Every successful company knows the importance of keeping customers happy. However, doing so can be much easier said than done.    

Although building those relationships can be a challenge, businesses can take a number of tried and true steps to improve customer relationships. With that in mind, Mike Muhney, CEO and owner of contact managment software comapny VIPorbit, has the following tips for businesses looking to build lasting relationships with their customers.

Give undivided attention

As people split time and attention in more ways than ever before, the amount available per person gets smaller and smaller. Reduce the likelihood that the other person feels you're not really present by putting away your devices and giving the person your undivided attention. This demonstrates not only your professionalism, but also that you value the person's time as much as he or she values yours. Don't worry: Those messages, texts or tweets will all be there later.

[What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?]

Prioritize face time

Think about the variety of ways people communicate with others today: in person, phone calls, text messages, email, social networking platforms, video conferencing— the list goes on. While it's true that some of these methods provide more communicative context than others, nothing is a true replacement for meeting face-to-face. Spending time together in person allows both parties to make the most meaningful connection.

Reciprocate

With the shift from one-on-one communication to the one-to-many stream of social networking, it's no surprise that society as a whole has shifted to a me-centric one-way thinking. Lost is the common courtesy of reciprocating the considerate gestures of others. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have lessened expectations of responding to broadcasted messages. But the type of reciprocity that characterizes strong relationships can't be demanded of others. Demonstrating thoughtfulness toward others encourages people to respond thoughtfully.

Consider the need for extra consideration

As people connect in more distant ways — online or through mobile devices, for instance — they may become less considerate of others, without even realizing it. The scarcity of available time also affects the ability to be considerate of others' needs, desires or challenges. Considering other people's situation might take a little extra time, but it can save you a lot of time if you're focused on what you think they want or need, rather than their actual want or need. Consideration is one gift that can't necessarily be described easily but can be recognized when it's received — and when it's not.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.