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How B2B Service Companies Can Drive Growth Through a Customer Relationship Advantage
As human beings, we rely on strong and lasting relationships to fulfill our personal happiness. There’s plenty of research that suggests relationships impact us mentally, emotionally, and physically, with healthy relationships leading us to live longer, better manage stress, and improve our social well-being. This concept is no different in the business world. Healthy business relationships lead to top line growth, stability to manage disruption, and overall sustainability as an organization. Similar to personal relationships, every successful business relationship is built on a foundation of core virtues, such as integrity, transparency, and trust. However, while many business leaders understand the importance of relationships in a business context, many fail to think strategically about how to build and maintain these relationships.
This is exacerbated for those in a business services environment. Business-to-business (B2B) companies depend on a smaller set of customers for a larger portion of revenue, as evidenced with high volume of sales and/or long-term contracts, whereas business-to-consumer (B2C) companies have one-time purchases and/or monthly subscriptions. B2B companies engage with fewer customers using traditional face-to-face interactions and their selection of partners is driven by specific business goals. And more is at stake in the B2B world.
In some extreme cases, a B2B company can lose over 50% of its business if its largest customer were to leave. This is why it’s imperative for B2B companies, especially business service companies who cannot rely solely on a superior product, to become more customer-centric by placing relationship management at the center of every aspect of their business. In our previous white paper, Incorporating Blue Canyon’s Growth Lessons into B2B Business Services, we outlined the five lessons pertinent to driving growth in the business services space. Among these is one growth lesson that we will focus on for this white paper: strategic relationship management.