Customers are the lifeblood of a successful business. They are your advocates. They keep the lights on and help your business grow. So why does it matter whether you are a good customer or not? In Business to Consumer (B2C), interactions are largely transactional and relationships are less important than in the Business to Business (B2B) world. In B2B, the interactions are unique and reliance on each other is high. A good relationship therefore forms the basis of good business.
Suppliers provide products and services for their customers, with the expectation of getting paid on time. But what happens if they are not paid or paid late? While customers are reliant on suppliers delivering, what happens if the products are late or poor quality? This reliance on each other means the collective success of the interaction is dependent on how your company acts as a supplier and as a customer. A good supplier is one that delivers on their promise. They deliver their product on time, they provide value for money on quality products and communicate often and openly.
So what does a good customer do? Similar to suppliers, a good customer is one that also delivers on their promise. A promise to be responsive, pay the invoice, on time or earlier and keep the lines of communication open. When promises are broken, relationships are strained, stress mounts, which can lead to reputational damage and even business failure. Where promises are honoured, relationships strengthen, reputation grows ( How to build your reputation https://bit.ly/3wpBATU ), leading to a collective growth for both parties..
So, are you being responsive to your suppliers? Are you paying your suppliers on time, or better yet, paying earlier? Are you keeping your promises? Fortunately, we live in a society where there are “apps” for everything. The most mundane act of paying your suppliers can be automated. Even the awkwardness of asking or offering early payment discounts can be automated as part of your BAU.