One of the ways we learn best is by example. According to Webster’s dictionary, an example is: “A pattern or model; something to be imitated; to set a good example.” No matter how we behave, we lead by our example. By setting an example of good service to our clients, we can expect a good foundation to be laid for the future.
Improving Client Relationships
Here are three top tips to help you serve improve client relationships:
- Lead by a Good Example & Serve Others – You have probably heard the expression, “Don’t just stand there, do it!” No matter who you are in the company, ask yourself: are you a leader who serves or a servant who leads? There is a company that takes a few hours every Friday to volunteer at a homeless shelter by serving lunch to the poor. As it was the president who volunteered first, he paved the way, and now everyone within the company have the privilege and opportunity to take time out to show kindness and interact with their community. Now some of their clients have heard what they are doing within the community, and they are financially sponsoring a few of their projects. But this is not the only positive outcome! By being willing to serve others humbly and not simply giving a service, and actually getting their hands dirty – they are now looked upon as a company with outstanding service values and a willingness to go the extra mile. Other companies are now looking at their model of serving and they are also contemplating ways to incorporate ‘leading by example’. Anything this simple and worth imitating, can also be an excellent example.
- Believe Your Clients – Recently, I made a few purchases at a big retailer. Upon returning home, I was double checking my receipt and realized that they had overcharged me. I called the store and explained the situation. They told me all I had to do was bring my receipt in and they would reimburse me the amount I was overcharged…that’s it. Case closed! I was in shock. They did not ask me in any way to bring all my products back to verify that what I was saying was true, or to verify what I had purchased. Instead they simply trusted what I was saying as true, and that they would compensate me accordingly. I was totally impressed that they choose to honour me as their customer instead of assessing whether I was telling the truth or not. They valued me as a customer and wanted my continued business…and they are definitely going to get that!
- Clients are your Future: Existing and New – In the case of business development, it is not just about obtaining new clients, it is also about retention. There are many companies out there trying to lure away business from their competitors by offering incentives in order to use their services. While these companies see this as necessary to build up new business, they must not forget about the clients they already have in their hands! When I was looking on my cell phone plan, I noticed that my cell phone service provider started handing out some incentives to new customers. I called in to see what I could receive as an already valued customer who had been with them for years. At first, the answer I got back was “Nothing”. But as I talked to them, they realized they were going to lose me as a customer and improved the rate I was paying on my plan. It was probably no cost to them as a company, but to me, it was motivation enough to keep continuing as a customer. It’s unfortunate that a lot of companies don’t have stronger retention. Why not see what you can do to sweep your existing customers off their feet as well?
We share examples of poor customer service, especially when it strikes a ‘nerve or two’. Very rarely will you hear of anyone sharing examples of good customer service. Why is that? Why not be the change and example you want to see for all businesses by practicing the above three tips to help improve your client relationships.