3 ways to improve vendor relations

Posted by Andrew Mead

It’s only natural that businesses of all shapes and sizes tend to prioritise one relationship above all others -- the one they have with their customers. While that is of course absolutely critical to the business’s successes, it’s important not to neglect other key relationships, particularly when it comes to vendors. 

The strength of your vendor relationships can have a huge bearing on the success of your company and the satisfaction levels of your customers, and for those reasons, you should manage these relationships just like you would your client base.  

To help keep your business rolling, here are three great ways to improve vendor relations…

As with any business relationship, it is imperative that you openly communicate your goals and objectives with your vendors at the very beginning of your time together, to ensure everyone is on the same page. In some cases, you may be required to work closely with your vendors to train them to be able to fulfil your business needs. While this can add an extra initial cost, it can go a long way to helping ensure that everyone’s requirements are met successfully -- yours, your vendors’ and your customers’. 

Don’t play the blame game
When dealing with organisations outside of your company, from time to time, things can wrong. We are all human; wires get crossed and mistakes can be made. Sometimes a mistake by a vendor can have an impact on your customers, and while this is extremely frustrating, it is important not to overreact or to immediately point the finger, for the sake of your future relationship. 

Before jumping to conclusions, take the time to talk to the vendor, work with them to pinpoint what when wrong, put it right, and discuss how such issues can be avoided in the future.  

Stay loyal
Finally, loyalty goes a long way when it comes to vendor relations. Stay loyal to your vendors, and they will likely return the favour, going the extra mile to help you and your customers. Be sure to show your appreciation for their efforts and work to create an open, collaborative and understanding relationship, it will benefit you both in the long-term. 

By Fleetmatics

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