I was struck by two posts recently that make me feel I (we) have this whole client service terminology all wrong. The first post was from Terry Morawski where he talks about the arc of his relationship with social media. He realizes now of course that social media is A tool, not necessarily THE tool when it comes to marketing communication because it's the relationship, not the tools that matter most. Edward Boches also wrote a terrific post about three new business presentations delivered by Mullen interns that showed incredible promise - not just for their social media prowess, but more for their understanding of building relationships and employing all of today's tools to do so.
Let me add that last week I read Marshall Goldsmith's book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There - a fitting title included in my Carousel of Recommended Books. Marshall talked about the need for many leaders to improve their listening skills, and while he offers some great advice, at the end of the day I thought, you'll never be a good listener unless you care enough about what the other person is saying to pay attention. I believe the model for client service excellence is similar.
The idea that we "service" our clients and, by doing it well, hope to build a relationship is backwards, and the young people coming up in the world today are about to prove it. Their perspective will offer us a model for building great relationships on multiple levels and doing right by the people with whom we do business - ensuring this notion of customer service excellence.
You won't offer truly excellent client service unless you care, and you won't care enough unless you have a strong relationship with your client and a true passion for their business. Build a relationship to improve service, not the other way around.
*Image from jkvirtualoffice.com