Are you tasked with managing important client relationships whilst working remotely?
We ran a live webinar on 24th April attended by over 70 people, which aimed at help professionals who have the new challenge of nurturing client relationships during lockdown and beyond.
Here are the key points that came out of the session, and that you should remember when managing those all important relationships in a world where we are now having to adapt to working virtually.
What is your Clients’ Experience?
“In times of crisis, a customer’s interaction with a company can trigger an immediate and lingering effect on his or her sense of trust and loyalty” McKinsey
What we know is that how you react to the current crisis is crucial to your success. The Client experience (CX) in a crisis is vital part of this. McKinsey’s research tells that in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 – 2011 those companies who invested in CX:
- Lost less
- Came out quicker
- Grew quicker in the upturn
Make it Personal
Make your communications with clients more personal. You should aim to focus on the person you are liaising with:
- Keep in touch
- Make it easy to communicate
- Take time to understand their world and what has changed
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou:
Think about rapport building questions in advance of the call (e.g. How are you doing? How is the lockdown going for you and your family? What are you enjoying about working from home?
Then use transition questions to move the conversation into business talk (e.g. How is your organisation facing up to the new reality? Where are you focusing your attention? What are your short/medium term objectives?)
Then really listen to their answers.
Focus on Understanding their Objectives and Challenges
Understanding what clients are looking for and their own objectives is vital. Take time to really listen! Watch out for words or phrases that you need to ‘funnel’ to further your understanding. Remember, showing genuine interest in your client is one of the pillars of a Trusted Adviser (Maister/Green). You can then use that information to be able to seek ways to help your client and their business, and the new challenges that they may be currently facing.
In summary, you need to ensure that you:
- Understand their objectives
- Seek ways to help
Reap the Rewards
If you focus on your clients needs in these ways, with an acknowledgement of how we are all facing unique challenges, your reward will be that your clients:
- Will want to stay with you and your organisation
- Will be motivated to use you for other services in the future
- Will become advocates to other organisations in your market