It’s about them, not us
Our relationship with customers is the foundation of our principles. We’re their copilot, not their coach or concierge, and we’re in this together. But our customers have a lot on the line, and this is about their success, not ours. We’re never self-congratulatory, and we don’t pat ourselves on the back. We’re clear with them about how we can help and what we’re doing behind the scenes. We do that to show we care about helping them succeed, not about impressing them.
Put them in control
It’s stressful and lonely to be the one in charge. But that’s exactly why our customers love what they do, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. They want to be in control, and we respect that. So we keep them informed and give them the final say. That doesn’t mean we overwhelm them with details to consider or decisions to make. We do the stuff they shouldn’t have to do, but we make sure they know what’s going on and give them the power to sign off.
Speak their language
We use the language of who we’re talking to. It’s how we earn trust and reassure people. Small businesses and self-employed are comfortable with us because we put things in everyday terms and avoid accounting-speak as much as possible. (When we need to use it, we explain it first, label it second.) Accountants respect us because we’re not afraid to be professional. Developers like us because we know how to get technical. And employees feel at home with us because we go easy on the corporate jargon.
Make it personal
We take as much pride in our service as our customers do in theirs. And we make it personal. We address them by name. If they refer to clients, not customers, we do too. We get to know their business and understand how they define success. We strive to personalize every interaction and make them feel like they’re a regular. And sometimes we’re clever. Cleverness can turn an unremarkable, technical experience into a warm, personal one.
Focus on the payoff
All of our customers are utilitarians, but some more so than others. Move from talking about the task to be done to the reason it matters and how it’ll help them in the long run. Be strategic and judicious about how you do it. But recognize that customers can’t always see the dots, and they depend on us to connect them.
Celebrate what really matters
Every victory counts, so we look for opportunities to make customers feel good about what they’ve done. We know that exclamation points aren’t a substitute for genuine excitement, and we’re always clear about why we’re excited. We high-five them for completing tasks (Nice work), c heer them for finishing a tough job (That was tough. But you did it. Way to go!), and celebrate their milestones (Congratulations! You reached your sales goal for this month).