Delivering a great experience to every client every time you interact with them is important. You want to treat them so they feel like they’re your priority even though they know you have many other clients and matters you’re working on. To do this you need to be conscious of the experience you’re providing no matter the type of communication.
It’s easier to do this in person than on the phone or through email or text because of the immediate feedback you receive from observing what your client is saying and their body language. When communication is in writing, it’s flat and more difficult to understand any emotion or tone.
Clients want to know we care. Luckily, there are many ways to show you care. You can demonstrate empathy for the client’s situation, listen fully to what they are communicating to you, and by honoring the commitments you make on getting back to them or completing a project or task. Sometimes you’ll miss, but hopefully it doesn’t happen often. If it does, you need to reset your client’s expectations in a manner that lets them know they and their matter remain a priority to you.
Delivering a great client experience also means paying attention to the simple mechanics of customer service. For example, it is better to over communicate with your client than the alternative. If you are communicating too much for their liking, they will let you know, hopefully in a constructive manner.
It also is of the utmost importance to return calls and emails promptly. Nothing says “you and your issues are not my priority” than responding to people in an untimely manner. If you have problems with this, you need to come up with a way to ensure you timely respond, whether through a to do list or setting tasks or appointments in your calendar.
All of us are in the customer service business. If I don’t provide great service to my clients, there are a lot of other attorneys and firms who will. The same is true in your line of work, which makes it important to try to set a goal to exceed your clients’ expectations in relation to the customer experience you provide.
Recently, a client told me about an employee who not only quit, but burned bridges with the company, its management and many co-workers on his way out the door. This accomplished nothing. Worse, before the bridge was burned (to the ground), the company would have considered rehiring this person in the future.
People get mad, disagree and are frustrated at times. This certainly can happen when someone is leaving a company. This is short-sighted. These type of actions can seriously affect your future opportunities. In business, acting on emotions can have a long lasting effect.
You may never even know you lost a fantastic opportunity. It just won’t be there among your options because memories are long. It feels good to get things off of your chest, but what does it really accomplish? In business most cities are like a small town. People remember being told off longer than someone providing constructive criticism on their way out the door.
So what do you do when you dislike the actions of your employer, co-workers, or even clients or vendors? You have to chart the smoothest course you can. Sometimes it means not saying what’s on your mind in way you would like to, i.e. take the high road. I am not advocating that you ignore serious issues, but it’s better to act on thought than emotion in these situations.
Reputation takes a lifetime to build and seconds to destroy. When you have opportunities to say something or take actions that will feel good in the moment, but will come back at you in the future, choose what you say and do wisely.
Making hard decisions isn’t easy. But as my wife says, “hard decisions, easy life or easy decisions, hard life.” This is true in your personal life and your business.
In business, employees and peers are watching. If you fail to act, or delay acting, people will notice. This will negatively affect you effectiveness as a leader. This is about credibility. When you deal with issues, others on your team learn how their actions or inactions will affect their responsibilities and roles, and, ultimately, their employment.
Many leaders leave negative situations to chance positing the situation will work itself out. Most times this allows a negative situation to fester, which makes it harder to deal with in the future. The negative effects can include having good employees leave to escape a toxic situation. Making timely hard decisions is so important to avoid these types of negative results.
Timely dealing with hard decisions will make your life easier. You need to make hard decisions when they need to be made, not later. Try it and go for the easier life.