Imagine that you have a great system. When you take on a new business client you explain to them that you don’t just deal with day to day issues. You also have expertise in inheritance tax (for example) and at such time as the client starts thinking about their will, you’d love to help them.
The relationship develops and you do some great work for the client. You feel the business relationship has developed well so you are really quite upset to find out a year or two later that the same client has taken inheritance tax advice from a tax specialist. “Why did he do that?” you wonder.
You decide to ask him and find out that he didn’t know that you could advise on inheritance tax matters. “But I told you”, you want to say.
The problem is that when you told him he wasn’t interested. He might not have heard and he evidently didn’t remember. In my experience few people remember things that they didn’t hear in the first place (names are another example).
You cannot afford to hope that clients will remember all the things you told them. Once. Twelve months ago.
Can you think of anything that you expect your clients to remember about your service capability, your expertise or your terms? Is it realistic to expect them to remember? Would it be better to do or say something, in passing, to ensure they don’t forget?
The same point is true as regards your service levels. You might have told them what to expect but did they take it in? Do they remember? Managing client expectations means more than just telling them once.
Any examples anyone?