Showing Up for Our Clients: Why Nothing Beats a Face-to-Face Meeting
I’m currently on my way home from two weeks of back to back east coast travel. It’s not because I love ten-hour travel days and the resulting jet lag, it’s because I love our clients. These trips have made me realize how excellent Metal Toads clients are and how we were neglecting to show up for them. You know that feeling when you get so busy and heads down in the day-to-day, you look up and say “hey, where did everybody go?” That’s what happened to us this past quarter. Metal Toad went through a significant restructuring by switching to teams and lost and gained some valuable Toads. While we were focused internally on building a better Metal Toad our clients suffered. Yes, we still held our weekly check-ins and provided monthly reports, but we weren’t as present as we could have been, we didn’t communicate our internal changes very well, and we had some relationship repairing to do.
How powerful it has been to meet with our clients face-to-face! Web meetings, phone calls, emails, and Basecamp conversations are fine, but it’s nothing like meeting in person. By meeting in person and truly being present you;
- Get things done faster because you’re completely focused on that other person,
- Listen better (because you aren’t multitasking),
- Can better use your emotional intelligence because you’ve got body language to work with,
- Can immediately clarify confusion and meaning,
- Can have meetings with high participation, effectiveness, and efficiency,
- Get things done!
After visiting a certain client of ours, my empathy for them skyrocketed. I learned about challenges within their organization (that we can help with!) that I never would have gleaned through a web based meeting. Metal Toad strives for excellent customer service and a high level of account management every day. I’ve noticed that when we don’t have a real, present connection with our clients at least every two weeks, undesirable outcomes are more likely to happen. But when we show up for our clients, those things disappeared.
So take note clients – current, past, and future - we will be showing up for you and supporting you better than we have been in the recent past, and we will be visiting you in person more often! If only worm holes or teleportation could become reality so we could move about the country quicker!