Most entrepreneurs understand that there are (sometimes conflicting) scientific and emotional elements to running a business. Blending the uniform components of running a company – administrative, sales, marketing – with the more artistic, subjective ones – client relationships, engaging prospects – can be a challenge.
To strike a balance between the two, it’s important to first create a client service scaffolding that ensures the basic parts of running your business are sturdy. Have you established policies and procedures for how every client should be treated, regardless of individual needs? Do you have systems in place that enable your employees to fulfill all of their responsibilities in the sales, marketing, administrative and service functions?
For the scientific part of service, business owners need to take an analytical approach to categorize their various clients and identify common characteristics among the groups. By creating profiles, your team can have a point of reference when they face challenges in managing client relationships. From a sales and marketing perspective, it also enables your employees to understand which prospects would be a good fit for your company and who is less likely to be an ideal client.
Get artistic when prospecting and serving your clients
Where does the artistic, emotional portion come in? After you have established a baseline understanding of every one of your clients and their needs, you can start to supplement the basics with additional services or personal touches that differentiate your business from competitors. The art comes in mixing the scientific and emotional elements so smoothly that the clients cannot even see the point where the two halves merge.
A perfect example comes from an earlier post I wrote for our blog. When apologizing to a client for a business failure or slight, you will have to tactfully handle emotions, but there are also some scientific elements involved. For example, when you say “I’m sorry” to a client, there should be standard elements to the apology. Identify what it is that went wrong, explain why the error or issue occurred (without making excuses) and then provide details on how you will rectify the issue. As you cover those essentials, you can assess the situation and determine the best way to address any hurt or angry feelings.