Improving all the diverse types of relationships in your business will be different this year, far different from any other time in your business career. Everyone has been through a tough time. The sudden emergence and spread of the pandemic took the entire country by surprise.

Now with the widespread distribution of vaccinations, the world is returning to normal. Transitions can be tricky. It won’t be easy getting back to business as usual.

Here are five mission-critical tips for rebuilding and reinvigorating all your business relationships as everyone integrates back into society after a time of crisis.

1. Improve business relationships with your customers.  

Think about what matters to your customers. What do they want when they buy your products or services? They want customer satisfaction.

The money they’re spending may not have been as easy to earn as in previous years. In addition, many may have been affected by the enormous job losses that occurred in 2020.

You will need to restore customer loyalty. Start by using a master data management solution, if you haven’t already. It offers clues and insights on how to personalize your customer interactions, and it will help you deliver consistently high-quality products or services. After sifting through your metrics and statistics, you might even be able to tailor your products and services to better meet the needs of your customers.

2. Improve business relationships with your employees.  

Perhaps your employees have spent months quarantined at home. As they now return to regular office hours after telecommuting from their homes, they will feel a little disoriented. In addition, it will be a bit jarring to have to suddenly get back into a regimented schedule.

Think of ways that you can make it’s easier for them to get back to work. For example, they may have to deal with a flood of customer orders awaiting them. They may have to do with a high volume of calls. They may have to cope with overwhelming walk-in traffic. 

Remember to commend them for their efforts and recognize their contributions whenever possible. Employees like to know they help make a difference, so get the point across as much as possible.

See things through their eyes and, if possible, create a safety net for them. In other words, build a survival strategy for your workforce. For instance, you may have to be more accommodating with your scheduling, give longer lunch breaks, or allow flex time under certain circumstances.

Also, improve employee engagement. Perhaps set up programs to improve employee satisfaction with their workplace. 

When you strengthen your relationship with your employees, they’ll be inspired and engaged. Returning to regular office life will be a cause for celebration.

3. Improve business relationships with your business partners.  

Perhaps your business partners no longer feel as confident about the business world as they did before the pandemic. They may need reassurance that they are working with a business that has weathered the storm. Use transparency to win their trust and build their confidence in your company.

Business partnerships and corporate alliances may prove key for success going forward. Don’t make the mistake of letting these relationships fray and fall to pieces. Reinforce existing partnerships and forge new ones if necessary.

4. Improve business relationships with your supply chain vendors.  

Perhaps your supply chain vendors have customers who never pay their invoices by the due date. Supply chain vendors are always looking at cost efficiencies. Your interactions with them will mainly be transactional rather than relational as your interaction with customers, employees, and business partners. Convince all your vendors that they can rely on you to pay your invoices on time as they do their best to deliver their services to your business.

5. Improve business relationships with your investors.  

Perhaps stakeholders are nervous about their investment in your business because the stock market experienced a staggering loss in 2020. So naturally, investors will be wary about investing in any business. This is understandable. During the pandemic, the U.S. stock market plunged, losing an estimated $3.5 trillion. Your job as the leader of your business is to reassure them that your business is an excellent long-term bet.

Building business relationships in 2021 will be challenging. How do you turn things around for the better? Make more of an effort to rebuild all your various business relationships. Reassure everyone that all is well. Inspire and lead your business in a bold new way.