Do your clients consider you easy? No, not the type of “easy” that wasn’t such a good thing to be in high school, I’m asking if you are easy to work with. The key components to having a good long-term relationship with those you sell to are being someone who is flexible, responsive, and available. Let’s take a closer look at the concept of being easy.
Do you take a one size fits all approach with clients or do you design your product offerings and services to benefit their specific needs? Flexibility is a must if you have competition. When you are rigid with what you offer, you are giving your competition an edge, and they will most certainly accommodate your clients’ needs. Don’t give your competition the opportunity. Keep in mind that flexibility doesn’t just stop with what you are offering; it also applies to how you conduct business. Find out what your clients’ preferred method of communication is and use it. While you may like email, Joe Customer might prefer a phone call. It’s your job to find out preferences to keep your clients happy and to maintain an ongoing image of being flexible and “easy.”
Don’t underestimate how your success is affected by your ability to respond to a phone call or email. Let’s put it another way – being slow to respond is a surefire way to lose a client. Even if you don’t necessarily have an answer to what your client is asking, returning their call or email promptly is paramount. It’s always better to respond with an “I don’t know” than not to respond at all. Develop a timeframe in which you return all calls and emails and stick with it.
Availability goes hand-in-hand with responsiveness and is vital to keeping relationships strong and functioning properly. The goal should always be to make it as easy as possible for your clients to reach you. If you have a receptionist, make sure that the person is professional, friendly, polite, and knowledgeable. Your clients should feel welcomed each time they call. If you have an auto attendant, make it user-friendly. Don’t drag your clients through a lengthy and unwieldy menu. If you are unreachable, have a default person or solution that can help your client.