When Bob Spiegel (executive chef) and TJ Girard (creative director) first started Pinch, instead of writing a Mission Statement that closely resembled Tolstoy's WAR AND PEACE, they began developing their most passionate values to become our daily Operating Principles. They had heard somewhere that if you focused on a precise and workable number of Operating Principles and embodied them daily, you had more likelihood of those goals becoming part of the company culture.
So sometime around 2010, way before we launched, they sat down to discuss the most essential beliefs that Pinch would exemplify. This was the result:
- Communication Solves Everything
- Respect Everyone
- Be Creative and Sustainable; never Sacrifice
- Enjoy the Process
More than anything, Communication Solves Everything has influenced my career and everyday life. You see, I grew up with two much older parents that would protect my sisters and me from everything. Case in point: while at university, my father had a heart attack and was airlifted to a hospital 200 miles from my hometown. I wasn't told until days later when he was awake and in recovery. So, hiding less than pleasant events or emotionally shutting down during difficult conversations was often a go-to for me until I started at Pinch.
Client communication tips that can be valuable for your business
Effective client communication can prove to be highly important for any business. Communication is effective when a company can clearly understand their client's needs and continue to strive for communication that leads to sustainable and flourishing relations. How do you maintain an exceptional standard in client communication for your business? The following tips can help you and your team provide the most valuable and rewarding experiences in client communication.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood - Stephen Covey
True professionals must know the right time and how to connect with clients on a complex level. This means you should know how to listen with greater empathy and understanding to tap into your client's emotions and desires and discover what they are thinking during the purchasing or planning stage. Offer innovative ideas and insights, ask questions, and listen to their answers. I mean, really listen. And, in turn, build a real relationship. Your relationship with your best friend is based on years and years of connecting and sharing ideas and thoughts. So, when you look at your customers like friends or someone you genuinely care about, you naturally become curious. The emotional sentiment becomes one element that helps build a strong connection with the client and the business.
The three C's
To achieve successful client communication, a business should communicate clearly, concretely, and concisely. These principles can help to eliminate any loopholes or miscommunication in client projects and operations.
"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."
- Stephen Covey
In client communication, it is valuable to attentively listen to what your client has to say. Listening can help in ensuring a clear and engaging communication experience for clients. In addition, active listening can prove to be beneficial for long-term business relations. I often listen to my client and then repeat their needs and wants back to them, so they understand I have heard and know I understand.
Ask important questions
Clients respect and acknowledge your expertise more when you ask helpful and valuable questions. Do not hesitate to clear any uncertainty in your mind. Asking questions now can help prevent miscommunication later.
Channel of communication
When engaging with clients, it is necessary to choose an appropriate channel of communication. Choose a platform or space that is convenient for both you and the client. If a client is more comfortable with Zoom meetings, have an online room reserved for them and make sure they have access to join. If there are certain restaurants or cafes that clients are comfortable in, set up meetings in those spaces. Or if the old fashioned phone is what they prefer, focus on that channel.
In some cases, clients may need to speak with you sooner rather than later. Try not to be rigid in scheduling a good time to engage with them. Flexibility helps the client feel valued. It is essential to take into consideration what time slot and schedule your client is comfortable with. Let us be honest, sometimes you have a thousand things to do, and talking right now about linen color for a party in a month, is not your priority when you have a large wedding this weekend, but for the client to feel important, it might just be the right thing to do at that moment.
The client communication process is one of the most critical processes in expanding and building your business in the future. By being successful at it, you can better retain your clients and enjoy consistent growth in the long term. You'll build a reputation for a company representative that is attentive and focused on their needs. By practicing these tips, you can improve your team's ability to communicate with clients. Consider applying these client communication tips to your business as you work with your team to implement strategic initiatives. Because communication really does solve everything.
For anyone wanting to delve deeper into communication, I highly recommend 'Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life, Work--Anywhere!' Found on AMAZON.com