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Happy Client Tip # 1: Be Available

Happy Client Tip # 1: Be Available
Pat Dickson - Thu Jun 21, 2012 @ 08:03AM
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If you want a happy client, you must be available.

It does not matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, stock broker, paramedic, LMT, web master, or trash collector. Being available to your clients is probably the most important thing you can do. From personal experience, my clients constantly praise me with the same words:

"I use you because I know you'll always pick up the phone."

happy client, tip # 1, be availableWhy is this? Why is our being available to our clients so vital to their happiness? My theory is that as service providers, much of our work is based on our clients' emergencies. Notice how I included paramedics and doctors in my list of service providers?

If someone is having a heart attack or the stock market is suddenly dropping, they need their paramedics and stock brokers to respond immediately, right? If you are a lawer, how often do clients call you when everything is fine? They don't need you when all is well, business is booming, and the cash is coming in. They need you the moment a complaint is served or when a customer has just called and threatened to take business elsewhere.

When you are a service provider, a lot of what you do is based on emergency. And remember, what is or isn't a real emergency isn't for you to decide. What matters is what your client feels is an emergency. Plus, do not discount the value of being immediately available for non-emergencies. Sometimes your clients will want to talk, or even schedule a visit with you to do a little preventative maintenance. When you always pick up the phone for them, two things happen:

First, you don't risk their calling their next best service provider on the list because you didn't answer. Second, always being available builds the relationship. The more you are available to your clients, the more they call you. The more they call you, the more you get involved. The more involved you are, the more repeat business you receive.

Along these lines of generating more business by being available, I must emphasize that though this approach is self-serving, it also helps save your clients time, money, and stress. How? For me, when I have built strong relationships by being available, I am more involved in the workings of my clients' day-to-day operations. By being more involved, a larger portion of my work is usually based on preventing legal problems in the first place. This saves time and money.

The more I work with a client, the more I know about her business. The more I know, the more preventative maintenance I can recommend. A good doctor patient relationsip can result in a partnership where the doctor helps the patient keep his blood pressure low by eating right and exercising. The alternative is waiting for high blood pressure to cause sickness, resulting in the prescription of medicine and trying to fix the damage already done.

Good relationships equal better damage control and preventative maintenance. They often start with your being available.

Client happiness begins with your being available!

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