Putting the Client First


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This week I was engaged in several site visit training sessions with one of my clients. The purpose of these sessions was to provide small group coaching sessions on strengthening the customer relationship. I have to say, it was one of my more enjoyable weeks. It was enjoyable because I continually found myself in locations where the client was clearly very important and the culture and attitude of the people reinforced it.

In today’s transaction based, process oriented, revenue focused, efficiency driven mindset it was refreshing to be exposed to an organization committed to building and strengthening loyal, lasting relationships. And, where this commitment went beyond fancy slogans it emanated from the individuals at each location.

My objective was to help educate the team to become better at identifying business opportunities as these relationships become stronger. When a team is committed to building on the trust they have established to become a better resource for their clients, my assignment is relatively simple.

Below are the consistent behaviors I observed that position this client focused organization for continued success:

  1. Know their name: Each location has taken accountability for learning and remembering the name of everyone who comes through the door. When these clients return, a warm, personal greeting is awaiting them.
  2. Be a great host: Every site I visited was open and inviting and clean. There were coffee, mints, cookies and a comfortable place to sit. Everyone who walked in was greeted in a manner that reminded me of welcoming someone into their home.
  3. Know what they want: It is one thing to say “how can I help you?” it is another thing to spend some time understanding the nature of the request – previous experiences, goals, objectives, frustrations, and expectations. Usually when we are assisted by a clerk, they quickly help you find what you think you want and sends you on your way. Here, they made sure they understood what you think you want and helped you obtain exactly what you were looking for – the answer.
  4. Everyone is involved: I never observed an assigned hierarchy when it came to customer service. Because the client was the most important person in the building, everyone was dong there part to greet, support, and engage them.
  5. Solve the clients’ problems: When I first started this engagement, there were members of the team that had some concerns that they might be expected to become pushy salespeople. They valued the relationships of their customers, were committed to helping and supporting them and wanted to learn how to become better at uncovering business opportunities that would help the client and the company; however, they did not want to learn to simply sell for the sake of selling. They were interested in learning how to better “solve” client problems and not as interested in learning how to “sell” better. In this economic climate, theirs is the best attitude.

This organization is growing because the team is focused on solving the problems that they uncover through their engaged and focused conversations with their clients. This is called putting the customer first. Putting the customer first and truly living it is where the solid money is!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.


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