How small businesses can boost business relationships for growth

This article was published in Inside Small Business


It takes warmth and affinity to turn a house into a home. Similarly, it takes communication and empathy to make a brand. Empathy and affinity are words that didn’t belong in the world of business strategies. However, presently it is one of the most important reasons for a business partnership.

According to research, 77 per cent of the consumers are willing to pay more if they receive excellent customer service from small businesses. With all that being said, here are a few tips on how small businesses can boost business relationships for growth, enhancing your brand intimacy with your clients:

  • Fulfilment: Fulfilling the expectations of your clients is one thing but taking initiatives to enhance customer service to make it a seamless and hospitable experience is another. Being proactive, showing involvement, providing suggestions and new ideas and showing gratitude with small acts like simple personalized email helps you be seen and appreciated. Since small businesses account for 90 per cent of all global companies, being seen and appreciated is a step ahead in brand intimacy.

  • Authenticity: The first step to authenticity is transparency, not just inside the company but also with prospective clients and the existing ones. As a small and growing business, being authentic about your identity, values, and ideals not just helps you create intimacy but also a community and reach out to like-minded people. As Zig Ziglar has rightly said, “You don’t build a business, you build people, and then people build the business”.

  • Communication: Communication is one aspect that cannot be emphasized enough for its significance. Research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. This can only happen through the right amount of communication and indulging.

  • Empathising: Empathy and communications are pillars of intimacy. Exchanging brand ideals and freedom of sharing new ideas and creating a healthy environment is essential for creative freedom. Active listening with suspended judgment, attitude to observation, and conscious choice of the most appropriate verbal and non-verbal language are just some of the critical ingredients of empathic relationships that comply with the values of authenticity and closeness.

Daniel Lubitzky once said, “Empathy is the greatest tool of business that is most underused”, providing a sense of belongingness and building a community is equally essential to the business pitches and strategies. Research shows that it’s much more valuable to align customer experience investments to those elements that drive emotional connection, thus maximizing ROI while minimising risk. So, if not yet, start building your people, and it will then be an authentic brand.

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