Tech companies, it's true: your customers care. They care about how you treat them and about what you're doing to help them. They care about working smarter with you. They even care how other customers are using your products and services. But especially, they care about you, because they depend on you. In many cases, their businesses won't run nearly as well—or at all—without your product.

More than any other kind of organization, a technology company must forge strong relationships with its customers. There's no better way—in addition, of course, to making sure your product fills their needs and it works—to strengthen your customer relations than by providing a content-rich newsletter on a regular schedule. Here are the top 5 ways:

1. Manage Tough Spots. Software development and other tech companies have unique points of contact with customers that many businesses never face:

1. Ongoing R&D

2. Beta testing

3. New releases

4. User group meetings

5. Ongoing support

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Barbara Payne is managing principal of <> . Read her blog at