Client Expectations vs. Relationship Boundaries
One of the biggest problems that happens when it comes to communication, is that we all are busy listening so we can reply rather than listen so that we can understand. The whole understanding piece is huge when it comes to customer service and relations and I've found that to be crucial when working on the development of my relationships with customers.
Here are some things that I've learned about the success and failures of some customer relationships that I've had:
- Each new relationship and customer allows for expectations to be set at the beginning of a project or event. Be mindful of that and make sure to establish boundaries.
- There will be times initially that important details are figured immediately that will set the tone for the relationship. Make sure to note what you're expecting from the relationship and get a better understanding of the give and take portion of the relationship.
- Sometimes a customer relationship turns into a power trip and in other situations you see yourself allowing all boundaries to fade away as you choose to play the butler role at all times. Ultimately you're the one that will pay the price when it comes to lack of structure.
- Setting expectations and sticking to them in the very beginning and carrying those throughout the relationship will only deepen the mutual respect level between the two of you. Think about the current relationships you have and if any of them are significantly different in this area because of that part of the relationship.
- Make sure you do not assume that your client knows the expectations you have, instead make sure that you explain them. Let everyone know what can be expected of you and what kind of relationship you would like to mutually maintain.
- Most importantly remember that in a situation where you are a contractor or one that is not micromanaged, take the time to create a healthy work schedule and vacation schedule. Don't let someone else create that for you.
Let me know what's worked for you and what hasn't!
Light + Love,