3 Ways to Be a Better Client
Everyone wants the best service out of the people we pay, but could it be we're going about it all wrong?
It is only natural for everyone to want the best out of their service providers. It is also natural to expect what you paid for whenever you have relinquished funds to a company or individual. And yet this is not always the case. More often than you might care to remember, there have been misunderstandings about the deliverables, unmet expectations, and even moments of sheer frustration when you get the wrong product altogether. While poor customer service or negligence on the part of the service provider may be the cause, we cannot overlook the fact that it may also be a shortcoming on the client's end. To avoid some of these mishaps, we have put together a shortlist of things you can do to avoid frustrations when paying money for a service or product. Here’s how to put your best foot forward in securing the provision of services.
"There's little a business owner loves more than happy customers. We need their help to make sure we keep them that way so they keep coming back." — Founder of Kintsu Consulting Group
As the client, you are allowed to give your service provider information that will allow them to tailor-make the product experience to your needs. While there are some things that cannot be adjusted, if you give the salesperson details about why you are looking into their products or services, they can assist you better. It sounds like an obvious thing to point out, but you will find that once a salesperson starts asking questions, people often pull back as if their privacy is being invaded. As long as they are product-related or preference-specific questions, you actually gain by responding openly. While we would all love to have the kind of sales experience where the guy in the uniform can read your mind and give you the right product, that isn’t usually how it works. The company representative actually needs you to communicate so that they can help you get what you need.
In the same way their questions might annoy you or make you put your guard, we think it’s better to ask questions ad nauseam than to hold back and possibly miss out on getting the right fit for your needs. Make sure whoever you are talking to you knows what you need. Communicate your concerns by asking questions like “Will what you are suggestion solve this problem?”, “Are there any known challenges that people meet when they do this?”. Such inquiries allow the salesperson to get an insight into your needs and your worries or fears. While they may not be able to prevent some hiccups, they can prepare you for the realistic experience of using their product. If the person you are talking to doesn’t seem confident about their answers, encourage them to include someone with more experience. Or go to a company that knows what they are doing. Doing your due diligence as a product user or service recipient can save time and prevent headaches in the future.
Update Your Provider
When you find yourself in a situation where your needs as a customer have changed, it is only fair to update your service provider so that they can continue to deliver the same caliber of service you need in this new season. In an automated world, it may be difficult to cultivate a client-provider relationship but there are still businesses that take a personal interest in your life to deliver what you need to the best of their ability.
Updating your service provider can also include giving feedback about the nature of the product experience once you have started using it. The reason the mom-and-pop pizza shop at your local mall is still thriving is that their customers have told them what they love and how well they are doing (or not) and they have taken that feedback into consideration.
The customer consultation should result in smiles all-round.
That Wasn't Too Bad, Was It?
Being a better client doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to help the companies you pay for services do their job. It simply suggests that there may be parts of the customer experience journey that you have control over and if you keep communication open, you will get the best out of those businesses. It does require a bit of assertiveness and some patience, but if you think about what it would feel like to be on the other side of that exchange, you may find that you can afford to offer your insights and concerns upfront.
As previously alluded, this does not mean we expect you to accept bad service from companies simply to make their jobs easier. Go where you are appreciated and then make the business relationship work. We all want to feel special, but we don’t have to be difficult in order to the best out of a good service provider.