Presented by Sage

How to protect customer relationships during change in the business

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to transform their operations to keep up with new customer trends, but it is important to protect your existing relationships in the process.

Vuyolwethu Dubese, the founder of entrepreneurial information-sharing platform InnovTel, said that nurturing and protecting existing customer networks is among the top advice shared on the platform.

“Your clients will often come from referrals, so look after all the relationships you have,” said Dubese.

Dubese said this is particularly important for small businesses, as existing customers drive the sustainable growth of your business.

To aide this cause, leading accounting software provider Sage, shares its extensive experience helping businesses with their transformation efforts while protecting existing customer relationships.

Sage’s best tips are below.

Customer-centric transformation

Your digital transformation plans should be human-centric, which means they should improve the experience of all people who interact with them.

GPS technology is a great example. It took the traditional map used for navigation and simplified the user process.

The technologies you implement into your business should also focus on making things easier, both for your employees and your customers.

Once you view everything from a human perspective, it will become obvious which technologies will improve your business and customer relationships, and which ones should be avoided.

Start small

Many organisations try to change too much, too soon, and forget that digital transformation is a journey.

This can ostracise your existing customers as they are faced with big changes to the product or service they are comfortable with.

You should rather focus on small wins that provide value without vastly transforming the user experience.

As your strategy develops, you can slowly introduce changes in a way that gives customers enough time to get used to one change before progressing to the next one.

This will help you implement valuable digital solutions without overloading your customers with new features and information.

Prioritise continuity

When you are implementing new technologies and strategies in your business, it is important that you do not interrupt your customers’ experience unless it is absolutely necessary.

This is particularly important if you are implementing internal changes, as customers will often be frustrated if there is downtime for a reason that is not evident to them.

Business continuity should therefore be a top priority at all times, as customers are often heavily reliant on your products or services to remain accessible at all times.


Sage has years of experience helping small businesses update their accounting software with the goal of improving customer relationships.

These solutions save time and resources through improved invoicing and payment facilitation, which also gives you more time to spend on growing your business.

Click here to view Sage’s small business solutions.

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How to protect customer relationships during change in the business