One of the things I miss during this shelter-in-place is dining out in some of our favorite establishments in Truckee. The opportunity to try different dishes, drink new wines and enjoy excellent service are just some of the reasons why my wife and I love to dine out. While we can still enjoy good food and wine at home, we miss the human contact with the waitstaff who can make the dining experience relaxing and enjoyable.
Customer service can make or break a nice night out. The timing of when we receive our drink, appetizer, meal, dessert (yes, we often enjoy that too) all play a role. Service that is too rushed can make us feel like they only care about turning tables to maximize revenue. Too slow can make an impression that they do not care.
The good waitperson who has the cadence down and, more importantly, knows that checking in on us every so often is just the right mix. Hence, that person receives a nice tip from us and the restaurant makes it on to our favorites list.
So why can it be difficult for professionals to treat their clients the same way a good waitperson treats theirs?
Too busy? Don’t care? Don’t know how to care?
While you endure this shelter-in-place, think about how you can improve your customer service with your clients. Should you be checking in more often during an engagement to see how they are doing and, more importantly, how you and your team are doing for them?
At the end of an engagement, do you hold a debrief meeting with your client to see how satisfied they were with the work? What worked? What fell short? What could be improved for future work?
As a fellow consultant and new friend, Arnold Sanow, recently shared with me, “the debrief meeting is an excellent opportunity to not only gather important client feedback, but to also proactively suggest additional steps for the client to consider moving forward.” Who knows, the client may need your help with some of the additional steps.
The most important thing to remember is that how you treat your client throughout the engagement process can make the difference in whether you and your firm make their “favorites list”.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay