Can you walk in someone else’s shoes?

On World Quality Day, Hyphen’s Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Fox, takes a closer look at what underpins client value and how this can be enhanced by simply taking a walk in their shoes…

When Covid19 threw our world into disarray earlier this year, the natural and immediate instinct for many companies was for survival. Likewise, for Hyphen our focus was on doing what was necessary to minimise the effects on our business and the impact it would have on our clients.

But despite the uncertainty, our clients still expect a reliable service. Our clients trust us to maintain our commitment to them, and deliver by given deadlines, even in times of crisis.  It is part of the familiar, the known, an unfailing service that gives people a comforting sense of security and stability.

I was interested to learn that the theme for World Quality Day 2020 is “Creating Customer Value” or, in our case, client value. There are many management tools to help companies create or enhance this. However, in order to really understand your clients’ needs, you have to understand your service from their point of view. You have to walk in their shoes. But what if you are not the same shoe size?  Can you ever really have an understanding of the same experience?

In order to answer that, you have to look at what underpins client value. It is the client, not the company that defines what value means. You need to look beyond what matters to you and your business and see what matters to your client. Of course, what matters today may not be the same as what mattered last year. You don’t have to be the same shoe size, but you do need to be familiar with the same journey, to understand what it feels like to walk the same path.

In taking a step further (in your shoes or theirs) you can find ways to creatively enhance client value through avenues that will establish strong relationships both now and in the future that are based on respect and understanding. Even in times of crisis, arguably more so as pressure on clients’ budgets mount,  we need to look at what clients want/need and what we can do to enhance the quality and delivery of our service to maintain strong client relationships.

By continuing to listen to what our clients tell us, we can quickly see areas where we can improve. Business survival then becomes more about how we face the future together.