September 5, 2018—One of the most important aspects of any business is the relationship between the business and its customers, writes Malik Isabirye Zazak.
No business has survived by having a poor relationship with its customers. Whether you run a large company with hundreds of employees or a small business that knows all of its customers by name, the relationship a business has with its clients will always set it apart from its competitors.
Most businesses spend so much time, money and effort trying to acquire new customers and forget to nurture the relationship they have with the existing ones. In order to be able to meet specific customer requirements, businesses now need to employ Relationship Managers (RMs).
These are professionals who work to improve the relationship between the customer and the business. RMs work to improve customer relations, provide customers with meaningful business solutions, guide customers on business matters and can make the difference between whether a customer maintains (and expands) their relationship with a business, or not.
In the context of a financial institution, customers can benefit considerably from bank relationship managers with the right attitude, skill set and knowledge. Below are some considerations to make when assessing if you are getting the best out of your RM.
Basically, your RM should be conversant with your industry, competition, short and long terms plans. It is important that the banks representative understands your current position and future aspirations in order to advise your appropriately on matters of strategy and financing options.
A customer or business could gain a lot from a relationship manager’s knowledge in aspects such as; market trends, treasury bills, lending rates, forex rates, industry performance, business expansion. Make sure you are getting as much information as you need.
A RM will provide a customer with basic guidelines on how to protect his or her business from competition. S/he should carry out a periodic review of a customer’s business to help the customer understand where his or her business stands – stocks (can a customer quickly generate products), tax policies, short term financing, yield enhancement among various other things.
As a customer, you will need a RM who will give you not only a good yield on your investments, but also a person who is efficient, available and responds to your calls or requests on time.
Regardless of the service you seek, it is important that the service providers work with you at various levels – giving information to help make decisions, analyzing business activity and working with you develop strategies that will help you grow your business.
Malik Isabirye Zazak is Head, Multinationals and Large Corporates at dfcu Bank in Kampala