Customer Relationships

I recently was asked by a business if I could help them determine the strength of the organization’s relationships with their customers. 

 

I said yes and then told them I could tell them the strength of those relationships immediately. They seemed puzzled until I told them their customers didn’t have a relationship with the organization. 

 

I could say that because no customer, not ever, has had an actual relationship, in the truest sense of the word, with a business or organization. Human beings only have real relationships with other human beings. (and pets of course) 

 

Businesses that think otherwise do so at their own risk. Successful businesses understand that customers only build relationships with people.  

 

That’s just one reason, albeit a major one, why organizations must take care of their employees. If you’re running a business then you must understand that you cannot have solid customer relationships when your employee relationships are nonexistent. 

 

Businesses that have a philosophy that says employees are interchangeable likes parts of a machine believe that the business “owns” the customer relationship. They believe that their people don’t matter. It’s a “organization first” philosophy. 

 

That philosophy shows itself in many ways. The quality of the product or service the company offers is reflected in that “organization first” thinking. The quality of customer service in an “organization first” business is always substandard. 

 

Turnover and recruiting expenses are often through the roof in an “organization first” company. So by the way is customer turnover. 

 

You will never, and yes I know never is a very strong word but I’m using it anyway. You will never find an organization that is decades old or even older that has an “organization first” philosophy. 

 

Those companies that have survived in good times and bad have a “people first” philosophy. They invest in their people. They build strong relationships with their people. They help their people grow. They know it’s their people who will build those vital relationships with their customers. 

 

If you’re running a business today don’t bother investing a dime to determine the strength of your customer relationships until you’re certain of the strength of the relationships with your own people. 


Building relationships with your people leads to your people building relationships with your customers. It’s the only way to sustain and grow your business.

Compromising Relationships

I’m pretty certain that the biggest challenge when it comes to compromising stems from the fact that no one wants to lose. Ever! 

 

What most people fail to realize however is that true compromise is not about winning and losing. It is about allowing both sides of the compromise to maintain self-respect. A compromise can be found in any situation and it can, in fact it must, be found without sacrificing core values. 

 

If you’re truly interested in finding a compromise in difficult circumstances then you must stop trying to always be right. Admitting you are wrong about something, whether it is a fact, an opinion or some emotion driven thinking is not a loss. It is not a sign of weakness or stupidity. It is a sign of courage and emotional strength. The moment you realize that you are wrong about something admit it and move on. 

 

To find compromise you must be willing to let some things go. Humans say and do the most regrettable things when they are emotional. You most certainly have and it’s likely that you are willing to cut yourself a fair amount of slack for saying or doing whatever. You cut yourself that slack because you realize that you were emotional. You must also realize that the other party to your compromise is an emotional being as well. Cut them some slack!

 

You may enter into a discussion with one set of expectations but that doesn’t mean your expectations can’t change as a result of the discussion. Be willing to change your expectations, again that is not a sign of losing. It is a sign that you’re strong enough to realize that sometimes the only way to get something is to give something. 

 

Hiding your true feelings when searching for a compromise does not work. Share how you feel and value the other person’s feelings as much as you want them to value yours.

 

Finding a compromise requires that both parties keep an open mind. Personally I try to remember that I can be wrong about most anything at almost any time. That’s probably true for you too. 

 

Relationships are what make life worth living. When we forget that we put every relationship we have in grave danger. A long time ago a great friend of mine gave me some life changing advice. I was struggling with some issues with our daughter and this very wise man asked me a simple question.

 

He asked what was more important, proving I was right or my relationship with my daughter. That simple question changed my approach to every relationship I have.

 

There is no such thing as a neutral human interaction. Every time you interact with another human being you leave them feeling either better or worse about themselves and their life situation. Every single time!


Find a compromise that makes them…and you, feel better about each other. You will never regret it!