I was in my neighborhood bank today and as I was coming out, I noticed a sign that read We hope your experience with us today was extremely satisfying. I thought it a bit odd. Most of my banking is pretty perfunctory. As long as the ATM doesn’t screw up, I’m pretty delighted. But the sign got me thinking. What would make your personal history service extremely satisfying for clients? Here’s what I think. Would you add anything?
- Always keep appointments and show up precisely on time. I’m a stickler about punctuality. The quickest way to make me an “unhappy camper” is to show up late. By being punctual we show respect for our client’s time.
- Listen carefully to what your clients want, not what you think they should have. This goes back to a point I made in my previous post and that is solve, don’t sell.
- Provide your clients with a range of options within their price range. Clients like to see that you’re not trying to sell them the deluxe package and are genuinely concerned about giving them the best for what they can afford.
- Smile. Not all the time, of course! Otherwise you’ll have people dialing 911. But you know what I mean. Even if your client drives you “nuts”, don’t let your frustration show on your face.
- Don’t haggle. Remember you’re a professional. Be clear about your services and fees and be accommodating. But avoid getting into a “nickel and diming” conversation. If your client can’t afford your services, suggest an alternative service. And remember the point above. Keep smiling!
- Make the interview experience memorable. This means asking insightful and powerful questions that unlock the richness of a person’s life.
- Deliver on time. Unless there are very good reasons for being late, delivering on or before a specified date is very satisfying.
- Provide more than the client expected. Some ideas: a framed copy of the book cover, a complimentary copy of the book or DVD, a personalized gift of homemade jam, cookies, or relish with the heirloom recipe included, or a book by their favorite author.
- Keep in touch. Send a thank you card after delivering your client’s personal history. Note birthdays and special holidays and make a point of sending a card.
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