I remember a colleague of mine relaying a story about eating in a restaurant. Sitting near to him were two women eating dinner. Their conversation was all about how disappointed they were with their meal, the service, the cleanliness of the place, etc. Nothing suited them and they droned on and on about how awful their dining experience was and that they would never return.
Toward the end of their meal, the manager came around to each table inquiring about their dining experience. When he approached the two women, they both answered that everything was fine and smiled pleasantly. My friend couldn’t believe what he just witnessed. This was their opportunity to express their concerns and they didn’t say a thing about it. How could this be?
Actually, he just observed human nature in action. Most people are reluctant to create awkward moments. It’s just easier to let it go and say nothing. Likewise, your clients tend to be hesitant to tell you when they are displeased with your service.
While you may have a few clients who don’t miss an opportunity to express their displeasure, they aren’t representative of all your clients. The majority of your clients won’t say anything about your service. Don’t take this to mean they are satisfied with your service. They may be just as dissatisfied as your more vocal client but you would never know.
Getting good client feedback is invaluable and something you must pursue intentionally. It has to be embedded in the service process and delivery. Otherwise, it’s too easy to believe everything is fine and let it go.
If you would assume you have some clients who are displeased with you, you would be more diligent to listen for displeasure and ask follow up questions. Since you find and resolve technical problems, you should also find and resolve client service issues as well.
It’s all about being professional.
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