HORNE’s Growth Mindset Client Promises consists of four key commitments to our clients – DELIVER, COLLABORATE, ANTICIPATE, and CARE. It’s a cogwheel of promises that work in tandem with each other to ensure exceptional client service. Each gear contributes to our success as a firm and without strong elements from each present in our client interactions, the client experience will be diminished. Under the CARE attribute, we commit to first and foremost serve with a generous mindset. We accomplish this by committing to make every client interaction great, freely sharing our knowledge and experience, and proactively seeking client feedback to #beEvenBetter. We learn from our successes and failures with after-action reviews and aspire for clients to be our cheerleaders.
Recently, I experienced one of these commitments – making every client interaction great – play out on the simplest of terms and it ended up being quite the "aha!" moment for me. I arrived home one evening and did what I usually do before dinner – take a moment to lounge in bed, read, and ease into my evening. My “me time.” It was 6:30 p.m. or so – long past the 5 p.m. “schools out” bell, right? Wrong!
My phone rang, and I saw my client’s name and number flash across the screen. I could’ve easily let it go to voicemail and dealt with it the next day, and I certainly would’ve done that if I had prior engagements for the evening planned. But in this instance, I was free to assist and I knew this client was two time zones behind me, which meant she was still working. I felt not even the slightest hesitation to answer because I knew she was at work, she clearly needed my help, and it is my duty to be there for my clients – to CARE. Full disclosure – this client is a joy to work with, and I think that’s also a very good point to make here. Your clients choose you, but it’s equally important for you to choose them. The most balanced client relationships have that in common.
Back to the story. When I answered the phone, my client was genuinely shocked – I mean, really shocked, that I answered. Her first words were, “Wow, I didn’t expect you to answer at this hour!” I could hear it in her voice. She was clearly prepared to leave a voicemail because she knew it was 6:30 p.m. in my time zone, it wasn’t an issue so important that she needed an answer right then and she was about to step out for the evening herself. She ended up having a simple question and I answered it on the spot – in my loungewear, lying in bed, and reading the latest choice from my bookstore haul. How’s that for work-life balance, right? Even if I couldn’t answer her question on the spot, I realized right then how important it is to show clients simply that you CARE.
I was so impacted by her reaction because it showed how a small gesture can go a long way to solidify relationships and build trust. Striving to make every client interaction great – showing that you CARE – is really the baseline for ensuring exceptional client service. It’s a non-negotiable attribute. If we aspire for our clients to be our cheerleaders, showing that we CARE is the starting point, but it can also be a game-changer. Are you serving with a generous mindset? Are you striving to make every client interaction great? What can you do today to show your clients that you CARE?
About the Author
Holly Smith is a government services manager working with state and local governments to design and administer their CDBG- DR programs. She is a servant leader who is passionate about making every interaction great for her clients and her team.