As the pandemic continues, client retention is more important than ever before. Let’s discuss three ways you may be repelling your clients, so you can avoid this behavior and keep them!
1. Don’t Do What You’ll Say You Do
Let’s say, for example, your client asks for a report on a specific KPI or metric. Now, let’s also say, again for example, that a member on your sales team misreads their emails and sends them a report, as requested, but for an entirely different metric that what was asked.
Perhaps the client asked for the information ahead of an important meeting, or needed the information to complete their own time-sensitive project.
Can you imagine their frustration when they open up the report and see data that supports a metric or information they never asked for?
Avoid misunderstandings like this. Always take an extra few moments to thoroughly understand client requests, and ask clarifying questions if needed, before starting and submitting work to them.
2. Don’t Provide a Timeline You Can’t Meet
Look, I think we’ve all been in situations where a project or task requires greater scope than initially intended. This isn’t (entirely) what this point is about.
More specifically, if you tell a client you’ll email them with an answer on Monday, don’t respond back on Wednesday. If you tell them you’ll have a report, to tie back into the example in the first point, by the end of the week, don’t begin the report on Friday and realize you have don’t have enough time to compile what’s needed.
These, perhaps, occur as “one-offs” every so often in every team and organization. And, we all at times underestimate how much work is actually involved prior to committing to a particular project.
In cases where you promise a certain date, and realize along the way the date is unachievable, you have two options:
A) Put in the extra hours and get it done within the promised date.
B) Update your client and provide a new timeline. Preferably, cite specific and valid reasons for the delay.
Notice that none of the options include letting the deadline pass, not informing your client, and having them check in with you instead.
3. Don’t Miscommunicate
Be clear in your communication.
If your client sends you an email asking about point A, don’t provide them with an answer to point B.
If you’re about to relay a point based on an assumption, you may want to “fact check” the point prior to communicating it to the client.
The more clear you are in your communication, and the less you leave things open to interpretation, the better chances you have of creating success.
It’s important as a leader to not just pay attention to the results your team is delivering, but the job they’re doing “behind the scenes” when communicating with your clients.
If you notice any of the above behaviors, act fast and fix them!