This is Grumpy Cat.
You do not want your customers to feel the way Grumpy Cat looks.
It takes some effort and deliberate work to make sure your clients don’t become unhappy, but it is worth it. After all, you are running a business – and businesses don’t do well when clients are displeased.
One of the first ways to ensure you avoid Grumpy Cat-itis in your clients is to deliver. Back in the old days, milk got delivered right to your door, as well as newspapers. The fact that we live in a digital world doesn’t negate this; if anything, it demands that you be the guy who delivers, because too many don’t. Bring your clients what they need whether their door is real or virtual. They’ll be happy you did.
A second way to avoid inspiring Grumpiness in your clients is to talk – not “at” them but to them. And not on email, either. Pick up the phone, whether it’s a landline, cell or through your laptop, and call them. Ask them how things are going; find out what’s working and, more importantly, what isn’t. Make the personal connection, not just the electronic one.
Third, you want to do the opposite of talk and listen – really listen. If you’ve asked a question, make sure you are plugged in to the moment and are hearing the answers. Your job is to solve some problem your client has – how can you solve a problem? Which leads to the fourth point, something I like to call Morning Coffee.
Morning coffee is many people’s go-to, not only to start the morning, but to offer warmth, comfort and a chance to catch your breath. Be your client’s Morning Coffee – be there, be comforting, be personable. You don’t need to run out and purchase them flowers; you just need to show you are paying attention and that you care.
Lastly, handle bad news with aplomb. Be direct but calm. Have some ideas for solutions to whatever the problem(s) may be. If the bad news requires timing of some sort, i.e., it has to be taken care of in X amount of hours, days, months – say it. And have some idea of a plan on how to handle it. How you handle the bad news will directly impact your client – so handle it well.