someone’s going on a holidays and- and then the
next time you see them, “How was your trip to Spain?” uhm, you know, how’dhow was- make sure you know ’twas Spain. Don’t just- don’t- make sure you get
that be right. Maybe you just say, “How was your holiday?” if you- if you’re not
sure of where it was ’cause that can go the other way too.
So, uh, you make sure that you’re uhm, y- you know your facts and- and you- and
you learn, you have actively listened to the person and that’s where it comes
down to actively listening and caring about your customers and all your
relationships in your business. Even your professional services, your account,
your lawyers, if you haven’t got that trust uhm, and you don’t think they’ve got
your back then- then you really need to, you really need to uhm, to have a look
at that and assess that.
So, uhm, as it turned out, just on the back end of my story, uhm, it turns out also
when I talk to them more trustworthy, uh, people that are coming to have a look
on our phone system that the phones’ line not actually changing uhm,
immediately. They’re not changing ’til about 20- 20 and it turns out that I do
actually have a couple of years to uhm, to change my phone system as well. Oh,
well then I [inaudible] to change my phone system but to change the lines over
as well so, really, uhm, the short of the story is that uhm, there’s no shortcuts to
or to trying to cheat people into buying from you or having quick wins of a great
value. Listen to their problems, offer solutions to their problems.
You can offer solution to problems without actually uh, you don’t have to give
things away for free, just asking questions of people and with an interest can
solve people’s like help solve people’s problems because as you’re asking people
those- those questions, then they- they’re providing you with more information
that you’re able to better help them with. And they’re talking through it in their
head as well. They’re getting clearer about and as you ask more questions, you
get to narrow things down for them so the problem gets clearly defined with the
person and they feel really listened to and they really feel than you understand
them.
So, when I talk about adding value, I’m not talking about necessary give away
services free- for free or then you might say,”Well, look and come and have a- a
quick look at your uh, phone system and this case [?]. I’ll send a technician out to
have a look at the phone system so we can get a full clear picture of the
situation.”that’s adding value.
And that’s what- that’s what my message is for you today. The importance of
those value based relationships and I want them for your business, and I hope
you find that helpful. As it turns out, we don’t need a new phone system which is
really good and we now have- we’ll have a new phone provider as well as a
result.
So, there you go. That’s my lesson for you today. I love these live case studies uh,
real life case studies because they do illustrate the principles and they do
illustrate the message uhm, uh, o-of, of what I’m talking about but uhm, yes. If
you’ve had a- any experiences or you’ve got any case studies that you’ve
experienced around this, I’d love to hear them from you. You can send them in to
me at, [email protected] or uhm, yeah! Just hit the red
record button on businessmadeeasypodcast.com as well and you can record
your- record your case study or story there as well. I love to hear it and uh, and
love to hear any situations, and your thoughts on value based customer uh,
relationships as well.
All righty! That is it for me this week but before I go uh, thank you so, so much
for listening. I do appreciate your listening in every week like you do. It really
does mean a lot to me. I love putting the show together for everybody and I
want every success for your business and yourself.
And, if you haven’t already, feel free to join our Facebook group at
businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community and there’s a great group for people
over there all sharing fantastic ideas and concepts and uhm, problems and wins
and all sort of stuff over there in, in that- there’s well known over there actively
as well. So, All righty! Well, that’s it for me this week until next week, here’s to
your success and I’m gonna hand you over to Mia. Take us out Mia. Thanks guys!

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LINKS MENTIONED

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Join other business owners in our Free Facebook Community all sharing their trials, ideas and wins in business. It's a fantastic community of driven and supportive entrepreneurs.

Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, continues to be a best seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology and focuses on timeless principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. 

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