In 2019, it is unacceptable to operate a business from a purely transactional mindset. Relationship building is crucial to any business strategy. We’d even take it a step further to say that partnership is key. It isn’t solely about what one party can do for the other, but what you can accomplish together to make services, products and communication better for everyone.
What makes a good partnership? Staying attuned to the other’s needs. Understanding the meaning of 50/50. Being a good listener and communicator. But most of all truthfulness.
Recent talks with our customers have shown us that what customers want from vendors in our industry most of all is transparency. Many vendors make the mistake of overpromising and under delivering. Or they keep information from their customers in hopes of avoiding conflict, such as pricing, details in bids and even information about their service offerings. But customers don’t want a sugar coated story, and they definitely don't want to be disappointed. They want the unfiltered truth and they want you to deliver what you've promised.
Partnership means working together. It is just as much about what your provider can do for you as what you can do for them. Sometimes there are areas of a facility that need maintenance outside of our control like loose utility fixtures, leaks and safety hazards, pest control or waste management. By fixing these issues, our customers help us do our job better, but they also make their facility much safer and cleaner for their employees and customers. It is our job to immediately notify our customers of these issues and for them to make sure they are resolved. This is what creates a 50/50 partnership.
Despite everyone's best efforts, it is not possible to get it 100% right all the time on either end. When things do go wrong, it is important to own it and make it right as quickly as possible. But be sure to attack it head on. Avoiding an issue will impact your relationships, and not for the better. Open and honest communication is always best.