When you put your ear to a seashell, you could swear that the rushing sound you hear is the very ocean from which the shell originated. Of course, you know it’s not really the ocean!
Hearing the voice of the client can be equally deceiving. You might think you know what your clients are saying, but how can you be sure? For example, when a client says “I’m disappointed with this tax return,” you might think the client is saying “I don’t think I should pay you!” or “I’ll never do business with you again!” In truth, however, your client just doesn’t like to pay taxes. Most unhappy clients are simply saying
“I want my problem to be heard.”
“I want an apology.”
Solution: Find out specifically what they don’t feel is right and apologize for any errors.
“I want reassurance that some action will be taken to fix my problem and to prevent it from recurring.”
Solution: Offer to help them plan better for next year and set up an appointment to meet with them later in the year.
So listen carefully to your clients. Reassure them that you will resolve the problem to their satisfaction. Finally, follow up to make sure that you’ve fulfilled their needs — both voiced and unvoiced.