Life as a client and/or a customer of a business can be unnecessarily exciting. I’m very aware of this because Nina and I depend on a wide variety of service and product providers, as all of us do.
So much of what we remember about a product or a service is how the person representing the business worked with us. The best of them do the following naturally. And watching them do it is magical!
Your Clients Know Nothing
The best businesses stress to their employees that they can make no unarticulated assumptions when working a client. “Your clients know nothing” is putting it a bit bluntly but it is the best place to start from when interacting with a client. Your employee can ask them questions to learn what they do know.
Fill in The Blanks
By asking questions of the client, the employee gains the information they need to talk productively with the client. The client’s assumptions, often based on having engaged and worked with other businesses, are not always relevant to working with your business. This disconnect can ultimately create stress for everyone involved.
Take the Time to Be Very Clear
To avoid that stress your employee must take the time to be very clear about exactly what your company will be doing for the client, and what the client needs to be doing for your company. That is such a simple thing to say but it takes considerable patience and a clear focus on the desired result(s) of the working relationship to make it happen.
Recap What Has Been Agreed To
The only way to seal the deal with little or no chance of any misunderstandings is to recap what has been agreed to. It’s very easy to correct words, to correct someone’s expectations, before the actual service or product has been provided. If your employee skips this step, they are gambling with your company’s reputation.
What I’m suggesting doesn’t take a lot of time. And it can save a lot of time.
Help your employees give your clients positive stories to tell about your employees and your company. That’s a gift that they will treasure. Why? Because you and your employees made them feel smart (and not stupid) for choosing to have you and your team to serve their needs.
That’s a priceless gift for any client!