I had a day I wouldn't want to relive. You've probably had them too.It started out beautifully.
Marion's Communication Tips
Marion Grobb Finkelstein offers practical, proven and powerful communication tips you can put to use in the workplace. She'll help you increase morale, confidence and productivity by changing the way you communicate. You'll have communication tools to connect with colleagues, clients, employees and bosses... fast!
Here's 5 ways to better connect with your clients:
1) DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU'RE GOING TO DO. If you promise a client you will call tomorrow at 10am, then get yourself ready and at 9:59, be dialing the number. Or maybe you said you would have a report ready for your boss (who is really your "internal client") by end of week, then do whatever it takes to stay true to your word. This is how you build trust, relationships and reputation.
2) KEEP THE CLIENT ADVISED. Instead of waiting until you have 100% of all the info you know your client would find useful, connect with your client when you're part way there and let him or her know you're working on it. Share what you have to date and let them know when you'll have your full response. Then, refer to TIP #1, above -- and give them the full info when you say you're going to.
3) GIVE PERSONAL SERVICE. Find out what your client doesn't get from other providers of your service, then give it to them. In many cases, this is personal service of some sort. Maybe it's sifting through a stack of real estate listings to pick out 4 or 5 feasible choices for your clients, versus just giving them a link to do their own online searches. Or maybe it's offering one-on-one time with you, the expert for coaching sessions. Whatever the service is you're doing, find out how to inject your personal touch and add value for your client.
4) RESPOND QUICKLY. When a client calls, respond quickly. Depending on your business and industry, the timelines on response will change, but generally, responding well within 24 hours is a great rule of thumb.
5) TREAT COMPLAINTS LIKE FREE MARKETING RESEARCH. Instead of getting defensive when a client complains to you, be grateful that they're complaining TO you instead of ABOUT you to others. This gives you a chance to address and hopefully correct the concern immediately. Handle it elegantly, and you could convert an adversary into your greatest advocate.
Pick 1, 2 or all 5 of these tips and give them a go. Put them to practice in your biz and see how they help you to strengthen the ties between you and your clients.
What tips do YOU have that help you to connect with clients? Drop me a line and I'll share the best tips with everyone. Until then, here's to a wonderful new year of connecting with clients!
Have you ever messed up with a client? Perhaps something beyond your control goes awry and before you know it, your client's satisfaction is up in the air. ...more
If you're like most people, you dread -- I mean DREAD -- calling a mega-company with a question. You feel like a lowly peon in the middle of a vast ocean of faceless voices, most of them recorded. And if, by some fortunate incident, you get a live person on the other end of the phone, you've struck pay dirt, because it doesn't always work out that way. ...more
Do you chew gum? If you do, here's a few things to consider. If you don't, you've likely noticed what I'm about to describe.
Have you ever wondered what type of client you are?
How you communicate with those who you want to serve you affects the type of service you receive. Are you the type of client that draws the best out of service people or do you drive those serving you around the bend?
Here's some surefire, telltale signs that you just might be a dreaded "headache client":
- SIGN #1: YOU DON'T RESPOND. When someone is serving you and requires information, if you are slow to provide it and don't respond at all, you become part of the problem. They can't help you without you helping yourself. Even if you don't know the answer, have the courtesy to let them know that.
- SIGN #2: YOU PESTER. Browbeating the service or product provider for excessive information, grilling them relentlessly and multiple times on the same issue that they've already responded to, requesting draft and draft after draft of a document rewrite, requiring inordinate amounts of their time before a contract agreement is even signed, and constantly challenging the provider's expertise may serve to get you at the bottom of the service list, not the top. You're too high maintenance. Be organized and don't expect the provider to spoon feed or babysit you.
- SIGN #3: YOU EXPECT THE PROVIDER TO CHANGE ALL THEIR SYSTEMS JUST BECAUSE IT'S YOU. Every company, organization or individual has a certain way "of doing things". So does your provider. Find a middle ground, create options. For example, instead of making the provider wait 30 days or more for payment (your norm) versus their usual payment upon delivery, how about walking the invoice to your finance people and making sure that payment is issued before the 30 day max instead of at the end?
If you recognize yourself in any of these points, take heart -- it means you're human! We all are less than ideal clients sometimes. The good news is that now that you're aware of some telltale signs, perhaps you understand more the other perspective and are now willing to consider changing your behaviour.
Being a good,
communicative, low-maintenance client is in your
best interest as it assuredly increases your
chances of receiving good service. And isn't that
what you want and deserve? Probably as much as the
supplier wants and deserves a great
next time, here's to ...
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
© 2012 Marion Grobb Finkelstein
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete tagline with it: Communication catalyst, author, and professional speaker Marion Grobb Finkelstein motivates and teaches individuals and organizations across Canada and beyond, how to improve morale, confidence and productivity by changing how they communicate. Get weekly hands-on tips by signing up for "Marion's Communication Tips" at www.MarionSpeaks.com...more
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