I have a friend who is a mail carrier. He went to work for the post office because he “didn’t like dealing with people.” The thing is, he deals with people all day long. With a smile and a wave, he brings people good news, and shows pity when he delivers bad. His customers love him, and when he recently changed routes, his old customers petitioned the Post Office to bring him back to the old route. Despite claiming to not like dealing with people, my friend is clearly a master of client relations.
For most people, it just isn’t that easy. Very few of us are capable of maintaining the good humor required of the intake receptionist at the doctor’s office, or the Starbucks barista serving coffee to cranky people every morning. For most of us, client relations come hard; we’re especially likely to blunder if we’re having a bad day ourselves. In today’s relationship driven sales market, making a client feel uncomfortable or unappreciated can have disastrous results-especially if the customer is active on social media.
Training your staff in client relations can help save your business from this kind of incident. In fact, training your staff in client relations should be a priority, both as part of a successful on-boarding program, and as an ongoing part of organizational development. Whether your focus is on B2B relationships, or in the B2C marketplace, you cannot ignore the importance of client relations.
Ongoing training serves multiple purposes. Not only does it give you the chance to keep employees abreast on the newest techniques in client relations, it gives you the opportunity to monitor your employees for potential leaders; those who stand above and beyond their peers should definitely be watched for leadership potential! Those are the folks who will continue to make sure that your employees remember that without your customers, there would be no business!
Danielle VanZorn, PMP, SPHR