“It is all about business Darling, it is all about business,” I still remember sitting at the back of the room during my first business class as a college student at a small school in my hometown. The professor gave his signal to start lecturing; he grabbed his student’s list and randomly picked a name. I heard my name, and politely I answered, yes professor? He continued by asking: Esther, what do you believe is the foundation of doing business, what drives people into business.? Shyly I answered: people needs, people are always searching for something and if you give them what they are searching for while getting a profit, then you are getting into business. Good answer he replied, in business you offer a product or service, get paid for it; but you never get involved with your customers, he said. It is all business out there he continued, full of greedy and egocentric people; unfortunately, This is how the business world works and that is why you do your job and leave the room. Professor, I am a little confused I implied, if offering what people need is part of the process of getting into business, how do you not get involved with your customers? There is no friendship in business he answered, there is no giving a hand, people pay for what you are offering, and therefore; there is not a friendly relationship between you and your customers. Consumers are just clients trying to get the best they can get from you; so, in business we have got to be careful with trusting each other, it is all about business darling, he said, it is all just business.
Something just did not sound right to me, I was working at a small company during that time; the company was growing thanks to the relationships we have been building throughout the years; so, I was a little confused, but I decided to let it go for that moment.
After a few years, I went to another school and the whole perspective changed, I will never forget the moment when one of the greatest professor I have had, who taught me based on his own experiences and not just books and theory said: “Gaining customers is about building relationships, satisfying customers needs and taking care of them; that is what builds customer’s loyalty.” I thought: well, when we get into business what we want is to gain customers. Also, we do not want customers to be just onetime buyers; we want them to always come back. Reaching that point, where customers are loyal to your brand, sounds like a strong relationship to me.
“It is all just business”, Many old school business books and teachers may still be teaching with that idea; but highly developed corporations have grown thanks to their loyal relationship with customers. I surely do not believe in theory, I believe in facts; I believe in the success of many companies around the world who have increased their consumer’s loyalty through their CRM programs. CRM, which means customer relationship management sounds like a relationship builder to me, many big companies are implementing it and I believe it can change the focus and direction of any business. In the business world, it is more than just business; it is about building relationships; it is about caring about your customers and offering them the best you have got.