Client management

Client Management 101: Mistakes Are Inevitable. Own Them.

Customer satisfaction isn’t rocket science, it’s a practice—one that takes consistency to be successful. If you do it right, you’ll be rewarded with unprecedented client loyalty. They’ll consider you a member of their team, not just someone selling them a service.

The most important time to practice your customer satisfaction skills is when mistakes happen—proving your loyalty when it matters most.

The Key Is To Be Upfront—Don’t Shield the Client From the Issue Or Avoid Explaining It.

The wrong approach will make the whole situation fall apart for the customer service manager:

Not Acknowledging the Problem.

If an issue isn’t brought to the attention of the client when it’s discovered, and then they call you to identify the issue (under the assumption that they discovered it) they will be most unpleased when they find out you knew about it but kept the process moving anyway.

Notifying the Client Of a Problem Without Providing Background Information.

This can make it seem like no real thought was put into the resolution. The client may feel like a low priority, and that you have other, more important clients to cater to.

Ways to Turn the Client’s Negative Experience Into a Positive One

Instead of succumbing to the above pitfalls, be transparent and let the client know exactly what occurred, and what is being done to rectify the problem.

Nurture The Relationship.

Treat clients the same way you did when you were “courting” them. Regardless of their revenue ranking, provide them with the same respect you give other clients. Demonstrate your ability to follow through and always provide updates on how things are progressing or being resolved. They are your partners for a reason—possibly for the revenue or in some cases as a reference in the sales process. Either way, they are important to your company.

Do It Their Way.

Do they prefer email, onsite visits, phone calls? Do they require a lot of attention and oversight? Or do they prefer a hands-off approach until they need something? Putting clients in a box could frustrate them if their practices do not fit. The relationship manager can offer best practices but forcing weekly meetings onto a client could make them unengaged or dreading further conversations with your organization.

These are just a few things to keep in mind to maintain successful client relationships, and really, making every day go a little more smoothly. Your clients are your partners, making your company that much stronger, as you strive to do the same for them.

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