The article was initially published in Smart Business.
Building and deepening client relationships are essential parts of growing and improving your business. It’s one of the best things I get to do every day at Dismas.
While relationship building is deeply personal and has no exact formula, I wanted to share a few strategies that work for me. Remember that it’s important to do this in your own authentic way.
Understand your clients’ business
At Dismas, our goal is to continually add value to our clients, and we know this goes beyond the supply chain services we provide every day. This also includes making proactive recommendations — something we can’t do without a deep knowledge of our clients’ businesses and their industries.
For example, we work with a number of companies in the retail industry, an area driven by ever-evolving trends. By staying in constant communication with our clients and keeping close tabs on the latest styles and buying trends, we can proactively spot pain points before they become a bigger problem.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and developing it early is key. One of the easiest ways to develop trust is simple: Do what you say you’re going to do.
At Dismas, our clients and partners trust us to accelerate their speed-to-market and deliver a high-quality experience each time they do business with us.
When a local clothing retailer came to Dismas to help shorten its production cycle, the retailer could hardly keep up with the flood of online orders. Our team created a process to streamline the production cycle, gaining its trust along the way. Several years and many projects later, it is now a global company and we’ve developed a trusting friendship that’s mutually beneficial — it’s able to focus on new designs while we focus on the logistics.
Ask for feedback
Our goal is to make working with us a seamless experience. We ask for feedback regularly to ensure we’re exceeding expectations, identifying areas of improvement and highlighting project successes. We call these meetings “hindsight meetings” and they’ve become an important part of our business process. Client feedback informs decisions about new service offerings, internal processes, and staffing, and has helped us re-evaluate the direction of our business over the years to stay aligned with our clients’ needs.
Remember your clients are people, too
It sounds simple, but it’s made a profound impact on my relationships in and outside of work. By living and working according to our values — deliver a wow experience, have a team attitude, do the right thing and provide quality — we’ve established a family of employees and clients who respect one another and enjoy working together.
We’ve always had an open-door policy with our clients, and we love that they feel comfortable popping by to check in on a project or just catch up. They get to know our employees and experience our culture firsthand — two things that make me proud to lead our Dismas family.