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Look at any industry, whether it be mining, agriculture, food & beverage, or hospitality. You will find that supply chain activities face disruptions when community concerns aren’t taken into consideration. It leads to protests and strikes and halts the company’s operations for a considerable time. As a result, businesses face losses, and their productivity goes down. Companies can avoid this by developing new and effective relationship-building strategies and focusing on better community relationships.
Relationship building is a collective process. Often, senior management brainstorms strategies and makes decisions while wholly isolated from the needs and wants of the community whom they intend to serve. Invite community representatives in the brainstorming sessions to get a first-hand view of the challenges they are facing. For example, Anglo American has instituted Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT) to create effective management responses for countering socio-economic impacts across each product’s lifecycle. Through the SEAT process, the company collects input from the community that enhances the operation’s social performance.
Companies often donate to sports leagues, spiritual organizations, medical institutes, and charitable houses to significantly increase their community relationship. But a better relationship-building exercise will be to ask the community what they really want. Involve them in brainstorming sessions and decision-making programs and discuss the impact your plans will have on them. Communities generally get more involved in the following topics:
a. Job creation
b. Job training
c. Social changes
f. Future financial prospects
Relationship building calls for having a one-to-one talk with the community that you intend to serve. You can hold discussion sessions (chaupals in India), where community leaders participate and discuss their needs and want with the company representatives.
The following are various relationship-building methods that you can employ:
a. One-on-one meetings
b. Roundtable conferences
c. Open houses
d. Online communication
By building efficient grievance resolving mechanisms, you will encourage community members to come up and provide feedback. Remember that first-hand customer feedback is precious as it allows you to know how beneficial your products and services are. To run this mechanism efficiently, you need Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that employs chatbots to collect customer feedback and provide instant solutions to customer queries.
Relationship mindset theorists tell that the best way to fit in a society is to develop a close relationship with the community leaders, which includes the following:
a. Sports trainers
b. Educational leaders
c. Youth representatives
d. Female activists
e. Human rights association
f. Environmental organizations
Relationship building is a complex task but rewarding as well. Once the community members develop a strong bond, they will not hesitate to bring out their needs and wants in front of you. You will also learn about their expectations, buying behavior, and purchase patterns.
Remember that developing robust and long-lasting community relationships is a long process. On top of that, you may also sometimes think contrary to how the community feels in general. But as time passes by, you will also develop strategies to counter conflicts and do better planning and budgeting to avoid problematic scenarios in the future.
At Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd., we are home to world-class ERP software and CRM software that will solidify your business tech support fundamentals and enable you to build a customer-centric organization. To know more about it, SMS SAGE to 56767. You can also write to us at email@example.com
Disclaimer: All the information, views, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views, or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.