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Clients First


(A beautiful picture of Mt Everest)

A big thank you again to Charles H Green for allowing me to host the Carnival of Trust. It has taken me all week to come down from that high.

I thought I would touch on something that is incredibly dear to my heart: Clients First.

Clients First as a mantra has always driven me on to do my very very best for my clients – perhaps it is part of that ultra competitive person that lurks within me or is sometimes manifest but I just couldn’t ever think of doing my second best or whatever is a compromise from ‘First’.

I have always put the client first, the business or firm that I was working for second and me last. I know, very often, that there’s a hair’s breath between these constituent parts but that has been my modus operandi.

The thing is that even with the very best client management techniques, programmes or training they will count for nothing if you approach the task with anything other than an absolute and unshakable faith that your client or customer comes first.

That has sometimes meant, strange as it may seem, that I have turned away work because I have known instinctively that I (or the business) was not right for the client.

Without wishing to be tendentious, I wonder how many businesses have this as their central theme? Yes they might espouse it (liberally in some cases) but how many can genuinely say that it is the core of their business? Don’t you ever find yourself in a situation where you lament the poor service delivery or poor after sales service? I do. And it seems with increasing frequency these days. What then might you ask is the priority of these businesses? Do you really need to ask?

Over the weekend I took my children to the local fish and chip shop. I got a very clear impression that the owner (who always seems so cheerful and engaging) was doing the same thing that I had see him doing on multiple occasions without any sense of boredom or that sense of passive disengagement that seems so prevalent in today’s workplace; but yet he still managed to stop and talk, and, more importantly, engage with every customer. The sense I got was that he was doing it because he loved his job, loved interacting with people and was living the Clients First mantra.

For me it goes beyond customer service. Even this expression seems limp. Shouldn’t we be talking about customer WOW or customer blown out of the water; but not service, which to me sounds like the bare minimum that should be done.

When you next have a brainstorming session, team bonding away day or training session, why don’t you think Clients First and stand firmly in your client’s shoes and ask yourself what you would expect to receive to be blown away and get a WOW experience. Please don’t shoot this down on the basis of some flim flam like, “We offer the cheapest produce or service in town”. So what! If that is your business model then great for you but don’t compromise, ever, on putting your clients first.

For me there is no compromise.