Ooh. This is a sticky subject, isn’t it? What do you do when clients request to work with certain team members over others? Whether you design, engineer, sell or serve.
What is your response? When a client specifically requests that certain team members, either on one team or across teams, are assigned to their account?
Do you offer a standard response: “All of our team members are equally skilled. Not all of our team members are always available. I (instead of the corporate We) have confidence you will be satisfied with whomever we assign to handle your account.”
Alternatively, do you respond: “I appreciate your specifically requesting this individual (whose name you repeat). May I ask you a few questions about why you request them”?
Which of the two responses do you feel builds client: a) confidence; b) retention; and c) trust?
I pose this specific question to clients when we collaborate on factors which impact customer success.
Because even when you work in-person, often other team members are located all over the country. Let alone all over the world. Regardless of location, you feel your hiring practices attract and retain a homogeneous group of designers, engineers, sellers or servers. However, your clients can be highly varied depending on industry, geography and economics.
Chances are, you have some real rock stars who are hidden. Perhaps because they do not consistently make their numbers or fulfill their KPIs. Partially because these hidden rock stars rarely – and consistently – work with clients who bring out their best, and vice versa.
Why?? Perhaps your company has one-size-fits-all hiring myopia. Also, consider whether you utilize these professionals on an apply-as-needed-basis. Taking them off the shelf to design, engineer, sell or service. Then putting them back on the shelf until the next time their specific functionality is required. Ouch.
When clients express preference for certain team members over others, they offer you an opportunity.
- Clearly, the preferred professionals, whether knowledge or manual workers, have a “special something.” Take the time to ask clients just what factors impact their request for these specific employees.
- Determine whether preference is based on functional competencies alone. Or are other professional competencies equally impacting client preference?
- Then, qualify, as well as quantify, the value of these preferences on client retention. You may be surprised at the results.
When clients request to work with certain team members over others, clients offer you a Voice of the Customer gift. Because these team members not only do the big things which retain clients. Also, these team members do lots of small things, continuously and effortlessly, impacting customer success.
Do you know your team members with greatest client retention value? Isn’t it time that you did? Then let’s take the next steps forward, together.
- Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my One Millimeter Mindset ™ Storytelling speaking programs, workshops or mastermind groups. Contact me here.
My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person keynotes, workshops, coaching and mastermind programs translate across strategic communication and collaboration disconnects between people and professional disciplines. Build trust. Retain employees and clients. Optimize strategic business and human capital value in your organizations. Get everyone to where they need to go. Together. One millimeter at a time. My playbook of communication tools and methods, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Image source: Adobe Stock.