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Relationships matter and a good relationship is built on trust, follow through and most importantly collaboration, says Cindi Crooks Relationship Manager at Citycare.
Citycare has long since recognised that a strong client relationship required a steady person as a point of contact – to collaborate, to fix things, to be that ‘go to’ person.
“The key to a successful client relationship is listening. You need to front up to a client and listen, deal with any issues and feedback regularly. Just by taking these steps you can dramatically improve a relationship with a client,” says Cindi.
Some of the techniques Cindi uses to ensure positive client relationships include taking minutes, doing homework and regular face to face meetings.
“There are actions you can take to repair a relationship or to make it stronger. An example of this, is to take minutes at every meeting. The next step is to follow-up. This means after every meeting, sending out the minutes with actions that need to be taken and by whom. Then it is just a matter of follow through to ensure the work has been completed and accountability exists. This may seem basic, but by doing these simple steps, you are demonstrating the importance and value you place on meetings and the people you meet with. This is crucial for both sides of the relationship – everyone needs to know what they were responsible for and whether they have delivered,” says Cindi.
Cindi says preparation is also key to a successful partnership.
“There is nothing worse than having a meeting with someone who is unprepared. Doing homework before every meeting, particularly when you are meeting someone for the first time, is vital. This also means reading everything that is sent to you and if you don’t understand it, you need to research. You can damage relationships by merely not taking enough time to get to know a business, a person or a project,” says Cindi.
“Relationships can easily go south. You have to consistently work hard to stay collaborative and in a good space. My days are filled with meetings and reporting. But I think these regular contacts make a difference. It’s a cliché but I also recommend a smile. I go into every meeting or phone call with a positive attitude,” says Cindi.
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