Integrity in the world of business starts with just simply doing what you say you will do. If you have a good customer relationship, you have trust that you meet this requirement. Yet, long-standing relationships often get upended by a competitor. How does that happen with our best customers? The easy answer is “price” or “politics.” I submit that your competitor found a chink in the armor and you may have left it their for them.

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Here are simple things you need to do to keep your customer protected from your competitors:

  • Close the loop – Follow up on all emails and phone calls to make certain that they are received. It’s an easy mistake to make over time that you don’t check on receipt – big opening for a competitor to look more reliable.
  • New ideas – Are you bringing them new ideas? This was listed by buyers in recent research as one of the top 5 reasons that competitors replaced incumbents – the competitors brought new ideas.
  • Disconnection – When the frequency of conversation and interaction starts to decrease, the customer feels like they are not important.
  • Changing touch-points – Customers get uncomfortable when they see changes in their account team on your side. It makes them feel vulnerable, so they start to look for an alternative that looks more stable.

When you make these little mistakes you undo enough of the trust between you and a customer not to stop your relationship, but rather you open the door for a competitor to get a foothold.

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