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The importance of making your clients feel important.

Feb21

Written by:
2009/02/21 08:55 AM RssIcon

You have heard the saying, "The customer is always right". Well sadly to say, this is for the most part incorrect and inaccurate. The customer is hardly ever right.

I remember years ago, a friend and I went into a bank here in South Africa. He had been having problems with his bank account. After many hours of phone calls, frustrated, he went in to see the customer services. The lady behind the desk, was no really interested in a young whipper snapper.

After explaining the problem many times, he kept on getting the same answer, "It was not the banks fault, It was his fault". Frustrated and angry, he cried out in the banking hall:

"Rule number 1 - the customer is always right. Rule number 2 -  if per chance the customer is wrong , see rule number 1". With that he stormed out the bank, never to return.

We have always been told that the customer is always right. But this is myth and highly overrated. In most cases the customer is wrong. But how to tell them in such a way that you still keep their business. Easy, remember this. The customer is King.

It is very important to make your clients and customers feel important, even when they might be wrong. When clients feel that they are more important than you, they will return time and time again, through thick and thin. They will support you in times of bliss and hardship.

I have just recently experienced this. A client that I did work for about eight years ago, just contacted me for some more work. In the contact we exchanged greeting, blessings and caught up on family history. Upon visiting we exchanged big hugs and welcoming handshakes.

They said that I was the only person they could trust with this job, the only one that could help. After searching for me for many weeks they nearly went into nervous breakdown, exaggeration of course, because they could not find me after eight years. When I was eventually located, they were so happy and so relieved.

Why? Because I made them feel so important. Made them feel more important than me. They were King.

Here are a few tips that will steer you on your way to making your clients feel important:

  1. Clients are people. treat them with respect. Make them feel needed.
  2. Use their name. Make it personal. Build a relationship
  3. Acknowledge them. Their vote counts, their ideas matter.
  4. Ask your clients for advice. You do not know everything, despite what you may think.
  5. Surprise them. Never take the attitude. This is what you paid for this is what you get no more no less. Give something away, free gifts, samples, discounts.
  6. Apologise. Remember although the client may never be right, you are never always right either. Apologise when you make a mistake.
  7. Listen. Listening builds self esteem. It makes the client feel that what they have to say is important.
  8. Always pay close attention. The more attention you give, the more positive and happier they feel, and the stronger the relationship bond becomes.
  9. Don't ignore or interrupt.  Interrupting someone is a clear sign that you feel that they are unimportant and what they are saying is irrelevant.
  10. Return phone calls in the same day
  11. Return emails in the same day
  12. Answer all their questions. No matter how stupid or insignificant.

Why am I writing this in a technology blog. Well for the main reason that everybody has clients. They are just known by different names.  Maybe you call them Customers, Students, Patients, or (heaven forbid!) Users. Yes that's right, even users are King, they are clients as well.

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