Finding, keeping and rewarding the right people is challenging, whether it is staff or clients.
When you think of customer retention or even attracting new staff or clients, what is the first thought that enters your mind?
- ‘It’s costly?’
- ‘It’s too hard?’
- ‘Not the right time?’
- ‘How do I manage it?’
- ‘Good people are not easy to find?’
- ‘What if it is a difficult client?’
- ‘Will we lose money?’
And at what point do you think?
- ‘It’s costly? But it’s worth it.’
- ‘It’s too hard? But so is losing a client or a key staff member.’
- ‘It’s not the right time? But it’s never the right time.’
- ‘How do I manage it? I will learn or work it out.’
- ‘Good people are not easy to find? Not looking won’t help.’
- ‘What if it is a difficult client? What if it’s not.’
- ‘Will we lose money? If we don’t address this, we will lose money.’
It’s always an interesting paradigm when we look at the way we find, keep and reward the right people and clients.
The truth is, no matter how many books you read or how many training courses you attend, the chances are, you will struggle to get this fundamentally important aspect of running a business right.
So in the absence of perfection, I always lean on the side of intent.
If you approach it in the right frame of mind and take the actions that are indicative of good intent and a good outcome for both business and individual, you will seldom go wrong.
I find it’s often worth taking things back to basics.
Clients or staff have one common denominator: they are all people. Regardless of all of the diverse factors in human beings, if you put yourself in their shoes, you will go a long way in somewhat understanding how you should be treating them.
Let’s begin with finding people or clients.
If you don’t look, you won’t find. It’s really that simple.
The art is not in looking, though, it’s in knowing what to look for. So make sure your staff as well as your clients are in 100% alignment with your organisational and personal core values and ethics.
By doing this, even in the situations that will not always be peachy, you know that you both hold similar or the same values and the outcome will be one of good value. This does not always fix the problem, but it does create an environment of resilience and collaboration to achieve great results.
So, you thought finding people or clients was hard, now try keeping them. This is one of the trickiest juggling acts there is.
You can’t over-service; it will cost you money. You can’t under-service; you will be replaced.
You can’t be too soft as you will get taken advantage of. You can’t be too hard because you will be seen as inflexible.
You can’t be too slow as you won’t meet the business demands. And you can’t be too fast as you will be seen to be rushing and missing things and so on and so on.
So how do you become ‘just right’?
As mentioned above, the starting point is alignment with organisational and personal values and ethics. This is undoubtedly one of the key factors in building strong relationships and partnerships going forward.
In conjunction with this, there are many other ways to ensure you retain your people and your clients.
- Provide amazing customer service at all levels and go out of your way to please your staff and your clients.
- Recognise great work on both sides of the fence, within your organisation and your team members, but also make sure you let a client know they are a great client and that the way they operate goes a long way in driving the successful outcome.
- Reward both sides of the fence. This is done in so many ways, not only financial. For example, my company recently implemented a wellness day every quarter for people to just to chill and do whatever makes them happy.
- Don’t be ‘a yes company’ and agree with everything your clients say. If you do that, they don’t need you.
- Be open and honest in every transaction when dealing with your staff and your clients even if this leads to a mutual separation at some point.
- Be a part of each other’s growth. Staff members will grow with you as a company, and you will grow with your clients. Create that mutual benefit, be it training and development for an individual or bringing innovation and productivity to your clients.
- Be you, be genuine, and be trusting of each other.
The saying ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ is so true in the finding, keeping and rewarding staff and clients.
But be sure to extend that beyond the basics, and really try and accentuate all aspects and traits of how you want to be treated.
Don’t settle for just enough or the 50% pass mark, really drive the value you bring; so others cannot take your place in the eyes of your staff and clients.