“Stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out” – What a Girl Wants
Have you ever met someone who stood out so much that their presence was not only apparent, but remains your paradigm for remarkable?
The first time I met such a person, he walked into the room and said a genuine “hello” to everyone – even the people he didn’t know. He asked, “how was your weekend?,” and stayed to listen to the response. He was warm, kind, and honest when answering questions. He tried to relate to others. Best first impression I ever had.
My encounter with this person taught me about what good client service looks like, and why clients abandon some companies, but praise others and refer their friends.
Here are few simple things I think we can do to stand out with our clients as well.
1. Personalize the client experience
Whether addressing the principal or the most junior person on their team, your ability to personalize their experience is one of the easiest ways to create a lasting relationship. When working in Investor Relations, I kept notes about my conversations with clients, including little details about their families or hobbies. Sending something as little as a birthday card can also go a long way. Although your ultimate goal is to demonstrate results, your amiableness and understanding of what they care about shows them that you are always listening.
2. Be intuitive and proactive about client needs
If you know your clients, you can anticipate what might help them achieve their goals or make it easier to complete a task, even when it means going out of your way. Over-delivering demonstrates just how committed you are to their success.
3. Present a logical story and never hide in times of need
There are times when things don’t go as planned, and you need to deliver the bad news. In these times it is important to be there for your clients and to relay the problem logically. In late 2007, I interned for a financial advisory group in an investment bank. I remember how appreciative clients were when their advisors reached out to them in the most difficult times to explain the situation and deliver a plan of action.
4. Never answer a question without knowing the answer
When you don’t know the answer to a question, it is professional to say that you don’t know, but that you are happy to find out and get back to the client. Pretending that you do might destroy your credibility. It is impossible to know everything, and clients will appreciate that you listen to their concerns and get back to them with the right answer.
5. Be detail oriented
It’s on every job description, and it’s a great way to stand out. There are many ways your work can go wrong, but a spelling mistake shouldn’t be one of them. Mechanical or simple math errors are easily avoidable if you have the right tools for checking your work. A reputation for mistake-free work builds a foundation for trust.
What other simple tactics can make you stand out from the crowd?
About the Author:
Marina Tsipenyuk is marketing professional with experience in the financial services, music, and beauty industries. She currently works in the marketing department of a french beauty company, and has previously worked in the marketing department of a fund of hedge funds and interned in a Public Relations firm during her time in Rutgers. Connect with her on Twitter via @msipen.
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