Friday, 21 November 2008

‘Remembering Who The Client Is’

There’s not much in business that is a dead cert; but one fact that informs my attitude not just in business but also as a consumer is remembering who the client is. ‘Who the client is’ is rarely ambiguous – one party is paying another in a transaction and part of that interaction relies on a service being provided.

I always remember that fact in all I do. On every project, with every client I work with, however mundane the task, the bottom line is that they have paid me (or will be paying me) and I need to deliver. I try and remember that everyone has a choice in a free market; they don’t have to use my business.

Of course I expect the same from my own suppliers – that they are client-friendly and they provide a great service. That they remember which party is ‘paying the bill’ (or indeed, ‘paying their bills’).

I recently went in to a newsagent to buy a newspaper. I walked up to the counter where the shopkeeper was on the ‘phone. I smiled, said ‘hello’, gave him money and said ‘thank you’. Not only did he fail to pause his conversation, he failed to acknowledge the transaction or say thank you (or anything) back. I told him what I thought of his service - but maybe he didn’t hear me because he was still on the ‘phone.

So, please: always remember, whatever side of the metaphorical counter you are on, who the client is.

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