October 27, 2011
The Wonderful Twos.
Customers need to know you are authentically and genuinely "there". One employee per project is rarely a good idea. Think in terms of twos. Have a second person (at least) for everything.
Two (2) Things about Thinking in Terms of Twos:
1. Staffing. If you are a services professional, any project you do for a customer, buyer or client should have at least two (2) professionals assigned to it. It doesn't matter how small or big the project is. As your co-workers are often traveling, in meetings or are otherwise unavailable, customers who call or e-mail deserve to have more than one member of your office 100% knowledgeable and current on any project. If it's a small matter, just don't charge for it.
Trust us on this.
Note: If customers actually need to frequently call you to check on things, you are likely a Customer Service Wanker and probably screwing up. The work is never about you. Buyers of professional services should rarely have questions. (Any question they have you can and should anticipate 99.5% of the time.) But if they DO have questions--about either an ongoing project or in particular a new matter they inquire about--have two (2) people ready to respond. Customers need to know you are authentically and genuinely there.
2. Written Communications. Start this regime on both ends of your communications. Get both your staff and customers to buy into it. Invoices, letters, e-mails or Anything Written--to or from your office--should always be addressed to (customer end) and received by (your firm's end) two (2) human beings. In addition to the reasons given above in Item 1--i.e., for communications received by your office--writings by your firm TO your clients or to any of their agents should copy two (2) humans. Or you will be an Administrative Wanker. Reason: Main contact points for customers, buyers and clients also get busy and unavailable. So copy one other human who assists the contact, client rep, GC, in-house person or accounts payable folks whenever you can do it.
It's common sense. But if you are a professional services person--e.g., accountant, lawyer, actuary, mortgage broker, stock broker--you likely don't have any common sense. And you know that. Sorry, Jack, but (gulp) it's just true.
Again, trust us.
Want to Make Customers Be and Feel Safe? Think--at a minimum--in Terms of Twos. Above: "Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967", Diane Arbus.
Posted by JD Hull at October 27, 2011 11:55 AM