Building business relationships is a skill that successful business people need to have.
The e-commerce revolution over the last 10 years has altered the way B2C relationships are built, with drip campaigns, EDM and SMS blasts replacing human interaction.
B2B is different. The relationship is built over time and trust is gained with honesty and authenticity.
You may think you are proficient at managing business relationships, but to sustain success you need to be constantly reinventing the way you approach servicing your B2B customers. One thing is guaranteed; If you continue to do things the way you have always done them, at some point you’re out of touch.
This article will touch on the importance of building connections and provide tips and tricks to help you navigate and capitalize on each and every B2B relationship.
Why business relationships matter
Relationships are the most important thing when you are trading B2B. Why? Customer retention.
People do business with people they like, and understanding each customer allows you to provide a tailored experience.
A recent study by PWC found that one in three consumers (32%) say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.
As such, every touch-point needs to be quality. Everything from what a receptionist says when customers walk through the door, to attention to detail to ensure packaging and order sizes are right. One thing we have seen at PencilPay is that the first interaction with a customer sets up the entire relationship.
A fast, easy process to get started and create an account to purchase gives a level of confidence absent from so many of your competitors.
How to better your business relationships:
- Regularity. You need to get into the habit of reminding your customer base about your business. Yes, they may already be a customer, but remember people change suppliers if they think they can get a better deal. Be regular in their life with special offers, check in’s, etc.
- Personalize. Personalizing each interaction with a new or existing customer creates trust. All of your communication efforts will be more valuable and authentic which will keep your customers happy.
- Feedback. After some interaction with your customers, it’s always a great idea to ask for feedback. Any improvement to make your customers’ life easier or happier with your product will show that not only do you care about doing business with them but also will keep them coming back.
3 ways PencilPay builds better business relationships
First experiences matter; When a customer first orders from you, what does that experience look like? Are you sending credit applications back and forth with missing information? Are your customers waiting days to be able to trade with you?
With PencilPay, onboarding customers couldn’t be any smoother. The process takes 90 seconds to complete, all the correct information is collected the first time round and your customer can begin ordering from you in minutes.
An easy and stress free introduction to your business like this will keep new customers happy and will keep them onboard for longer. First impressions matter so make a great first experience a good one.
Reminders; No one likes being pestered. When a customer doesn’t pay their invoice on time and you hound them with collection calls you push them away.
Although they are in the wrong when this happens, remember not to be too pushy when collecting. PencilPay solves this issue by sending reminders before, on due date and after via email and SMS. Emails and SMS are a lighter way to remind customers for payment.
Payment plans; Your customers might not always be in a position to pay you on time. And although we covered reminders, sometimes the cash just isn’t there. In situations like this you need to think win-win.
PencilPay offers the option to offer your customers a payment plan. This keeps both parties happy and a good business relationship untouched. You get money through the door to keep some cash flow flowing through the business while your customer can do smaller payments over a chosen period of time.
If you’re interested in learning more about Pencil, book in a demo to get in touch with the team!