Think about all the times that you have stayed at a hotel or dined at a restaurant. Which experiences stand out in your memory? What establishments have you decided to frequent again and again because of the quality of service? Most likely, they were the ones where the staff worked to make you feel at home and put you at ease, right?
In the office environment, it is easy to get swept up in the daily tasks associated with managing your clients’ accounts and delivering the highest possible results for them. However, we must work to serve people personally no matter what we do. Wherever you meet clients – be it in their offices, your own or elsewhere – making them feel comfortable and at home is essential.
You will have the most control over the situation when clients come to your office, so make sure the setting is professional yet welcoming. Encourage your team members to learn the names of all your clients, or at least those who regularly visit the building. Direct them to greet clients as they walk in, to offer them coffee or tea and express that your team is happy to have them. The first interactions after clients come through the door can set the tone for your entire meeting and makes any business dealing a bit more friendly and pleasant.
How are your employees instructed to behave when a client comes to the office? How do you structure your interactions with clients?
Reflect on how you currently interact with clients, and compare this to how you would welcome a guest to your home. In both scenarios, would you brusquely jump to the purpose of the visit – be it a discussion about investments or a dinner – or would you chat for a while and catch up on the latest news in your guest’s life before sitting down to the meeting or the meal?
It can be an easy trap to fall into. We are so focused on achieving results for our clients and maintaining their satisfaction that we can sometimes forget the human element of what we do. But it is vital to the longevity of the client relationship to slow down and consider how your clients feel during a meeting. Work to put them at ease, and consider addressing their personal needs before their business-related ones when they come to your office or call on the phone.