I’ve been working with clients since I graduated from college in 2004. I’ve had incredible experiences and absolutely horrid experiences. I’ve learned more lessons through my failures & mistakes than I care to admit. All of these experiences, of course, have paved the way for the manner in which I’ve built the tend.ly Client Success team. Every Client Success team has the opportunity to be an undeniable linchpin in the success of an organization. How? The CS team is responsible for the lifetime value of the customer. If they execute in the manner in which they should, customers will be incessantly satisfied and continue to renew, year after year. It’s the CS team’s responsibility to ensure this happens. At tend.ly, it’s my job to make sure we have established the tools & standards to make this happen. So, with that, I’d like to pass along 17 core values & behaviors behind the tend.ly Client Success team:

  1. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s as simple as that. Always put yourself in their shoes.
  2. Make sure every single customer knows that they are important, appreciated and heard. Notice that I said “knows.” Not “feels.” It’s not an act. It’s not lip service. It’s a genuine belief that each customer is important. If you truly believe it, your actions – not just your words – will support your belief. These actions, in turn, will show the customer that they are important, appreciated and heard.
  3. If there’s a problem, respond immediately. No, seriously. You don’t have to have the answer or be able to resolve the issue immediately, but you do need to acknowledge that you have received the customer’s report as quickly as you can.
  4. Building off of the previous thought – Have a plan. Know exactly what you’re going to say – and who’s going to do what – should something go wrong. Know how often you’ll reach out to the customer to provide an update.
  5. Honesty and acumen build rapport. Rapport is critical when it comes to building relationships with customers. Be honest. Be transparent. Be an expert. And, if you don’t know, say so.
  6. When you have a meeting with a customer, have an agenda, take notes & follow up with an email outlining action items.
  7. When in doubt, pick up the phone.
  8. Be personable. Don’t talk shop 100% of the time. Tell stories. Ask questions. Listen. Get to know your customers beyond business.
  9. There’s always a competitor waiting to steal your lunch. Don’t see it as a threat, see it as motivation to perform at the highest level day in and day out.
  10. Have grit. Things are going to go wrong. It’s inevitable. Be prepared for the moment they do. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t give up. Buckle down and manage the hell out of the situation. Don’t stop until things are fixed.
  11. Be kind. Be respectful. Be humble. Be sincere.
  12. Integrity is essential. This is, in my mind, the single most important guiding principle in life & business. Do the right thing, regardless of how painful it is.
  13. Make your customers look & feel like rock stars. Your customers are, more often than not, going out on a limb when they sign a contract with you. Focus on doing everything you can to reinforce the fact that they made the right decision by working with you and your team.
  14. Make your customer’s lives as easy and as painless as possible. Always seek out ways to help. Always go above and beyond. I’ve seen this from nearly every business angle, from early stage startups to multi-national corporations. As businesses grow, they worry more about scope, hours, dollars & boundaries than actually taking care of the customer and ensuring their satisfaction. Don’t fall into that trap. Your utmost concern should always be the satisfaction of the customer. If your internal processes prevent you from being able to that, then surface the topic with your leadership team.
  15. And on that note, it’s a relationship. Think dating relationship. Not business relationship. Business relationships are built on transactions. “Dating” relationships are built on the premise of both understanding & meeting another’s needs.
  16. Be proactive and disciplined in your outreach & check-ins. Don’t wait until something goes wrong. Don’t wait for your customers to contact you. Contact them. Regularly. A simple “Just checking in” call or email can go a long, long way.
  17. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it.