3 Common Sense Ways to Unlock Better Business Relationships
How do we unlock better business relationships in a digital world?
This week’s guest JC Quintana is an internationally recognized business relationship psychology researcher, speaker, and author, who is on a mission to help companies unlock better business relationships through strategy and technology. He lectures as an adjunct professor of Customer Experience (CX) and Design Thinking at 14 major U.S. universities with a focus on the importance of aligning customer advocacy, employee engagement, and operational business success. His illustrious career includes senior executive roles over a client, employee, and alliance partnership initiatives at DXC, HP, Sage, DHL and ADP. JC is the best-selling author of two books on customer relationship management (CRM) and business relationship psychology. He lives in Kennesaw, GA.
Relationship Building in a Remote World
While we know that many things have changed in the 24 months, JC tells us that the psychology of relationship-building has not. The bottom line is that, amid the madness of the world we live in, we have not stopped being humans. Empathy, equity, and value continue to drive forward our relationships. Every time we are assessing our relationships – pandemic or no pandemic, remote or not remote – we calculate the value using the equation: Rewards – Cost = Outcome.
What has changed is the delivery methods for these relationships. Methods and social norms that we have grown so used to have changed in recent years. These are factors we then bring back to the cost-benefit analyses we all run when assessing our relationships.
“Over the years we’ve told companies ‘it costs too much money to make a phone call’, so as much as you can, divert any incoming calls to chat or to email. As people got locked in place and needed a more human connection, that model fell apart, because we were then renegotiating relationships in the midst of changing needs, characteristics, circumstances, and capacity.”
The Common Sense Approach to Unlock Better Business Relationships
Working in the tech space, we often see people eager and excited about the next new thing. A hot-button tool that will save them time and money. A shortcut or a gold ticket solution. The reality is that, at its core, relationship building has never changed, but when we start taking these short-cut solutions and applying them to our relationships, that is when it comes back to harm our business.
To unlock better business relationships, we need to bring them back to the basics and treat them as what they are: relationships. Amid drastic change and increased expectations that are largely driven by new and emerging technology, it is important to remember the human and relational side of the business. JC tells us that relationships are the same in an interpersonal sense as in a business context. We can’t separate it, because we are human. Just as our health and wellness need to pick the right relationships to pursue, it is important to the health of your business to nurture the right business relationships.
Back to the Basics of CRM
JC has written two books about CRM: Speaking Frankly About Customer Relationship Management and Serious Relationships: The 7 Elements of Successful Business Relationships. JC tells us that we in the business world have completely changed what CRM means: we have made it about the technology, about the platform.
“We cannot be all things, to all people, all the time. And we think that’s what technology is for. To make it so we can be all things, to all people, all the time. And this is not true.”
We need to go back to the basics of creating a psychologically safe relationship for your customers and your employees to trust you. According to JC, the world needs more of 3 things right now:
- Real focus on the right customers
- A genuine focus on relationship equity with those customers
- The ability to manage the right activities to lead to a quality relationship with them
It’s Just Common Sense!
For Jim, so much of these growth and business sustainability pursuits can be boiled down to common sense. So why do so many people get it wrong?
“Because it’s simple. All the things that are simple in this world are the things that people complicate which makes everyone get it wrong […] It really boils down to common sense at the end of the day.”
Fast Five Favourites
At Common Sense Professional, we like to ask our guests a rapid-fire round of five questions to get to know their favourite things in the tech space right now.
- Favourite tech or business tool you are using today? Business Model Canvas
- Who is a company/person that does marketing fantastically? Brene Brown
- Favourite recent read? Would You Do That to Your Mother? The “Make Mom Proud” Standard for How to Treat Your Customers By Jeanna Bliss
- Favourite sales strategy: Solutions Selling.
- What Most important business results do you measure your success by? Relationship quality.