This week I saw an email from my old accountant.
In her email, she wrote a lot of stuff about how the end of financial year season is stressful for her. About how she takes on board everyone else’s drama and stress. And about how she ended up sulking about it.
She works with creatives, and if you’ve ever known any creative folk, they tend to run the hell away from financial matters. Or, do them badly. So my gal was freaking out about missing the tax deadlines for them.
But then she thought, well what can I do to make their engagement more willing?
She pretty much used a process that I use with clients to improve their communications.
It goes something like this:
- Listen to your whingeing. What is it – exactly – that is causing you stress? Too many phone calls? Too many emails? Not enough action? What?
Work out the underlying emotion that’s driving the other person’s behaviour.
Create a way of mitigating that emotion.
I’ve done this over and over again in my business, and every time I do it both they and I level up.
It’s not something you roll out immediately. You test it on your Most Annoying People first. If they come good, or rave about it to you, then you’re on a winner and can roll it out to everyone. And if not, then you haven’t nailed that emotion or problem neatly enough, so you start again.
Zooming out from this action, and viewed over the long-term, you can see how such a simple thing contributes to service improvement and customer loyalty. Eventually, you get to the point where clients fall in love with your business from the get-go: You’ve solved for, and eliminated, all of the friction! Ultimately, you end up only onboarding people who love you, and whom you love to work with. No more client-firing necessary!
Of course, you’ll never get rid of ALL of the friction.
But that’s the beauty of it! If you had no friction left, you’d have nowhere to go.
The majority of the situations that create customer angst are communication related.
And the majority of the situations that make you annoyed, or stressed out, or worried, are also communication situations.
They’re chatbots that don’t work. Misunderstood or unread contracts. Clients not doing what you need them to do. People calling constantly asking, ‘are we there yet?’. Information that is impossible to find on your website. Service agents who seem to be unable to read help requests received via email. The list goes on and on and on!
Moments of communication failure, every single one.
You might say, well my main issue is that people don’t pay.
To which I’d reply, well that’s a communication issue too. Here’s proof: 97% of my clients pay upfront!
The process I outlined here works in every single one of these situations.
If you’d like support to work through your own frictions as and when they arise, join my Pro Communicators group.
It’s just 60 bucks a month and gets you:
- A recorded masterclass once a month, working through one group member’s key stressor that month
An in-depth breakdown of the solution in writing, with full notes, after the masterclass
Access to the hive mind via a private Telegram group, for help, support, and information.
The next intake begins on 1 July.
I’m telling you this because if you want in on this, and you’re willing to be all in on making your own life less stressful (while simultaneously improving your client experience), all you have to do is:
Hit reply, type “sign me up”, and hit send.
Leticia “awake at sparrow-fart” Mooney