If you want your business to remain competitive, it’s important to differentiate your company from all the others. You can do this in two ways. The first is through a positive client-obsessed company culture that values, supports, and nurtures relationships. The second is from the personal commitment and determination of the people that take care of the clients every day.
When client-facing people provide a level of care that is exquisite in every interaction, these encounters become “emotional bank accounts” with your clients that keep them connected with your company. This is what client-facing is all about. Google has the highest American client Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score of software companies because their employees understand all of their products and can assist clients whenever needed. Apple employees use the Three F’s (Feel, Felt, and Found) to empathize and help clients get the perfect tech solutions.
What does this mean for your business? Here’s a four-step approach to ensure your clients realize that you’re committed to their success:
- Listen – Get actionable feedback and understand your clients’ needs before, during, and after your transaction. Your relationship with your clients is like a marriage; you are “in it” together for the long haul. Have periodic one-on-ones with your clients to know where they stand and if their needs that you’ve initially addressed have evolved. Survey your current portfolio so you can tap into what you are doing right and uncover what you may want to revisit.
Ultimately, you want to identify opportunities where you can add value in helping your clients achieve their goals. Gather information, tweak if needed, repeat. This will allow your brand to remain competitive, valuable, and indispensable to your clients.
- Tailor – Tailoring does not mean coming up with a suite of products to satisfy everyone. Rather, offer a hybrid solution within your resources that better solves your clients’ problems. Doing so helps you address the ever-changing needs of your clients.
Be solutions-oriented. For example, you’re a web development team and your client wants to launch a new website. You can start by listening to your client’s needs. Then during the actual development, suggest SEO tactics that will improve their chances of success. Perhaps you can add an extra landing page to sell the service to future clients in the proposal. This way, you put more value while providing efficient service that clients will gladly pay for.
- Deliver and implement – During implementation, review how you are solving your client’s problem based on the strategy you’ve created for them. Knowing that you can implement your plan is important because it lets your clients know that you are trustworthy and credible in your field.
Going with our previous example, check in with your client regarding their website. How is the website ranking on Google? Are there visitors to the site? Is the landing page converting sales? The answer to these should be all “yes”.
- Manage and react – Relationships with your clients don’t end when you’ve signed a deal for the next 6 to 12 months. It’s actually the beginning. As you become involved in the growth of your client’s business, you should be managing and nurturing their projects as if they were your own. If you encounter issues, your reaction should be solutions-oriented and timely.
You can do this by laying out a process for your clients beforehand. This way, there is no guesswork when it comes to monitoring their progress. Here’s how you can properly check in with your clients:
- Look at progress on a monthly or bimonthly basis.
- Let the client know your availability to meet or call for any questions.
- Let them know the typical turnaround times for issues.
- Respond promptly.
Remember, at the core of a good client-facing relationship is communication. This makes your client feel valued, and it allows you to give context to your product or service. Use this checklist to review and improve your client-facing communication:
- Is the meaning clear?
- Is it open to likely misinterpretation?
- Does it strike the right tone?
- Does it represent your current brand promise?
- Does it accurately reflect your current business model?
- Does it anticipate client questions?
- Does it preempt potential service issues?
By applying these key principles in any client-facing scenario, you’re sure to add tangible value to your audience. Charles IT believes in creating real relationships that deliver real results. See how we can help provide the value you are looking for today.