Have you ever hidden from your client – even when they are coming into your office or a meeting?
This occurred recently at work. Following a particularly difficult meeting with a client and their adviser my colleague decided to stay away from the office completely when they can back to resolve the issues. This left our member of staff, who had been quite upset at the previous meeting, to deal with the client on her own.
I was quite shocked at this. The adviser had been quite rude and are to the meeting gunning for a fight. But to avoid the situation after and leave a member of staff to pick up the pieces astounded me. I do not know what my colleague is hiding from, or what the full issues are, but to me this is not leadership.
The previous meeting had been intense. Our client had not stood up for us in front of her adviser. I wonder if she had enough knowledge to do so, or if she just kept quiet – bemused by the whole episode.
It turns out that following this episode my colleague has decided not to take on any more clients for this specific service. They are also avoiding talking about what happened.
One thing strikes me though – you can’t garner, or mend, good client relations by hiding. Things go wrong. Mistakes get made. But keeping away so you don’t have to face them is wrong. I have never been given this option since starting this company, and even if I had I don’t think I would have shied away.
Facing up to mistakes and client problems help you grow as a person, improves your skills and shows leadership. If you want to hide then you may as well not have the client. If my colleague had faced the issues head on perhaps they would have learned how to change the offering going forward, and how to avoid this mistake in the future.
Would you hide from a client?