Naturally, as you get sales in the door, make connections and foster business relationships, your clients only want to speak to you. When they have a request or when things go wrong, they call you to sort them out. The problem with this? Client management eats into your time. As your time is better spent on valuable tasks such as business development, here’s how to get your clients to go to a team member first before you.
First move: stop being the bottleneck
One of the reasons why your clients always come to you maybe because of something that you are doing. Do you tend to micromanage everything? Does everything have to go through you so your team members have to wait for you to be able to do their jobs effectively? If projects move slowly and you spend a substantial amount of time communicating with and managing clients, you need to learn how to stop being the bottleneck in your firm. To increase efficiency, stop trying to manage everything and start delegating authority as well as responsibility to your team members. If you train them effectively and implement clear steps for communication and decision making, you can trust them to provide quality client service while you concentrate on business development.
Second move: create a streamlined ‘handover’ process and set client expectations
As part of your sales process, once you have won a new client, you need to introduce them to someone in your team who will be the client manager. As part of the handover process, you should communicate the client’s needs and any issues to the client manager as well as explaining to the client that in order for them to get the best service from your firm, they will have a specific person dedicated to them who will handle all of their matters. What this does is it sets the client’s expectations from the get-go. They know how your process works and unless there is a major problem, they will communicate with your team members instead of going through you first. Once you have mapped out the workflow of this process, tested it, reviewed and refined it, document the process to act as guidelines for your team members to manage your clients moving forward.
Create more time for you to complete the high-value-high-reward work
When you know how to stop being the bottleneck in your firm, you can design and implement key processes that allow you to handover clients with complete confidence saving you a lot of time and energy in the future. Time that you need to grow and develop the firm. Just remember to set client expectations from the start. Clients will be more than happy to have a dedicated person in the firm who will answer their questions, requests or issues, as long as they are aware of your process to begin with.