I want to talk to you about what it means to think like your clients and act in a professional manner without breaking the rules.
They say a customer is always right. Although that is a common saying in the customer service business, it is not 100% true. At the end of this post, I will tell you why customers may not be 100% right.
First, let me show you how you can keep your clients for life.
Top business and entrepreneurial experts will tell you that people are your greatest assets.
As a professional, in doing your business, your clients are the livewire of your business.
To keep doing repeat business with your clients, you must do certain things that will keep your clients satisfied while doing your job for them.
From my little experience, here are the few tips I discovered on how you can get the attention of your clients and keep them for life:
- Be a Good Listener – The attention you pay to your clients by simply giving them a listening ear does more good for you than your clients. Listening helps you understand your client's needs and how you can help them. Listening helps you get tips on your next business idea. Listening shows your clients you have their interest in heart, they will trust you, and the will freely give you more than you ask for.
Ask the doctors, some people go to the hospital even when they don't have any health challenge, but because they need someone to listen to them talk, the seek the attention of their doctors.
You must also learn to pay attention to details. Your clients might not say everything and you must listen to their body language to get hidden messages. You need to observe. People speak many words in their body language. Just listen with your eyes and they will reveal things to you. This skill will also help you to discover your client's intentions.
- Show Empathy – The ability to understand and share in the feelings of others helps you enter the mind of your clients. Knowing what your clients are feeling is what helps you meet the needs of your clients.
If you can show concern about your client's emotional state and take steps to help them solve their problems, it will single you out as someone who they can rely on and trust.
Emotional IQ is one essential intelligence needed in the business world and professions that require dealing with people.
- Gift, freebies – Everyone loves the free stuff. A good way to attract the attention of your clients is to give them gifts periodically. It is a good way to also attract new clients.
Surprising your clients with gifts is one marketing strategy that has not gone out of style. People always fall for the free stuff. Show how grateful you are to your clients by periodically giving your clients gifts, and they will love you for life.
- Client relationship – It is a relationship and not just a one-off event. Every contact with your clients is a relationship even if it is for the first time.
Market research will tell you that repeat sale is where the business is. Establish a relationship with your clients that will last for years. Make your clients feel you are there for them always and they will stick with you. Be their friend.
- Maintain your core values – What was the value proposition you sold to your clients when you first interacted with them? Your clients saw something good about you and your products that was why they chose you.
You have to maintain your standard of operation with your clients at all times. Get the job done well.
It is saddening to attract your client with good value propositions on your product and service and later do something substandard.
To keep your clients coming back you have to give services that equal your value proposition and your clients will be happy with you. It is also important that you improve your style and manner of doing your work by doing something out of the ordinary by giving more value.
Change your styles. Surprise your clients with an updated way of doing things which is different from the old. With time people's taste change so you to need to change and never go below standard because of over-familiarity.
If you can do these things above you will have the loyalty of your clients.
At the beginning of this article, I told you customers are not entirely 100% right. Well, here are a few situations where your clients could be wrong and you don't have to dance to their tune:
Many professionals have caused their companies millions in lawsuits because they broke the rules.
You need to stand your ground and let them know that you will be at a loss if the services they are requesting is beyond your capacity. After all, you are not running a charity organisation.
- When customers become overbearing – As a professional, though you might want to make sure your clients feel like a king, there are times when you need to let your clients know that in doing your job you still maintain your integrity and esteem. This is necessary so that your clients do not make you feel like rubbish.
If you know your onions, you can stand before your clients and let them know you are the best at what you do and you command the respect of your clients.
You need not allow your clients to dictate how you do your job when you know what they suggested is below your skill level. It is true that he who pays the piper calls the tune. While your clients tell what they want, how you do your job is yours to do.
- When customers want you to bend the ethics of your profession – Every profession has its ethics and standards. You need not allow your clients to make you do a job that is against the ethical standards of your work. If things go bad, your reputation as a professional is at stake. In doing your job, let your clients know that what you are offering them is the best standard and any suggestion bellow standard is unacceptable.
Your reputation is important so don't soil your reputation while dealing with clients.
- When they want you to bend the rules of your profession – Just like the point above, your profession has rules, and if you break the rules you could attract legal implications. Your clients should not let you do things that are against the rules of your professional conduct.
- When you know your actions can cost you more than necessary – It is true that clients love the free stuff but it should not be an all-time affair. This is usually common among friends and family who became clients and always want free services from you.
Give your clients good deals but don’t go beyond the standards of pay. If you continue displeasing yourself for your clients at the expense of your business you will in no time lose your business.
While you are doing your best to satisfy your clients' needs, clear your conscience from the guilt of doing something wrong or something against your professional ethics which you could regret later.
If you are a professional out there and you have faced or are facing any situation I have portrayed in this post feel free to share. Also, share how you have successfully retained your clients all the years.