Now You Can Have a HAPPY CLIENT and make even MORE MONEY!!!


Know them to woe them!

The lifeline of any business is CLIENT SATISFACTION. Innumerable articles have been written to understand the psyche of this mysterious breed. This article takes stock of TOP 5 QUICK ways to bring smile on your client’s face and get the cash register ringing! These aren’t sure shot magic darts but in generality will help you make a CONNECT. Always remember knowing is knowledge and therefore it is a MUST to understand your client’s expectations.

TRICK 1: EMAIL ETIQUETTE.

In today’s tech world all businesses are carried out via emails. It therefore becomes imperative to have an effective email which is self explanatory in nature. In my earlier days of profession as a Project Manager it came in very handy as most of my clients were in drastically different time zone, so if I have not stated clearly all my queries in one go it results in unnecessary back and forth of emails. It is the single most irritating factor for any research client to spend more time with a field vendor than with the analysis part of the project. With most companies outsourcing their operation work to Asian countries it is very important that emails should not have grammatical errors or use slang as it will make the communication incomprehensible and misleading. It just takes few extra minutes to properly format the mail but it goes on a long way to showcase your professionalism to the clients.

Trick 2: SPEAK LESS LISTEN MORE.

In most of the young professionals I have worked with over enthusiasm is the biggest hurdle in ensuring client satisfaction. We in the heat of proving a point or selling our brand invariably overlook minute details of client’s instructions which at the end create havoc. Most of the FIRE-FIGHTING could be easily avoided if we had LISTENED to the client at the first place. I follow 80:20 RULE where in I encourage my client to speak 80% of the time and take notes – rest 20% I ensure that I have clearly listened to my client’s expectations. It has always helped me in avoiding unnecessary issues. As most of the project kick off meetings happens over the telephone this strategy becomes all the more imperative to ensure a successful project. Golden thumb rule is that the lesser a client has to interact with you the more they will be happy about.

Trick 3: SET EXPECTATIONS RIGHT FROM THE WORD GO!!!

Most often we come across the following scenario – “A Client Manager/Executive has a REALLLLLY URGENT project which might not be very feasible but they will try to sweet talk you into accepting the project”. NEVER EVER FALL INTO THE TRAP!!!! You are bound to create problems for your brand. It might be that the project is already in a mess due to client’s manager mistake but to save his skin he will try to make you come on board and then pass all the blame to you. Always remember that a bad project is bitterer than the sweetness of 100 good projects. If there is anything CRYSTAL CLEAR required in your business it is HOW MUCH & WHAT CAN you deliver. Client might want the MOON but it isn’t possible – I call them CRANKY CLIENTS and at best avoid them. Kick off meeting is therefore a very crucial aspect of understanding client’s expectations and get a chance to clearly define the parameters of the delivery. Golden thumb rule – BETTER TO SAY NO THAN SORRY!!!

Trick 4: ADD VALUE TO EVERY POC (point of contact).

One trade secret I would like to share with you – every time you come in contact of your client enrich the experience for him. Whether it is a simple email which I have sent or a quick telecom, I always ensure that I have something interesting and relevant to share. It creates a positive image in the mind of my client and they see me as a subject matter expert which inadvertently results in winning more projects $$$.

Trick 5: ALWAYS SHOW GRATITUDE.

THANK YOU is just an 8 letter word but the most difficult to pronounce for some. Agreed that all of us thank our clients but I have always gone a step further and do the same for my vendors too. You will be surprised to know that there were many of my vendors who became my clients or have generated a good lead for me. In case of a client the thank you mail should not be a preset template – add how the pleasure of working with them on this project has helped you gain more insight about your own capabilities.

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About akshay kanyal
Understanding Survey Research

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