I used to work in the HR department for a local organic grocery chain. It was really the first job where I was linked to a retail experience—and my first experience with customer service. From day one, it was my responsibility to teach our new employees the value of connecting with our customers. As a result of providing stellar service that went above and beyond, our company thrived with repeat customers and folks who shouted our praises to their friends.
What a valuable lesson! Thereafter, whenever I came across poor service, I always thought back to my experience there and thought twice about revisiting an establishment that didn't measure up.
In my role as Production Manager, one of my greatest responsibilities—and one of the things I enjoy most about my job— is establishing and maintaining relationships with our vendors. YOU CAN BET that the vendors that go above and beyond for our company—who work with us to solve problems, provide samples, work on budgets, and show a GENUINE interest in us—are the ones who are receiving the calls on a regular basis.
Web sites like Facebook, twitter, myspace, tribe, friendster, and LinkedIn have revolutionized the business world, making connecting with our networks and cohorts easy. A wide variety of resources are suddenly, readily available to us and relationships have taken on completely new meaning.
Everywhere you look these days, people are touting the significance of genuinely connecting with others and the importance of developing authentic relationships as a smart business practice. As someone who agrees, this perspective is a breath of fresh air.
Getting back to what matters, the PEOPLE, matters to me.