The single best piece of advice I’ve ever received, and the four C's that shape how I interact with clients and prospects.
The single best piece of advice I’ve ever received is,
When a client talks, nothing you have to say matters.
Active listening requires intense focus, a true desire to seek understanding, and a genuine interest in what is being said. It also means asking the right questions to gain clarity and a depth of understanding.
The 4 C’s I live by in every client interaction
Understand our client’s world, the challenges they face, and what matters to them both personally and professionally. This requires an investment of Callzilla's time, often outside of project timeframes. It helps to frame communication when we have clarity on our client’s interests or needs. It also means aligning our purpose and objectives to theirs.
Empathy, kindness, and humility goes a long way. As Maya Angelou said, “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When you enjoy being around a person, you build a natural rapport and ideally, have fun along the way.
Making every interaction count by providing predictable quality and service. Consistency also requires a strong culture of shared values and alignment around delivery approach and methodologies. It's about being a reliable partner you can count on, which also requires that we solicit ongoing feedback and an alignment in values.
An ongoing choice we make each day to put our best foot forward and to have the best interest of the other person in mind. It’s being attentive to the little things as much as the big ones. Commitment is striving for the long term, but keeping the present in mind. Commitment also means admitting when we have failed, and asking for an opportunity to address it. This can provide new and exciting ways to reignite the relationship.
When we are willing to have open and direct conversations with our clients, we create a foundation of shared trust and true accountability. Too often business partners only say what they think clients want to hear. Yet, what clients desire more is ongoing transparency and visibility throughout. A "no BS" approach comes from a place of genuine caring. It's about the intention behind the words and the resulting outcome.
It also allows for collaborative and shared ownership of issues. It provides an opportunity to clarify assumptions, and can address any misunderstandings before they evolve into issues. Over time, the label "straight talk" disappears and the act becomes a cultural norm.
Calming the waters
Clients hire Callzilla for our knowledge and expertise. But building trusted relationships goes beyond a skill set. It is about being the right partner at all times. Our cultural norm of straight talk also can become a stabilizing force during difficult or challenging times. During major organizational change or disruption in the workplace, our clients know they can rely on us to deliver, and so they are able to focus on other priorities that are top of mind.
Without our clients, Callzilla would not exist. Therefore, putting a client first is not just an obligation. It is an honor and an opportunity.
Ryan Romero is Executive Vice President of Global Sales at Callzilla, an outsourced contact center that ICMI and Customer Magazine rank among the best. Here, he helps determine fit between Callzilla's proprietary methods and organizations needing to improve customer service, sales, and engagement. Before Callzilla, he led several companies in the contact center and BPO space to mergers and aquisition. He's on LinkedIn and Twitter.
More posts by Ryan
- Call Center Trends Not Happening: AI and AR in Agent Training
- Call Center Trends Not Happening: Mobile-Friendly Multi-Channel
- Announcing a New Series: Call Center Trends NOT Happening (Why Not?)
- Comparing Call Centers? Know This About Pricing
- I'm Listening
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