Building relationships is one of the most important things you can do in growing a company brand. This is especially true if you own an eCommerce company and need to want to expand your branding awareness outside of the internet. To achieve customer success and loyalty, developing more personalized relationships with businesses has become a new goal.
Those of you in Houston who own a business have a lot of opportunities to build relationships on this level. If you're used to finding leads by promoting yourself, you'll have to walk a fine line between promotion and building friendships.
To nurture a more personalized relationship with other businesses, you'll need to apply these 4 tips to prove your value.
Take a look at how these work and how we can make them work for you at Westpark Communications.
Tip #1: Community Outreach
Photo from last volunteer event
Connecting with your community is one effective way to link up with individuals in your local area. This type of networking is not about building business relationships but about reaching out and getting to know the needs of your community.
When you can join arms this way, you'll be able to share valuable information with one another. Being of value to each other means bringing insights you couldn't find without having to pay to attend a business convention.
Learning from each other only improves your business and brings better relationships with customers.
We have benefited from these types of relationships with our own community outreach programs. We're involved in several notable charities, including volunteering for the Houston Food Bank. We also raise money for breast cancer awareness, plus support The Rose in their efforts to help women find quality breast healthcare.
Walks for the American Heart Association are also common community outreaches we enjoy participating in. These events are about meeting everyday people.
Tip #2: Business Networking
2018's Chamber Memberships
While you can network with businesses doing community work, delving into business networking should become one of your top priorities.
Consider that you are more apt to nurture better relationships with businesses when you start a camaraderie with them. Networking shouldn't become a one and done type of process either. Keeping friendships going with people within (or outside) your industry can only benefit your own knowledge.
Many industries also evolve quickly, especially in the types of technologies used. Keeping business networking going keeps you up on the latest changes so you don't fall behind competitively.
If you're going to stay competitive, you have to keep up with industry evolution. Otherwise, your customers are going to notice.
We've been able to demonstrate our prowess at business networking by working with various chambers in the Houston area. This includes the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, Houston West Chamber of Commerce, and Tomball Chamber of Commerce.
With these types of networks, we are able to trade different services and develop mutually beneficial business relationships.
Our support for the above chambers continues as a way to help businesses connect without making it difficult.
Tip #3: Business Continuity Planning
Drawn Diagram of Westpark's data infrastructure
With the volatile world we're living in, having a business continuity plan is one of the smartest things you can do to prepare for emergencies.
When you design a business continuity plan, you're preparing for the possibility of a natural or man-made disaster shutting down your business. A continuity plan is a list of procedures you'd take to keep things in operation without experiencing downtime.
Obviously, this is going to help you, but it also helps your customers. They may depend on you to order specific products or services. If you experience too much downtime, they could grow frustrated and switch to one of your competitors.
Perhaps you can show you care by attending events and helping the community. Yet, it's only one small part of showing you care about your customers. You also need to invest in proper infrastructure as part of your business continuity plan.
Reach out for Help in Business Continuity Planning
Let's say you want to create an eCommerce app for your business to make it easier for customers in your area to purchase from you. The resources needed to manage the technological aspect of your app alone costs thousands of dollars. You can use a company like Bar-Z Mobile Development which provides a solid framework for businesses in select communities to establish partnerships and branding awareness to locals.
The infrastructure you acquire may look different for you from what other businesses use. Doing an audit of your business first helps determine the type of technology you need to keep things in operation.
You can learn some about how B2C businesses keep going during times of disaster. Despite statistics showing 40% of businesses never recover after a disaster, you'll find some inspiring exceptions. One business in NYC called The Salty Paw (a pet boutique) went through a disaster with Hurricane Sandy. They managed to survive by linking with other businesses in the community.
Their story is a good example of how nurturing relationships with other businesses often becomes a necessary part of a business continuity plan.
We went through the same situation with Hurricane Harvey. Thanks to our own business continuity plan, we managed to keep incoming and outbound calls going. Take a look at all the great comments we received from our clients for keeping things operating, a lesson in how to treat your most valuable customers.
Tip #4: Be An Industry Expert
Logo created for our 50-year documentary
Proving your expertise in your niche industry does a lot to keep customers loyal to you. It's going to take some time, though, to prove your knowledge.
For us, we have had 50 years to get to know the industries we serve in everything from property management to utility companies.
Our role in continually proving our own expertise comes from attending various conferences to show businesses what we offer. Doing this is the way to differentiate yourself from competitors who offer similar services.
It's important to join and participate in influential organizations. We are members of the Association of Water Board Directors with their vision of being "the industry expert and source of education in Texas." Our involvement in AWBD allows us the opportunity to service Municipal Utility Districts throughout the state.
To become an expert in more than one industry, have some patience in learning. It could take a number of years, but you can at least start now.
From there, you can grow from a small startup to a renowned, nationwide company based on the above foundation.
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It's impossible for a business like yours to be everywhere in one place and help everyone. By helping your community, though, every bit can help in creating valuable business relationships.
At Westpark Communications, we invite you to subscribe to our email updates to learn about how our call center service keeps you connected to nurture relationships with businesses. Having a great call center service also begets superior customer success when you understand what they want.