Return on relationships: The metric every business leader should be tracking in 2024

New research from Gamma reveals the tactics successful businesses are using to stay ahead, with psychological insight as to why they make a difference.

  • 2 months ago Posted in

Research commissioned by leading UCaaS provider, Gamma, has demonstrated that despite challenging market conditions, there is still room for businesses to thrive. Human factors are revealed to be central to commercial success; with almost three quarters (72%) of business leaders believing that good rapport is more important than price and capabilities when choosing a partner or supplier.

Most businesses recognise the importance of relationships, but not all are delivering on this. For those who practise what they preach, strong relationships are a key predictor of business success. When comparing businesses whose revenue had grown in the last twelve months versus those whose revenue had declined, there was a clear gap in performance on the reported strength of relationships between customers and colleagues. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of leaders in growing companies felt they had strong relationships with clients, with 64% saying the same for colleagues, compared to 61% and 52% respectively in businesses experiencing declining revenues.

When evaluating business success, research revealed that businesses who reported a growth in revenue over the last 12 months were performing best across:

Delivering effective problem resolution (74%)

Providing consistent high-level products and services (70%)

Building and maintaining good personal relationships with clients (69%)

Offering valuable advice to businesses (68%)

Respondents whose revenue had declined in the last 12 months agreed that more client feedback (48%) and a greater focus on customer service over profit (37%) would help them to form better relationships with clients.

There was also clear connection between success and culture, with successful businesses more likely to rate their workplace’s culture highly in comparison to those who had not performed well (67% vs 55%), and three-quarters (75%) agreeing that strong relationships with colleagues are equally key to business success. With half of business leaders (51%) acknowledging that staff churn was a factor in losing clients, and over a third (37%) of total respondents admitting they are considering a career change in the coming year, greater emphasis on building positive working relationships should be a priority for businesses in 2024. 

In response to these findings, Gamma has identified a metric which tracks this correlation between strong relationships and revenue growth; ‘Return on Relationships’ (RoR); and has built a calculator to help businesses evaluate their performance.

Dr. Charlotte Armitage, a business psychologist, explains the value in good business relationships from a psychological standpoint:

“Relationships form the basis of our existence as humans, we are inherently social beings and require meaningful connections for survival. To maintain our own psychological and physical safety in the world, we choose to interact with those that we feel safe and secure around. Therefore, creating secure and meaningful relationships with employees and customers positions an organisation as a place that both parties wish to remain a part of.”

Psychology can also help us create better relationships. Dr Armitage explains why businesses should prioritise trust to maximise their RoR:

“Trust is fundamental in any relationship and takes time to build. To develop trust, individuals need to feel safe, and that you are stable and predictable. If you can offer this predictability and remain consistent over time, demonstrating integrity when needed, it forms a good basis for a trusting relationship to be built.”

Andrew Belshaw, CEO at Gamma, comments:

"Connectivity isn't just about technology; it's about people. Successful businesses thrive when their communications have genuine human connections, leading to meaningful customer experiences. Our research clearly shows that success is closely tied to investing in strategies that build trust and confidence among colleagues and customers. It’s an approach we have been living and breathing for years, in our own relationships with our customers and in the solutions we offer them. Return on Relationships (RoR) is something we take very seriously because we understand that good relationships make good business sense." 

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