Open Dialog Article
The Importance of Relationship Building in Business
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By Elizabeth Blackley, Senior Business Analyst, Dialog IT
Living in today’s technology rich world and working in a technology consultancy organisation, might lead one to believe that interpersonal relationships are not as important as in “the old days”. Contrary to this perception, Dialog consultants understand the reality: society living and relying on technology devices renders human relationships more important than ever.
IT consultants are in a unique position to foster high client satisfaction and retention, because they usually interact with clients on a daily basis. On major projects, a large part of what consultants do is gather business requirements. This is an opportunity to create a strong social rapport. Equally significant is the interaction between colleagues. Building a strong, unified team is a key ingredient to the success of any consulting company such as Dialog.
But why is creating social rapport important in today’s business world?
In this Open dialog article, we explore four reasons: loyalty, image, word-of-mouth, and a high-performing team.
While delivering quality services and product is inherent to success, most people also want to do business with someone whose company they enjoy. When you have had a positive interaction with a retail assistant, you are interested in visiting their shop the next time you require a similar product. When someone remembers your name or that you have recently gone on holiday or something about your children are you not endeared to them?
This friendliness and show of interest in the other person goes a long way to increase brand loyalty.
Clients look for an IT services company that projects an image of proficiency and precision – and delivers on it.
Clients want to feel assured their IT investments are in capable hands. Proficiency and precision are sound, but not exactly cosy traits. For instance, Mr Spock from Star Trek is great when logical but we really like him more when his human half comes out. What is engaging is the surprise and delight we feel when a totally ordered and reasonable person shows their soft side. The image of exactitude coupled with approachability is a winning combination that Dialog consultants strive for. The Dialog Academy offers many courses to its consultants fostering these skills.
Have you ever solicited the advice of a friend when seeking a new business partner?
People like to work with others who come recommended by a trusted source. Negative experiences can spread quickly but people also like strong positive stories. A friend recently recounted her happy amazement over a terrific call centre experience she had with her bank. My first question was: Which bank?
Word-of-mouth is a powerful, and free, advertising tool. Dialog consultants want to deliver experiences that get clients talking positively.
The intrinsic nature of an IT Consultancy is fluid and it can seem difficult to foster a sense of community within an organisation.
Often consultants are working at the client site collaborating with different people every day. With over 1,200 employees and over 700 clients, it is very probable that a Dialog consultant may work with a fellow consultant only once and never be on the same project with them again.
This is the reason relationship building is so important. Feeling comradery and having strong support from the within the company is tantamount to the ability of a consultant being able to arrive in an unknown environment and immediately add value. Open communication, coupled with scheduled time to connect with colleagues, creates the platform from which to build a solid team.
In essence, Dialog consultants realise that they are all in the business of Customer Service. All of us has not only the opportunity, but also the obligation to build rapport and leave a lasting, positive impression on clients and colleagues. Presenting a unified team and taking the time to connect on a personal level, will always leave behind a positive image worth mentioning.
Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, A Lautenslager, J Levinson, ISBN 1599185318
5 steps to building great business relationships, J Dougherty, Harvard Business Review 2014
10 reasons why business relationships are important, MyTopBusinessIdeas.com
Why relationships matter, K Laws, PropelBusinessWorks.com
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