"There are no traffic jams along the extra mile." - Roger Staubauch
Businessman & Heisman Trophy Winner (born February 5, 1942)
While there is much talk about how to serve clients, below is a top 10 list of ways to truly make a connection. This approach means not just customer service, it means client care. This means not just reacting to a situation, it means responding to the person in the situation. Often we think we want to tell people about something, but that is just chatter, and then we make the attempt to sell them on an idea, but that has a lot to do with convincing and persuasion, and if we reach a level where someone is compelled to work with us and/or partner with us as a client or customer, then we have built a relationship through true rapport!
10. Wow them with your words, and make them ambassadors through your actions. Say what you mean and do what you say you will do. Offer incentives and ask for referrals. Welcome people back instead of asking where have YOU been? No need to discount you or your product, instead, show appreciation with special offers/opportunities.
9. Think and say "Yes, and", and demonstrate an "Absolutely I can" attitude. Start positive and stay positive. Focus on what is RIGHT versus what is WRONG. Be humble in your errors and show moxie in your solutioning. Have fun in what you are doing.
8. Plant the SEED (Strive to Exceed Expectations Denoted) for Success. You have to know what is expected to meet/exceed the expectation. Be humane...not just human.
7. Know your "difference", live your truth and be memorable. Remember the win is not just in getting a customer, it is also about keeping customers. Each client's perception of you and/or your company will determine how well you do this and that perception will depend on how compelling you are to them. Make things a memorable experience. The connection of knowing someone's name and smiling sincerely are great for a start. Leave people with something they either cannot get elsewhere or cannot get in a way you deliver it. Know your 2-4 areas of expertise and stick with them. Otherwise, say "no thank you", and connect, connect, connect as the referral source.
6. Get and Give Feedback. Take notes, use names, and really listen. Listen to understand instead of just to react. If you are a challenged listener, notes will slow your pace. Agree with a person and disagree with an idea (not the other way around). When you survey your clients, and I encourage surveying, share the results quickly and without defense. Own the results and state the actions you'll take...and then do just that!! Address the issue at hand, and then dig into the root cause.
5. Adopt a no-corner-cutting mentality/approach. If you already have one, let everyone know! Our society is about "gimme more"...and what else can I get. Be the one with the integrity to walk away.
4. Give back...for the right reasons. Checks are nice, actions make a difference, and advocacy allows for learning. People like to do business with people who are more than business. Earn their respect and then share about charities/groups for the reason of advocacy and learning, and not just to get recognized or to be a top fund-raiser. Strive for fun-raising instead...and your give backs will get even more!
3. Appropriately Promise and Appropriately Deliver (Instead of Under Promise and Over Deliver or Sandbagging). Be a business of both empowerment and accountability. Offer options...only 2-3 and only those with which you are okay.
2. Strive for inclusivity instead of exclusivity. There is a difference in when people are part of something versus people attempting to "get in" where there is a level of discomfort. Make people feel welcomed and a part of your success.
1. Know that the quality of customer service cannot exceed the quality of the people who provide it. Your team, even if you are a team of 1, will treat others how they are treated. Start with a positive view of you...that view carries far! There is a connection with how we feel about ourselves and how we care for others. Invest in you/your team a set % of earnings, and only let that grow as your success grows!
Pick and choose what works for you in your situation. How can you enhance your customer and client relationships through care and connection? After all, aren't we all about compelling customers and clients to drive Client Satisfaction and Build Lasting Rapport?