A business is only as good as the clients it serves. When we founded SQLTreeo some 20 years ago, we knew our success would depend on building long-term client relationships based on flexibility and collaboration. Now we’d like to share with you our ideas on how to deliver this sort of value consistently to your clients.
In recent months, we’ve had many conversations about how companies can develop productive and enduring client relationships. With technology changing rapidly and specialist skills, such as data management, growing in importance, companies increasingly need to rely on trusted partners to meet their business objectives.
But how do you build those mutually beneficial client relationships? We’d love to share our experience of following these three simple steps:
1. Make client communication your #1 priority
You can eliminate nasty surprises by looping clients in on all project updates. But, if you also take the time to get to know their business, you can anticipate issues and give additional support. For example, clients come to us for our technical expertise and reliable database services. But they also, quite rightly, expect us to keep them informed and offer advice.
If you offer managed services, design them to give you time to listen to your client’s specific needs, understand their pain points and discuss their longer-term objectives. We find this is the most effective way to develop database solutions that help our clients grow their core business. With this type of partnership, we find that even small companies can achieve big things.
For example, one of our clients is an insurance adviser. He’s extremely knowledgeable and successful in his field. But, he isn’t a database expert. Now, he could hire someone who is, but that is expensive and time consuming.
He prefers to collaborate with us because we are fast and efficient. By keeping his databases running smoothly, we free him up to focus on his core insurance business. Together, we make a strong team.
Another client is a fast-growing scale-up. As partners, we think and anticipate alongside them. We monitor their databases 24/7/365 and give a heads up to any potential problems. That’s a huge relief for any growing business; they don’t have to worry about taking on new customers and not having the IT infrastructure to support their growth. Similarly, if your client’s business is project-based, try to find ways to help them scale up and down quickly and easily.
2. Share knowledge
If you want to be in business for the long haul, you need your clients to see you as more than just a vendor or supplier. Strong relationships thrive on two-way listening and sharing knowledge and ideas. For example, our DBAs become virtual members of your team, committed to adding value to your business. Likewise, you should look for ways of partnering with your clients to help them grow their business today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
3. Honesty, transparency and a desire to serve must be your core values
No long-term relationship survives if the two parties aren’t honest with each other. Without a reputation for integrity, you will never be able to cultivate the kind of partnership that successful businesses depend on. That’s why we’ve made “Our word is our bond” our guiding principle; we always do what we say we will do.
We’re a close-knit team here at SQLTreeo and we work with clients to meet their technical, operational and strategic business objectives. That means offering a complete package that ensures vital database updates meet your needs and maintenance tasks are completed on time. When looking at your clients, try to identify ways to reduce their stress and worry so they can focus on what really matters. This means going beyond simply delivering a product or service and developing a real partnership.
Potential clients won’t just take your word for it
You can start to build relationships before you do business with a client in a variety of ways. Social media, client testimonials and face-to-face meetings where you seek to understand their business needs will all help establish credibility and trust. That’s why we’re always happy to discuss your database performance and data management and security needs. It’s what we’re passionate about.
But, you don’t just have to take our word for it. You can read our client testimonials here.