How can you safeguard the relationships that are most important to you? In three simple steps.
- Don’t make assumptions. It’s easy to believe that you know a client well and can make good judgements about what they need and what they may do. But this is dangerous, and can lead to unpleasant surprises. So:
- Ask how things are for them at the moment, how the relationship with you is working for them at the moment, what they like, what they would like to change. Ask thoughtfully, and listen carefully to their answers.
- Take action. If they love your service, show that you appreciate their enthusiasm and take the opportunity to do more of what they most value. If they have problems or issues, be grateful that they were honest enough to tell you and show that you take them seriously by doing something to ameliorate the situation. Find out how you can make a difference. It’s not always about money!
In our experience, just making the effort and taking the time to ask about the quality of the relationship is in itself a big step towards improving things. Take your clients’ views seriously and keep in touch with them, and you are on the road to safeguarding the relationships that really matter to you.