People Are Buying Trust
Deciding to engage a personal concierge is a big step. It isn’t a straightforward service. A personal concierge will get to know many personal details about their clients. You will most likely be given access to their homes and be responsible for caring for their garden, their pets, and possibly their family.
Therefore, building trust, right from the first interaction with a client is really important. When it comes right down to it, if they feel comfortable with you, they will be more likely to use your service.
What Clients Say
Usually the first place clients will go before they contact you is to your website or facebook page. It is therefore very important to have testimonials from clients. Put them right on the front page, as well as a longer list on a separate testimonials page.
If you don’t have any direct clients as yet, think outside the square. Are there any past or present work colleagues who could write something covering skills relevant to a personal concierge? Have you helped a friend or family member? Have you helped someone while they were sick? Is there any volunteer work you’ve done that matches your potential services? Ask as many people as you can to write a testimonial for you, and offer to list it as anonymous if they prefer. If you are worried people are too busy, I find it’s great to write a ‘draft’ testimonial for them and ask them if they’d like to use it as a basis. Most times they’ll respond saying they are happy for you to use what you have written. Simple!
Will It Be Done Their Way?
When people are delegating tasks they are more than capable of doing themselves, it is common for them to wonder if you’ll do things the way they would. The best way to manage this is to let the clients know that, especially at the beginning or with new, you will be asking them lots of questions. Find out if they prefer email, sms, and when they are happy for a phone call. Communication is key. Whenever we have had negative feedback from a client, it usually relates to a lack of communication on our behalf. Drop them an email with an update, even if there hasn’t been much change.
When Things Go Wrong
Yes, things will go wrong. Trust me! In the beginning, and especially when things start to get busy, you may feel like you are making an inordinate amount of mistakes. Your first step will be to go into problem solving mode. Will you be able to take charge of solving the problem with a result which will result in no impact on the client? Don’t be deceitful at any time. However, if you can take on the stress and solve the problem, this is exactly what your client pays you for. If you can’t solve the problem, or the result won’t be 100% satisfactory, communicate with your client as soon as possible, preferably before you progress too much further with the task. More often than not, your client will work with you to come up with a solution. Clarify what you’ve discussed, confirm it in an email, and get on with it.
Sometimes, the client will be upset or angry. Do you best to remain composed and avoid being defensive. I personally find this challenging. However, I have found that when you receive this type of reaction from a client, there is something else going on in their life that you don’t know about, and which may not be directly related to the task at hand. Try to keep that in mind. We’ve all had bad days and reacted somewhat inappropriately to situations. Some tips for you:
- Try and gauge if they want to work through the problem with you, or they just want you to get on with solving the problem.
- Over communicate until the task is complete.
- Take responsibility but don’t go overboard with telling them it was all your fault. They just want the job sorted.
- Later, reflect on what caused the problem and what you could do in the future to avoid the same situation.
Cover Your Bases
Insurance is challenging in the personal concierge industry (Members will be able to access and steadily developing list of recommended insurers in our resources Library) but the bottom line is, you’ve got to have it. I recommend you get professional advice. In my experience, I have been told it is advisable to have both public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Some insurance brokers will question this, but in general, public liability covers you for any physical or material losses, whereas professional indemnity covers you for any referrals or recommendations that you have made for your client. Also keep in mind relevant motor vehicle and employee insurance you may require. Obviously different states and countries require different things so please do you research. The bottom line, insurance is expensive, but you do need it. Can you imagine if you crashed your client’s $100,000 Mercedes…….!
Get Checked Out
Up to date police checks are important to have on hand, for yourself, your employees, and any subcontractors working on your behalf. It is recommended that police checks are updated every 12 months. I have found that telling your clients that everyone who works for you has an up to date police check is enough. I’ve never had a client ask for one, but I’m ready and waiting. I have needed them for different membership and association applications. The small annual cost is certainly worth the peace of mind, and when that one client does ask to see them, you will have them ready and on hand.
Your Trust Checklist
Trust is a crucial part of running a personal concierge business. Keeping this top of mind in all your operations will ensure confidence in you and your service delivery.
To get you started, here is a quick Trust Checklist. Tick this off, and you will be well on your way to providing the trust your clients are seeing.
- Testimonials on your website and via social media
- Public liability insurance
- Professional indemnity insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance
- Employee insurance
- Police checks for everyone working for your business
- Create a new client checklist to ask important questions
- Confirm everything via email, even if you’ve spoken with your client
- Communicate clearly and promptly at all times
Do you have any other items to add to the Trust Checklist? Or any stories to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Need some business advice? You can schedule a call with Abbie here – https://clarity.fm/abbieallen