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Help your clients feel the love.

I realise it is rather a cliché to write about love as we are approaching Valentine’s Day – but bear with me.  Those that don’t believe in and don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day will be sure to make the comment that one should spread the love every day of the year and not just save it up for the one recognised day of the year.   Now I, along with millions of others, do love to receive a Valentine’s card with a loving message however, I do tend to agree that being appreciated and loved should be a year round occupation and not a one-day hazard!

So why all these thoughts on showing love and appreciation?  Over the past couple of months Leapfrog has been running a Customer Relationship Management Workshop for Conversis a Translation Services company.  This company already receive excellent feedback on their customer surveys.  However, the company’s view was that if they invest in a series of workshops, for their Project Managers, that will help their staff to develop and improve the Customer Experience which result in their clients feeling appreciated, listened to and understood these clients will then continue to stay even more loyal to the company.

The key themes that developed throughout the workshop are not rocket science but as we discussed during the sessions it is amazing how often companies don’t treat their customers very well and often let them down.   Therefore, to show that you care, and yes love your customers, think about making sure you follow a few simple ground rules:

“Treat others the way you would want to be treated”

Understand how you like to be treated and what constitutes as good and poor customer care and then make sure you are treating your clients in an exemplary fashion by:

  • Going the extra mile
  • Actively listening to their needs
  • Valuing the customer by thanking them for their business and treating them as you would like to be treated.

Steve Jobs said that “sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

Mistakes happen and projects don’t always run smoothly especially if these client jobs are time sensitive and complicated.  However, putting yourself in the client’s shoes understanding how the problem impacts them, empathising with them, then apologising about the situation and taking them through a plan as to how you are going to resolve it will help to ensure the client feels like you are doing all you can to improve the situation.

George Bernard Shaw eloquently quotes that “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Poor communication can easily cause a personal relationship to break down and this can also be true when dealing with clients in business. So ask yourself whether you have both listened to your customer and asked them enough questions to fully understand what they are looking for or whether you have made assumptions about what they want.  Be honest about whether you can provide the service or product they want.  If you can’t – be brave and talk to them about what is possible.  If they go ahead and decide to buy from you then it is vital that you provide regular status updates and keep them up to date as to what is happening with their project / order.

Showing your clients that you care about them should be easy but it is amazing how often it can all go horribly wrong.  I am sure we are all aware from our personal relationships that we can all forget to do the simple things – communicating with your partner, acknowledging that we have made a mistake and are in wrong and most importantly showing and telling them how much we appreciate them.  So this Valentine’s Day make the promise that you will spread the love to your loved ones and your clients every day and not just once a year!

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