Beyond the Build

Customer Relationships

Staying Friends, Regardless

Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of not staying connected when a particular service is completed or comes to an end.

Over the years, I have found it pays to stay friends with customer relationships, whether they are high or low in the cycle. To stay invested.

I was reminded of this recently when one of our longtime customer asked our company to be among a handful to meet with them. The idea was to review their internal programs and discuss change. It never hurts to sometimes peel back the onion and take a fresh look. I have seen many an organization add good-intentioned processes that tend to get layered until they become a choke point in the process, as if the process is more important than the product.

While I was there to offer thoughts to our customer, I felt like the one who benefited. The reason we were at the table? Years of staying connected, whether we were building for them or not. Maybe we will have a seat at the table when they need contractors again.

There are always highs and lows. Good people remember those who help them when the ox is in the ditch. In the long term, they will be better customers and you’ll be a better professional.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.