Seven Ways Managers Can Keep Clients Front and Center

BY CRAIG COCHRAN

BUSINESS TIPS  

1 | Play “Follow the leader.” Managing partners set the tone for everything, good or bad, that takes place in the firm. It’s important for leaders to keep their focus on the client rather than internal politics and ego gratification.

2 | Remind employees of their mission in the organization. A quick daily meeting can set the tone of the workweek and be a source of inspiration in a firm of any size. A constant conversational reminder will ground employees in their primary cause in the firm.

3 | Shine a spotlight on staff. Give employees the attention they deserve. Honor individuals who go above and beyond their job descriptions and truly delight clients. This sets the pace for others to follow.

4 | Invest in your staff. Make sure they are consistently well-trained, motivated, mentored and equipped with the proper tools to serve clients.

5 | Realize that smart firms learn from their mistakes. Be honest and open about why a specific aspect of client service failed. Mistakes are important because they lead to discussion and innovation. Managing partners must outline clear actions that will remove the causes of the organization’s failures and then take steps to follow through.

6 | Form a focus group. Bring together a small, carefully selected group of people to explore perceptions about a product or service your firm is offering, so you’re more able to make well-thought-out decisions.

7 | Keep clients informed of improvements. When you make a change or innovation, communicate it to clients. If clients don’t realize there’s been an improvement, there is no improvement.

Source: Adapted from Becoming a Customer-Focused Organization by Craig Cochran, Paton Press, 2006.

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