Are you feeling the love from those you paid to help you? Are you feeling the love from those that you have served so well and gone the extra mile for? Maybe, maybe not.
I, like you, have been on both sides of this issue so let’s get crystal clear and resolve this once and for all.
When you hire someone, you have a responsibility to communicate effectively about your expectations. (If you don’t, then that’s your first problem right there.) You have a responsibility to give service providers what they need and to do it in a timely manner. You don’t want to be too quick to give compliments or to over celebrate the work product too early. This can be confusing and misleading to the person serving you.
Take your time in reviewing the work being provided and avoid terms like always, never, absolutely, perfect and the worst. Rate things on scales of 1-5 or 1-10. Try to quantify how you feel about the work being done or the feedback you are getting from the people you trust about the work being done.
Compartmentalize the feedback so the person knows what is coming from you and what is coming from others. The busy service provider either consciously or subconsciously tends to move on to the next person or project. Of course, being overly negative doesn’t exactly inspire someone’s best either, not to mention it’s a tough way to live your life. Try to remember what it’s like when you are the service provider too!
When you take on a client it is your responsibility to set the expectations for what the client will receive or what I call “showing the client the finish line”. (If you don’t think this is worth over communicating and an ongoing process, then that’s your first problem.) You can never go the extra mile if clients don’t really understand where the finish line is in the first place. You have a responsibility to explain what the deliverables are, what the finished work product will look like, feel like and be like. The services that you are most knowledgeable in can be very confusing to the client you are serving.
Write out exactly what your client will get during the process of your service and try to quantify it in terms of time, skill, steps and people under your direction that will be a part of the process. Have deadlines, proactive reminders, and occasional calls even when there is nothing to talk about. Try to communicate in multiple ways and specifically in ways that they prefer. Some prefer texts, some prefer email and others are easier to reach through social media messaging.
Give the client a chance to rate things on a scale, have them show you examples of what they are hoping the final product might look like if possible and don’t get defensive during the process. You never want to take the feedback personally. Try to remember what it’s like when you are the client trying to get your money’s worth!