Ram is a very hard-working person but can’t seem to sustain a growth path in the corporate world. He works overtime to resolve customer queries but still clients get annoyed with him and request his seniors to assign a replacement relationship manager to them. Seniors too lose their cool with him for poor service to the clients. Ram isn’t the only one facing such a problem in the corporate world. There are many who don’t get due recognition despite being hard workers. So the question is not ‘what’ they do; it’s what are they are ‘doing wrong’?
The journey to build good relationships with your customers is often long and difficult. However, in order to progress in your career, it’s important to have a good understanding with your customers whether they are external or internal.
Back to the case of Ram – He works in a MNC bank and handles HNI individuals & large corporates. Whenever he receives any complaint/query, he immediately starts working on it, coordinating with the support office, product team and many other departments. While starting work he informs the clients about a deadline by when he will get back to them with solutions. However, if he is not able to get the query resolved with the committed time frame, he doesn’t update the client; either out of fear of being reprimanded or because he has forgotten; and that’s the beginning of his troubles with furious clients. On the other hand, Ram thinks he will speak to the client only when he has a solution in hand. Imagine this happening two three times. Finally when he does call the client with a solution, he gets blasted by him to smithereens; and despite getting the right solutions the client complains against Ram.
It’s more often understood that one must resolve queries within the stipulated timeframe for better relationship with the clients. At times, when results are not delivered as per the expectations of the client, that’s when relationship has the risk of getting strained. But it’s not exactly true; a client wants to be communicated about the ongoing status of his query. He is satisfied as long as he feels updated and confident that his problem is being looked into by a thorough professional.
When I observe successful sales people, who have great rapport with their clients, I came to the conclusion that resolution of the problem is not the most important aspect to building relationship. The two key parameters required for having successful relationship in this corporate world are 1. Communication and 2. Listening. The factor that not only binds these two but also decides how successful one is going to be in Relationship Management is Time.
TCL theory of relationship management states, “For building good relationships, two skills are very important Listening & Communications bonded by the importance of right time.”
Time is the most important factor for effective customer service or relationship building. The big question is how can one develop this art to become successful in the corporate life? The answer is very simple, “Be empathetic”.
One needs to regularly communicate with clients; even at the risk of the client not taking the news well. The best way is to deliver things at the committed deadline but if by any chance one is not able to provide the solution, the best way is to call the customer and inform him that it will take more time. One must do it every time when he/she is missing the deadline. A client may get agitated during the call or meeting but in the longer run he will become your promoter to stakeholders. He will not raise complaints against you; rather he would appreciate your efforts and commitment in front of your seniors.
To be winner in corporate world, one must champion the art of relationship management & TCL theory is one of the way to become good at Relationship Management.