Happy Tuesday Confidence Lady!
I like to call this blog post the Customer Service/Etiquette 101 post. As a mindset and confidence coach I get clients coming to me at times reporting burnout. Their business is THRIVING, but their customers or clients are pushing the limits, asking too much of them, requesting refunds, or THEY are even firing their clients. Now when did it have to come to this in our industry where service providers are firing their clients? I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen, but I truly believe there are ways to PREVENT this from needing to happen if you just follow these few pointers I am going to share with you today. So let’s dive in!
Customer relationships should be built upon a strong foundation of BOUNDARIES. The first question I ask someone who is not “getting along with their client” is ---> Tell me about the boundaries that were put in place before you began your time together. Usually, I hear “boundaries, what do you mean?” Exactly. I learned this through my first business (local psychotherapy practice) that people love predictability and predictability makes people feel safe. Have your call policy outlined (no-show, late, sick policy, etc.). Have communication boundaries outlined. Can they message you at 3am and expect a response right away? My clients know 8am-6pm M-F I will message back to VIP Voxer/Email access. And guess what? My clients are DREAMS. This has only ever had to be a conversation ONCE in the last almost two years I’ve run my business. People may say, “but I don’t want to look like a stickler with all these upfront rules”. Ok, would you rather possibly look like a stickler, but have the tone set OR look like a free for all and have to constantly feel walked all over, grow resentment toward your clients, or have to be the bad guy and tell them they're crossing lines you never drew out for them?? I thought so.
Your customers are HUMANS. How would you want to see your mother treated? Your sister? Your daughter? Exactly. Each and every client I serve I look at them as if I was helping a very dear loved one. And guess what? Each and every client has turned into someone very dear to my heart. I look at them as HUMAN and not NUMBERS or DEALS or whatever people are calling them this month. And just like a loved one, at time boundaries need to be set right? The best relationships are those build upon respect. Now keep in mind, there may be times a loved one is in crisis and needs help right away. Are you going to say, “no I’m busy you didn't give me notice?” I sure hope not. So guess what? We treat our clients the SAME way. I’ve had clients before in crisis and have just said, “let’s hop on the phone and talk this out”. I didn’t after say, ok now you owe me for this extra session. No. You have to use your discretion. There has to be some leeway in the business relationship. Bottom line, treat them how you would like to be treated.
Enough of the “breaking up with your clients”. This drives me BANANAS. For some unknown reason, this seems to be something glorified in the online space. “My client was acting up, so I fired them”. If you see a service provider BRAGGING about this, all I gotta say is stay WAY CLEAR of them, because they will turn around and do the same to you if you make one wrong move from their boundaryless relationship. So I am not saying that in some circumstances you may need to end the client-provider relationship. This does happen, but it’s not to be glorified to make you feel special. My biz bestie, Susan-Jane Rome likes to say this “Confidence is QUIET, Insecurity is LOUD”. The ones we see bragging about breaking up with clients and huge multiple figure days are (#truthbomb) overcompensating for something. No, I do NOT have a money mindset issue because I don’t brag about my income 24/7. First of all, it’s irrelevant what I make right? Anyone can make a lot of money, you just have to be good at convincing. Just because you make a lot of money doesn't mean you are actually good at what you do. Ok I know off topic, don’t get me started! But real life, I’ve been told I have money mindset issues because I’m not bragging about my income. LOL End rant. Treat your clients like humans, do all the above, and you don’t need to be breaking up with them.
Lastly, want raving clients? Under-promise, Over-deliver. This goes along with the bragging about numbers deal. First of all, your clients should NOT want to work with you because YOU make a lot of money right? They should want to work with you because you have supported past clients in making their dreams come true, which could be making money, starting a business, improving relationships, getting healthier, increasing leads in their business, whatever it is you best support your clients with. In this online business world we are told ALL the time show numbers, figures, values. Several times when I was asked for testimonials I was asked to make sure it included #’s and %’s. “Working with so and so helped me increase my daily profit by 700%.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. What does that even mean?? Maybe that person made ZERO money to start and then one day brought in $700 bucks? Exactly. It’s all a load of B.S., but people like to see it and want to believe it. If you want happy customers who are walking billboards for you, raving fans, and come back when they need you in that next level, don’t over promise. People who over promise end up with unhappy customers, no reviews, or terrible reviews. Not to brag, but check out my site and I had quite a few testimonials. My clients are so happy to write one for me after we complete our work. Usually because they ended up achieving even more than we had discussed in our Discovery Call BECAUSE I never over-promised.
Now these 4 pointers really are basic and simple ways to WOW the customers who work with you. Business Etiquette doesn't have to be hard or complicated. It all begins with LOVE + BOUNDARIES. That is it!! Now I don’t want you beating yourself up if you haven't been doing these steps in the past. Just dust yourself off and start fresh today!!
One last BONUS way to wow your clients…. Ask for their birthdays and wish them a happy birthday on their big day! When my ladies join Inner Circle, they are asked to fill out a form that is emailed to them requesting their address for snail mail, along with their date of birth. Those who fill it out, get a special shout out on their birthday and my 1:1 clients periodically get little snail mail gifts from me. Go the extra mile. It isn't hard and it makes it a whole lot easier in the end. This I promise you!
Can you do me a favor today and share this article with 3 or more friends or clients who own businesses? Tell them they probably won't need it, but to pass it on to maybe someone who would! And I would LOVE for you to share below if you have any additional tips to share with others who read this article!! AND if think you might be ready to get some support with this, shoot an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to head on over to my YouTube channel to check out the video I did on this topic as well!
Blessings + Abundance,
P.S. If you want to go even deeper and learn how to create and cultivate relationships in your business so that you can get yourself even more visible and effortlessly create more opportunity in your business than you wanna sign up for my FREE Masterclass Real Relationships, Real Results. When you sign up, you get INSTANT access to a bonus workbook to go along with the training!