Have you ever had a relationship with a vendor or service provider that you really valued? Remember the components that made you feel that value? Many things may change in business, but there are some key points that are worth repeating to ensure an organization is client focused.
Be Client Centered
Dedicate what you do to meeting the needs of your clients. Are you in the business to focus on your bottom line, or to deliver services/products that your clients need…and want? The proper skills and qualities needed to build a client-centered organization include: listening, good communication, questioning skills (probing) and empathy.
Determine what your clients want and what they need based on asking questions, and then make sure you deliver on those needs and wants at a reasonable price.
A company’s employees should approach each client situation with the expectation of treating them as they would want to be treated by a service provider. Empower them to make decisions and hold them accountable to the client experience.
Know Your Clients
Do you feel like your employees know your clients’ businesses? Employees need to not only understand the client's industry, but also what is going on in the client’s business.
Recent studies show that the No. 1 thing that clients expect from a service provider is an in-depth knowledge of their business. Think about the level of value you can deliver to a client when you and your employees have this knowledge. Your clients actually rank you higher for knowing their business than knowledge of your service/product.
Clear communication with clients is important, whether it be through traditional methods (written, phone, in person) or other (social network, articles, etc.). How do they want to hear from you? What do they want to know? Continuously refine your communication methods and deliver value at each interaction. Your clients will appreciate it. There is a lot of noise out there, meaning they are receiving information in various forms, from a multitude of sources. Stand out from the crowd by delivering what they want. How do you know what they want or need? Ask them.
As you look forward over the next few days, make a note of these three points and ask yourself if you are meeting these with each client interaction. There is likely there is room for improvement.