It is a great misconception that the key to organic growth, re-tenders and winning business is purely a result of your cost model. A stronger influence to success centres on client engagement. Without an existing relationship, how could you possibly know what the wants and needs of your client are? More importantly, why would prospective clients want to do business with you now or in the future? It is commonly known that people do business with people or organisations they know, like and trust.
At Mitie Client Services we do not have a tangible product; we sell experiences, passion, commitment mixed with the drive of our management team. Just as important, are our team members who at the point of engagement are mirroring our culture. Your teams are often the first point of engagement for your clients and will have hundreds of ‘moments of truth’ throughout a single day. Ensuring they are equipped with the tools, knowledge and confidence to constantly exceed expectations and act on behalf of your company vision, values and culture is imperative to your success.
The culture you build within your teams will be evident to the client on a daily basis. Your team not only needs to be wholly bought into your culture but also understand the vision and desired behaviours of your clients. To achieve this your team should be involved in decision making, innovation forums, and knowledge sharing sessions providing them with the means and environment for them to be able to contribute, develop, grow and have fun!
In any relationship you will always experience ups and downs and the same is true within a business relationship. How you react and deal with the tough times is key. It’s important to adapt to every situation that arises, making sure your response meets or more importantly exceeds client expectations. Communicate quickly, honestly and consistently throughout any difficult situation in order to maintain and build trust.
Managers too often play a vital role in building and retaining client relationships. It is often through the manager that client relationships and your company brand identity is strengthened.
Below are some of my recommendations to use day to day:
- Deliver with integrity – do what you say you are going to do. It’s that simple.
- Understand the culture the client works in – sometimes, the best way to stand out from the crowd is actually to migrate into it.
- Empower your team to engage with clients –they are your biggest selling tool.
- Respond to client requests quickly and correctly – honesty is the best policy
- Communicate – it’s good to talk – face to face is so much more effective, always make time for your client.
- Plan for the future, especially the one you don’t know about today – constantly seek innovation and best practice future proofing your offer.
These points are fundamental to building a strong, sustainable relationship with your client. If you invest in these areas early trust and partnership will build… with it often comes personal satisfaction and a richer work life.
Rob Daubrey, Operations Director, Mitie Client Services
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