A few months ago, in the middle of the pandemic, my car needed servicing. I had to take it to a different garage, as my regular service provider was closed.

I decided to work out of a library as I had a few client projects to complete. Unfortunately, my nearest library was closed, so I had to call an UBER to take me to a different library that was open.

The guy who eventually turned up got lost a few times on his way to my location. I could see him circling around on the app while I waited anxiously, checking my watch. I was due to take a client call and I didn’t want to be late.

Finally, he turned up and immediately started chatting away furiously, asking me about my background, household etc.

Usually, I don’t mind a bit of conversation but I was feeling anxious about getting to the library and settling down.

I didn’t even know if the library would admit me and wondered where else I could set up my laptop, or how long it would take me because it wasn’t a familiar suburb.

Getting to the library proved a mission, The UBER driver kept talking and missed turns. Eventually, he dropped me off a whole 15 minutes later than what the app had told me.

By the time I found the library and settled in, I had one minute left to call my client.

This interaction with the UBER driver left me feeling frustrated, and a little stressed because the journey was not as seamless and stress-free as I’d hoped.

I was already anxious about getting started with my workday and he added to it by delivering a less than ideal service.

It got me thinking about customer relationships. And how service providers often interact with customers who come through your online door.

This post has some tips (based on how I deal with my clients) on creating a good customer relationship and a great first impression:

  1. Always be professional and mindful in all your interactions with existing clients and potential clients
  2. Don’t get overly familiar with the client on the first phone call. Be warm and friendly but don’t treat them like your best friend and dig into their background or ask personal questions, unless it’s related to the project
  3. Give enough information, but do not overwhelm. Listen to what they are asking and give them relevant information. If they’re talking about prices, don’t go on about your processes
  4. Don’t stalk them on social media
  5. If you promise to do something, do it when you said you would. Don’t say you’ll send them a proposal before COB, and then send it the next day unless you have a very strong reason
  6. Don’t bombard them with emails containing irrelevant information i.e. Don’t sign them up to your newsletter if they haven’t physically done it themselves
  7. Follow up at least three times but with enough gaps between the emails
  8. Listen more, talk less
  9. Get them to the goal they’re trying to achieve, by being as helpful as you can. Give recommendations if asked
  10. Give them the product or service they were expecting when they first contacted you
  11. Don’t hound them to give you feedback or testimonials. I ask twice and then let it go if there’s no response
  12. Ask for feedback after delivering the service or product

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Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay