R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Building A Strong Clientele

 

Creating An Atmosphere of Respect

Humans crave respect.  Your clients are human, so it stands to reason that building a strong clientele will require respect.  Creating a positive and respectful experience for your clients will center around 5 key elements.

1)      ACKNOWLEGEMENT: When your client contacts you – whether you initiate it or not – acknowledge that contact as soon as humanly possible.  Even if you can’t answer the question or address the issue right away, at least let your client know that you have received the message and will get back to him/her as soon as you can.  Then, make sure you DO get back to your client; don’t leave them hanging.   Clients want to know that you know that they exist, and that they matter.

2)      COMMUNICATION: Always keep your client updated on his/her project.  Once your firm or company is hired, you should be communicating regularly to the client on the progress – all the way to the end.  Even if it’s bad news, don’t keep a client in the dark.  A rule of thumb: if the message you need to share could be misunderstood in a text or email, be sure to talk in person or over the phone.  This allows your client to ask questions or to seek clarification.  Clients want to feel like they are a part of the process, and they may need your support and expertise along the way.

3)      POSITIVITY or ENCOURAGEMENT:  Clients often need a coach.  It’s always a good idea to begin a message with a positive or encouraging note.  Even if you have to relay some “bad news”, be honest, and don’t beat around the bush, and at least start on a positive note.  If there is nothing positive to share, then be the encourager your client may need to face the hard facts.  Clients want to know that you are on their side.

4)      PERSONALIZATION:  Get to know your client’s name, and use it often.  Ask your client upfront his/her preferred method of communication, what name they prefer to go by, good times during the day to call, etc.  By doing this, you are creating a comfortable means by which to stay in touch, and you keep the lines of communication tailored to your client’s needs.  Clients want to know that you care about them, and they don’t want to be inconvenienced.

5)      ATTENTIVENESS: Remember that you have been hired to serve your client.  It’s important that you listen to them carefully.  Sometimes a client may get upset; listen to the complaint; allow him/her to express his/her frustration.  Now, take a breath, but don’t take it personally.  If a mistake was made, it can be fixed or rectified.  Perhaps your client was having a bad day and just needed a listening ear.  Maybe your client is fearful about something; ask the questions you need to in order to understand his/her point of view.  Then, acknowledge him/her, respond calmly, be the encourager, keep it personal, but don’t take it personally.  Clients need to know that you are willing to listen; keep the conversation thoughtful and considerate.

 Respect is a noble virtue in any circumstance.  You will encounter clients that do not treat you with respect, but if you conduct your business respectfully, you have accomplished a job well done!