Most doctors recommend a regular health check and you no doubt spend time and money and go through an annual check up to ensure that you are fit and fine. In the same way an annual professional check too plays a vital role in your professional health. This is more essential especially regarding your relationship with your clients and customers, which is the lifeblood of your small business enterprise. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to find out whether your customer relationship management is a healthy and happy process.
Can you access your client easily?
How do we know when your customer relationship management is not going well. One CEO of a company promptly gave the answer. ‘If it takes a very longtime to set up a meeting, it usually is a bad sign.’ Are you able to go in and meet important executives in your client’s organization? They may be extremely busy no doubt, but if you don’t have access you may not be considered to be relevant and have value with the client. If the client finds no sense in meeting you, and there’s nothing going on, that’s a bad sign too.
Is there trust between you and the client?
Does your client trust you enough to do things with excessive documentation, checks and control? In any long term relationship, trust is important. The very core of customer relationship management is that the client should feel that you will see the job through for and meet their expectations and deliver with competence. If your client is monitoring you endlessly and micromanaging you, it is time to find out why and try to regain trust. This is not a healthy sign.
Does you client feel free to share information with you?
In a healthy relationship there would be transparency. Do you and your client share information openly and do they give you access to their future plans and new proposals? Are you restrained from entering into discussions and have limited access to information or are you treated like an advisor more than a vendor. If the former is true, its a good sign.
Does your client confide in you about new ideas and decisions
Do you ever get a phone call from your client regarding a new idea, decision or proposal, asking your opinion about it. Or are you informed after the event. They may not discuss everything with you, but if you have a strong relationship, and the issue relates to your domain, you will receive that confidential call. Its thumbs up for you.
Do you find the relationship with your client a rewarding experience?
This is the acid test of healthy client relationship and customer relationship management. You may have a great personal relationship but are you losing money on your work. Are you being paid so that you make a profit? Or are you underpricing to keep up the good relationship? It may be your fault, but if the client knows that you are stretching yourself thin and doesn’t react, its a draining relationship for you
Just as you don’t compromise on your health and neglect it, the same rule applies to your client relationships. It is essential to assess yourself on this check list of points and see where you stand. If you are strong in your relationship, have easy access to client and enjoy their confidence as well as good reward for your work, your relationship is a healthy one.