What We Can Learn from Clients
Every now and then clients do something that gives me a welcome little jolt, preventing me from getting too set in my ways.
Is there such a thing as routine client correspondence?
Clients who send me several smaller jobs usually get a monthly invoice instead of several individual invoices. January is coming to an end, bringing the realization that I hadn’t discussed a newish client’s billing details yet. On Friday afternoon, I sent them a short email informing them that I would be issuing my first invoice on Monday and asking for confirmation of what to include on the invoice to ensure that it would be easily processed.
Nothing to write home about, really.
Why not add value every time you come into contact with a client?
And then my client replied. And it was a happy reply, thanking me for asking about their billing needs because missing information on invoices wastes everybody’s time, leads to an unnecessary back and forth and ultimately delays payment.
Now, you might ask why the client doesn’t simply issue billing instructions with every job (which many clients do). That’s not the point I’d like to make, though.
When I sent the client that email, I was thinking about myself and that I wanted to get paid without a hitch. The client’s reaction was a timely reminder that even the most mundane correspondence can include benefits for the client (albeit accidentally in this case). The next time I enquire about billing details it will still be because I want my invoice to be paid. But I will also take care to add value for the client. Taking a second to look at the situation through my client’s eyes doesn’t cost me anything and can only improve the services I offer. After all, a client reacting happily to the announcement of an invoice is a pleasant experience I wouldn’t mind having again.
Have you fallen off the wagon lately as well? Or are you way ahead of me and a died-in-the-wool value-adder?