22 Jun How to Create more Certainty for your Clients
Certainty is a highly coveted feeling, especially during the amount of uncertainty and turmoil that has been going on since COVID began. We recently ran through an exercise with our team about how we can help our clients with certainty and how we can communicate certainty more effectively. These are valuable things to have for any business, whether you’re in sales, accounting, or shipping, certainty is a feeling that can help you and your organization gain a competitive advantage. Here are a few things you can consider to make sure you are providing certainty in your organization!
Consistency with celebrations and traditions!
If you usually have a client appreciation event or BBQ, now is not the time to stop! Consistency is key in this area. I realize we may not be able to all gather in person, and things will look different than they did in the past, but even sending out a token of gratitude in lieu of an event, or hosting a virtual event will help them see that you and your organization are still certain about their relationship with you, and your future together. The same can be said for staff appreciation traditions like awards or socials; it is important to keep those traditions alive. Often these awards or events are a really positive thing that your staff look forward to, and by cancelling them or postposing, it could be really discouraging or leave your people feeling like they’re being left behind.
Increase communication with your clients on any changes or challenges!
This is a good one! We’ve found that, for the most part, the more information you can provide, the better. If you’ve made a change to the ordering process, quoting process, or anything that the client may be involved in, it’s a good place to start to explain to them why the changes are happening, but also explain what is staying the same (like your great customer service 😉). It is also important to loop in your clients should any challenges arise, but also be armed with a solution so they know you care about them and their order with you.
Set out realistic expectations
Set out realistic expectations with clients on projects from the beginning, so there are no (or as few as possible) surprises!
With uncertainty around shipments, supply chains and stock, make sure you are providing your clients with as much information and as clear information as you know. If something is going to take 4 weeks, be very clear about that and what might impact that timeline. Honesty is the best policy and the more you can keep you clients informed, the better!
Align with suppliers
Align with suppliers and vendors that can provide you with certainty!
This might be an area that’s overlooked in your organization. Who can you work with, or who have you worked with, that has provided you with certainty? Whether it’s with their timelines, product quality or pricing, align yourselves with the suppliers that you can trust to deliver the product and services you need and expect. Be open about having a dialogue with them about how they might be impacted as well.
And we’ve found, when in doubt, communicate, communicate, communicate! And don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to your clients so everyone is on the same page. I hope you have found this helpful in increasing certainty and consistency in your organization!