Highly sought after, rarely seen, yet greatly appreciated when found.
Many claim to practice professionalism within our industries, yet how are you actually perceived by those within your industry? How are you perceived by the consumer, the benefactor of your professionalism?
When something is outside your scope of responsibilities, yet well within the bounds of what the client should expect, how should you respond?
A recent experience caught me watching and examining my interaction with a professional’s support staff to get simple, routine questions answered and meetings scheduled. While the professionals involved are extremely well-versed and knowledgeable in their own niche, their support staff did not portray the level of professionalism I suspect they believe they provide their clients. I certainly struggled to find their professionalism meeting *my* expectations.
When we speak to a professional’s office, we expect, right or wrong, that they can accomplish things on our behalf because they are the professional in that arena. To hear something less than, “We can get that done,” is disconcerting. Granted, I am not expecting a doctor to square away my tax return; that would be extremely unreasonable of me.
Simply scheduling these meetings, I was told that the person on the phone “did not have the authority” to make the appointment as the scheduler was on vacation. Huh? So, the professional’s office shuts down when a support staffer goes on vacation?
My expectation when I called to set these appointments is that someone who picked up the phone could give me a definitive answer. Nothing changed those expectations, rather they were mismanaged by someone operating outside their work place responsibilities.
Maybe this post is more a gripe than anything else and I should simply expect this level of ‘pass the buck-ism.’ I simply refuse to believe this is the best way for clients to be served.
To steal a seminal line from the Charlton Heston flick, Soylent Green,
“Clients is people!”
We, as people, all want to know that our concerns are being heard and addressed. We also crave being cared for, on some level. When the ‘front line’ of a professional’s office gives off the impression that, “It’s not my job,” what message does that send to the client? To me, it says that my business is not needed there and that I should consider looking elsewhere.
What are you doing to show your clients and people that depend on your knowledge, that you hear their concerns and will do all that you can to address them?