trust

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Building Effective Business Relationships in China

As China’s growth and integration into the world economy continue, many companies are looking for ways to build effective business relationships with Chinese companies. China’s ways of doing business are becoming more Westernized, but non-Chinese executives must still work hard to build trust in relationships with their Chinese business partners. But developing trust between Chinese and Western executives takes time. This article explores methods for developing cross-cultural trust.

Image courtesy of Novo Nordisk A/S.

How to Become a Sustainable Company

Trends suggest that the public is no longer satisfied with corporations that focus solely on short-term profits. A recent study comparing companies that adopted environmental and social policies with companies that didn’t supports this view.

However, few companies are born with a commitment to sustainability. To develop one, companies need leadership commitment, an ability to engage with multiple stakeholders along the value chain, employee engagement and disciplined mechanisms for execution.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Kliefi.

Designing the Soft Side of Customer Service

This article examines how three factors—emotions, trust and control—shape customer assessments of service experiences and their overall view of service providers. Drawing on research conducted at companies including Dell, the Seattle Supersonics and McKinsey & Company, the article posits that organizations seeking to excel in customer service need to attack the “soft side” of customer management with the same type of intensity they have previously used to reengineer workflow and supply chains.

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Courtesy of Procter & Gamble

Is Your Company As Customer-Focused As You Think?

To become a customer-focused organization requires senior executives to open up communication with people throughout the organization so they can hear what is actually going on — as opposed to a sanitized version. Few companies make this leap, even though not doing it can hurt long-term performance. However, managers can come to terms with their company’s weaknesses in the realm of customer focus by posing a set of five questions specifically designed to uncover their vulnerabilities.

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Customer Education Increases Trust

Companies that provide professional services have not always been eager to invest in customer education initiatives. For such companies, it has remained unclear what economic benefit they would gain by providing customers with the skills and abilities needed to become more knowledgeable customers.

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Delight or Despair

I was in a meeting in Dallas when I looked out the window to see dark clouds on the horizon. Armed with my laptop, I monitored the storms around Dallas on weather.com, checked delays at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at dfwairport.com, and clicked over to flightstats.c

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Diversifying Your Customer Portfolio

With increased competition and globally maturing markets, relationship marketing has emerged as the new mantra. Although companies are successfully using customer satisfaction to create closer and more profitable relationships with customers, the myopic pursuit of such relationships often backfires. Consider a U.S.-

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