Client engagement has to continue – here’s how

Dealing with client engagement in changing circumstances

I hope you’re fit, well and focused right now – that’s where I’m putting my energies, especially around client engagement.

I’ll get straight to the point today to let you know of some strategies that you can easily use to continue to work with your most important people.

These come from my split personality of consultant (to the stars – like you!) and café owner (sometimes silent partner).

The café perspective

Right now my wife, Georgie and I are in the thick of community reaction to COVID 19.

You may remember we have a café and catering business here in Perth, Western Australia.

We’re fortunate that we’re in an inner suburb, Maylands, that has a strong sense of community, where we’ve worked hard to build relationships with clients, surrounding businesses and locals.

Here’s what we’ve done in the last two days:

1. Got sound, practical and factual advice.

We attended a members-only webinar provided by a professional hospitality coaching group that we’re part of. This gave us reassurance about what to do and how to do it.

2. Communicated what we’re doing.

Right now everybody is looking for reassurance. Our clients want to know what’s going on, so we’re keeping in regular touch with them. We put out posts on Facebook and Instagram and boosted these to increase their reach, with excellent results.

3. Enhanced our offering.

We’re finding that people’s buying patterns are changing. We’ve put out a survey to ask people what they need from us and how we can help them. This gives a stronger sense of connection to our business as well as a sense of influence over the changes going on around them.

 

The consultant perspective

On Tuesday I was faced with five workshops with two different clients being instantly cancelled – ouch!

I’m glad that I’ve been working in the online space for a long time. In both cases we developed a plan to shift these events online.

The first one was a focus group providing input into an industry development plan. We held that yesterday and they’ll be receiving the outputs report today.

The second one is a series of community forums on marine park planning. We now have a structure in place to enable participants to attend a webinar presentation, ask questions live and provide written input into the process online. They’ll also be able to use interactive mapping tools to identify the areas they value most.

And I’ve just had a colleague send through an SOS to shift a two day conference into an online format. We’re talking about this next week, it’ll be exciting for sure!

Tomorrow I’ll be attending my Business Mentoring Group meeting (online) and will have more ideas on client engagement for you that you can apply in your world.

 

The key points to remember are:

  • Take action – waiting for things to evolve means you’ll have a lot of ground to catch up
  • Accept that ‘good is good enough’ – perfection is your enemy and results in unnecessary delays that may cost you big time
  • People want to hear from you – a bit of love, value and assurance goes a long way

If you’d like a hand with any of this, please contact me asap (the diary has some space, but there is still lots on!)

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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