By Jean Cecil Frick
For those of us in the professional services industry, clients are our bread and butter. We are constantly looking for ways to provide top-notch, memorable service to our current clients, while looking for new clients that will allow us to grow our business. It’s easy to say that good business attracts more business, but how do you make sure your current clients are not only well taken care of, but eager to recommend you to others? Go the extra mile. Consider the following:
Always be mindful of putting yourself in your client’s shoes. How can you make their job easier? Take some time to visualize their company’s goals and landscape from their perspective. Doing so will allow you to elevate your client by providing valuable insights and strategies you know will make them successful – whether internally with their leadership team – or externally with key stakeholders.
With your newfound perspective on what your client could do to achieve greater success, don’t waste time in making suggestions. Don’t wait for that weekly call or meeting – let them know you’re always trying to stay a step ahead to keep them ahead of the competition. If you see or hear about something that could be valuable to your client, share it with them quickly.
Speaking of speed, remember that you work for the client, not yourself. It sounds basic, but responding to their calls and emails in a timely fashion can go a long way. Technology has allowed us to stay in contact in more ways than ever before (for better or worse), and the last thing you want your client to do is feel as if you’ve put them on the back burner. Even if you don’t have the answer they are looking for immediately, acknowledge receipt of their message and let them know you are seeking answers. A client always wants to be reminded that they are front and center in your mind.
Clients appreciate having more than a working relationship, and if you’re in the business of client services, you should be interested in taking the time to get to know your clients as individuals (even if only for the fact that it makes for good business). Make note of their birthdays, hobbies, and families. Take these insights and apply them during your client interactions by asking about their recent vacation or business trip, or how their mother is doing. Send them a note on their birthday, or take them to lunch at their favorite restaurant. I’ve found that the smallest gesture – a quick, thoughtful email, or the offering of a free ticket to an event you know they’d enjoy – can make a big impression.
Maya Angelou famously said that someone may not remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel. The same philosophy applies to client services. You will never regret going above and beyond to provide a good client experience that creates a long-standing, trusted relationship.
Jean Cecil Frick has built a career out of trusted relationships. She is a veteran of the private, public and non-profit sectors driven by helping individuals and organizations achieve their goals. Today, she serves as a senior strategic advisor at NP Strategy where she helps clients connect with the right people and get their message across to key audiences.