Fostering Relations with Technological Partners
In March-Apil 2020, we faced the challenge of growing our software development service business during a period of increased economic uncertainty and sudden shift to managing an entirely remote team. Few months later, we adjusted to the new “normal” and found our way, here are a few takeaways on how to build and maintain relationships with both recurrent and new technological partners.
Maintain a stellar level of customer experience
Client experience is as important online as it is in person. In fact, 96% of customers in the United States say that their experience with a company is the most important in their choice of future loyalty to a brand. However, for online clients, it might be more challenging to experience the company culture and the personalities of the software development team, and this means you need to go the extra mile.
To ensure good client experience at Melon, we strive to stay true to our company’s three key values - be smart, be nice, and make things happen. Having in mind that if one is missing, the rest are all but irrelevant. Take decisions, remain flexible and deliver quality piece of software within the set frame.
Find your approach to client engagement
The first step is to listen. Understand the needs of your clients and then implement engagement strategies based on your findings. Simply ask for feedback to make sure you’re evolving fast enough to meet expectations and changing needs. Actively inquire what your partners think about your business. What they liked, and what they didn't. Did you meet their expectations, how and why? Take notes and adjust. It pays off.
Embrace technology & be proactive
Under the conditions of a lockdown, both your team and your clients are cut off from attending physical meetings. Video conferencing platforms are now a new standard, so do your best to accommodate clients' preferences. As a software development company, based in Bulgaria and Macedonia, with clients predominantly from Northwestern Europe, UK and the USA, we were already used to communicating with our partners this way.
We found it’s a successful strategy to continue being a source of helpful materials for our technological partners. One way or another, sharing meaningful solutions and expertise on different topics, or hosting interactive webinars are a good way to start.
Keep in touch & offer support
Some of your partners might have been severely affected by the crisis and might still be struggling. Reach out to them and narrow down the clients that have been most affected. Take the time to listen to the issues they are facing, see yourself as a sounding board and offer practical advice from your own experience. Make sure they know you are willing to continue the conversation and help them towards a full business recovery.
At Melon, we were also thinking of ways to help other organizations struggling to ensure business continuity. This is why in March 2020, at the beginning of the Bulgarian and Macedonian lockdown, we made Melon Learning - a platform for online employee training, quizzes, and surveys, free to use.
Indeed, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to nurture client relations at the times of pandemic. However, we believe that companies that act immediately and remain flexible within the dynamic business environment are likely to keep and continue to build long-lasting relationships with their partners.