As the world is not perfect, many business relationships can have their very own points of friction. Managing these relationships with special care and supporting them when issues arise is the key to maintaining lasting services. I can recall in my work history instances where stubbornness, pride, and greed led to significant financial loss for the company. Here are some questions worth considering when your business relationships get rocky:
Does the client fully understand what it is you do and how you do it?
It is often the case that a client requisitions services from a business out of convenience or necessity. In these situations, the only question that seems to get asked is, “can you get the job done?” This is essentially a lack of communication and an issue waiting to happen. Before services are rendered, it is crucial that the client is fully informed on how the services are performed and why, rather than solely understanding what the final product is.
Does the client’s idea of success match your own?
Managing expectations is critical to successful business practices and as most professionals find out, success is one of the most relative things out there. This question is especially important for companies that offer specialized services. During consultations we typically always recommend giving the client what they want (not what you think is best for them) and if possible a little bit more. We recommend communicating with your clients after each instance of service delivery. This practice will enable you to fine tune the quality of your product or service, and better understand the ever-changing client needs.
Does the client have an effective means of communicating with you when issues arise?
This is a question worth asking every day of the week, twice on Sunday. Most people do not wake up and suddenly realize they want to cancel their service agreement with the landscaping company that takes care of their lawn. If you have ever been blindsided by a service cancellation, you can be sure that you failed to identify an issue that had been festering for an extended period of time. Do not be afraid to over communicate with your clients, set up weekly phone conferences, email when conditions change, and create detailed invoices that breakdown the nature of each charge.
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Michael Chiovitti, Chief Talent Strategist
Eden Resources, LLC