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5 Tips for Better Customer Relations

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In distribution, building sound relationships is key to long term growth. There are many good business books that share useful tips for engaging with and improving upon customer relationships. Below are five simple practices for building and maintaining professional relationships in wholesale distribution.

1. Build from a solid foundation
How you interact with your customer from the start matters, and you should assume that every part of your exchange will be evaluated. Be as courteous on the phone as you are in person. The same rules apply for email communications with the caveat that you should always use good grammar and correct spelling. First impressions are ipmortant. 😉

2. Keep your commitments
This is pretty straight forward. If you set a time frame, meet it. If you say you will call them at 11am on Tuesday, then call them at 11am–don’t email or put it off until after your Arby’s run. Managing expectations and following through are easy ways to demonstrate your credibility and reliability.

3. Find out your customer’s preferred method of communication
Email, phone, in-person, carrier pigeon–each customer has a preferred means of communication, and abiding by their preference conveys respect versus what is convenient to you. Unless, of course, it really is carrier pigeon, then you may want to introduce them to… Twitter.

4. Say “I” less
Relationships are a two-way street. Avoid talking too much about yourself and ask your customer open-ended questions. It’s an excellent way to build comfort and get your customer to open up. Once a comfort level is established, conversations about work will easily expand into more casual topics like personal interests, recreational activities, and family. Avoid political talk as it can easily derail the relationship you’re trying to cultivate.

5. Get together out of the office
Having established a rapport, getting out of the office together is a great way to reinforce the relationship. Meet for lunch, catch a game, go fishing, try hang-gliding–the options are endless, but the result is the same: a more robust relationship with your customer.

Because building relationships takes dedication and diligence, you need a CRM that works as hard as you do. ERP-ONE’s user friendly CRM feature is fully integrated across the entire suite of innovative ERP business applications and provides convenient access to customer accounts from any part of our comprehensive software. By utilizing ERP-ONE’s efficient CRM, you’ll have more time to focus on cultivating the relationships that matter most to your company. Contact us today at info@distone.com or 856.380.0629 to learn more!

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