What We Say
If it wasn’t for your clients, you wouldn’t have a job. But you do have clients who value your work and relationships enough to pay you. That’s why on your website, your invoices, your emails and even in your calls, you find ways of saying Thank You For Your Business.
The Client Experience
While driving yesterday, the message on a gas station billboard said, “Thank you for your business.” Since I needed gas and the station appeared to be clean and no lines, I stopped. Having pulled up to the pump, I inserted my credit card. The screen indicated that I needed to use a specific rewards card or to enter a loyalty number. Hmm. I didn’t have either one. No other options. So I pulled out my card and the message changed to Thank You For Your Business. So I inserted my card again. After all, when it doesn’t work the first time, try it again and expect a different result, right?
Just as you and I both know, the result was the same. Only this time, after a moment, another message appeared on the screen that said, Please See A Cashier Inside. ARGH! The whole point of self-serve stations is to avoid the inconvenience of walking into the store, wait in line, give the cashier my card, go back to the pump, fill my tank, walk back into the store, stand in line (again), execute the sale and walk back to my car (again). The promise of ease, convenience and speed turned into a fiasco. Frustrated by the whole affair, I was further agitated by the sign at the station’s exit: Thank You For Your Business.
What We Do
My brain, being the way it works, began pondering how my negative experience correlates to our work as professionals. We talk a lot about how much we appreciate our clients. In fact, we even use the L word sometimes. But do we make the experience of doing business with us the same as what we say?
You have policies and rules in place (for your convenience, BTW) that make it more difficult for your clients to do business with you. If you can’t think of anything right now, you are likely out of touch. I can pretty much guarantee that if they were asked, they would have at least one irritation that they wish you would address. Yes, you need rules and practices, but you also need to present them in ways that minimally affect your clients. Just saying “that’s our policy” is woefully insufficient and ineffective.
What To Change
What do you present to clients that contradicts your desire for them to have a positive experience? It could be a firm policy, a personal rule or practice, or even a behavior of yours that you could explain better, modify a bit, allow for circumstances or change in yourself.
This week, do something so that your clients believe you when you say, Thank You For Your Business.
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