Today I’m talking to my friend Remeny Armitage about turning your clients into advocates.
Remeny Armitage’s mission is to humanize business. She has over 20 years experience working for a variety of businesses in client advocacy and insight research, marketing and new business. Ultimately, she helps businesses understand what their clients REALLY think about them with the goal of turning their clients into advocates. Her experience has helped build relationships between businesses and their clients in a human-centric way. She gets under the skin of a business by interviewing their clients and feeding back ways they can improve the business and the way they engage with their clients in a human way. She has built up a range of methods that ensures business improvement and growth, while building long-lasting relationships that are based on a strong foundation of trust and respect between businesses and their clients, with the aim of turning them into advocates"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu – @sarahsantacroce #humanemarketing Click To Tweet
In this episode, you’ll learn about turning your clients into advocates as well as…
- Remeny’s mission to humanize business
- What turning your clients into advocates has to do with sustainability
- What’s behind the mistake of always looking for “new” business before revisiting existing clients
- How a focus on humanity helps to build more loyal customers
- And so much more.
Connect with Remeny on:
Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s book
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Remeny: Yeah, I’m good. Thank you.
Sarah: Thanks for having me. Yeah, I’m so excited to get to talk to you again. We’ve had several chances off and on recording this time, we’re recording again. So good to speak to you. We were met through a networking. I was gonna say a networking event, but it was through another person who connected the two of us.
Yes. I [00:09:00] think she talked to you after just talking to me and she’s like, You both talk about humanizing business. Yes. So I think you should know each other. It was exactly, it
Remeny: was a, it was serendipity. It was great. Exactly.
Sarah: Yeah. And then I think you told me that you just bought my selling, like we’re human bug, like before,
Remeny: so yeah.
Which is funny. It was so weird. I mean, talk about serendipity. It was like, oh wow. You know, I’m obviously, yeah. That’s never happened before. You’re the first person here. I bought the book and then suddenly he’d landed in my life. It’s very exciting. Yeah. I love
Sarah: these moments. Yeah. Love them. Yeah. So, so yeah, that’s why we’re here because we have you know, very similar worldviews business views, our values are aligned.
And so I feel like we have a lot of things in common and absolutely, we talk a lot of things about a lot of things as well. So your business is called brilliant and human and. So have this tagline on your homepage that says let’s humanize business together. So [00:10:00] yes, absolutely. Tell us more, tell us about your story and how this all started.
Remeny: Oh, well thank you so, well, yes, as you say, it’s brilliant and human is my business. The idea is by being more human you can be, well, you can be more brilliant. And so um, the, the focus of the work that I do is all about making. People in business, happier by building better relationships with them.
And the way I do that at the moment is focusing more on the client side and building better relationships with clients by proactively listening to clients and actually learning what makes them. What would make them happier in with their suppliers and their the businesses that they’re working with so that they can so that they can help the businesses improve.
So typically I interview my clients, clients find out what’s working, what’s not, and look at ways of improving a business so that they can serve their clients better with more humanity and more care. And, and actually hopefully promote happier working environment. [00:11:00]
Sarah: Yeah, I, I, I will definitely ask more questions about that because when I first heard you say that, I was like, wow, that’s interesting.
I’ve never heard that before. And in fact were. Featuring this episode under the P of partnership of the humane marketing Mandela, and it’s really this partnership with your clients, right? Yes. That, that, and, and, and I guess for you as with your clients’ clients as well yes. That’s who you’re really talking
Yes. So how did that
Sarah: yeah. How did, how did you turn that idea into, you know, now your business model and services?
Remeny: Well, I had been working in agencies, so digital agency I was in the, got into marketing and biz dev for digital agencies for gosh, since 99. And I. You know, the person who people came to to build the relationships with the potential clients mainly, but I always felt that, you know, I would spend a long time doing new business, [00:12:00] building relationships, bringing clients in, built on trust and humanity and care.
And then the, the. Agency the, the team would be working with the client would be getting on fine with the client, but then often what would happen is that the project would finish and then the client would go off and do something else with someone else. And, and I’ve always felt frustrated and, and felt that there was more opportunity there to build those relationships so that you’ve got more human and engaging relationships so that they stay more loyal.
So that they continue to work with you and if they move to another business, they go on and they get, you know, they’ll keep working with you cuz it’s people working with people. And so I I decided to leave the agency after 10 years and I set up brilliant in human and the originally I was doing marketing biz dev and, and then the client care piece, but then I’ve become more and more focused on the, the.
The client care and the client advocacy piece and that [00:13:00] human engagement. So, because I think that businesses are often so busy doing the bulk, doing the bulk of the work that they’re doing and looking at how to win new business and, and things like that, that they actually often lose, or don’t have time to nurture those relationships ongoing because they’re busy doing the work today and not necessarily.
Building those relationships ongo ongoing. So so that’s kind of how I came up with the idea. And so in my previous agency I would interview clients, but then it was just about that one client and fixing problems usually. Whereas now I’m speaking to a range of clients for one business, and then there’s often themes that come out and then we can try and help.
Improve ways of working and improve. You know, it could be anything from marketing to business strategy to processes, identifying new services clients were asking [00:14:00] for. And so that’s kind of how I came into doing what I do.
Sarah: Hmm. I love that. Yeah. It it’s so often you know, also in this marketing world, we’re always taught to get new clients, right.
Mm-hmm, , that’s the whole idea of, of marketing as well. It’s like, okay, let me help you to get more and more clients where, what you are saying is like, well actually, why don’t you deepen the relationships with your existing or, or maybe even past clients, right? Yes. To me, what that brings up is kind of this.
Idea of sustainability as well. Like don’t just throw away your clients and move on to the next one, actually, you know, deepen that relationship. So I guess. Yeah. Tell us about the impact that you see. Just in a minute, but I would also say that probably also then leads to more referrals. If I think about it, it’s like, well, since the relation relationship is deeper with your clients, well, then they will talk more about, you know, about [00:15:00] the service you provide to other people.
Yeah. And it, what other impact
Remeny: is there? Well, I, I, I mean, that is certainly one of them. I’ve just, just interviewed someone a couple of hours ago and it was, it was definitely an advocate for the person I was interviewing for the agency I was working for. And the client was saying that you know, how much she loved.
The supplier and how she’d become friends with them and how she’s worked with this, this person, this business for years, right in the last three or four roles that she’s been in mm-hmm because she trusts this person, absolutely implicitly, this, this organization. And you know, that in itself is like, you know, she is.
The the best marketing tool you could have. Yeah. And so I say, I believe that if you can proactively try to nurture those relationships, your clients from, you know, happy enough clients to advocates, they are going to be the most powerful tool you’ve got in your, you know, marketing. Kit, because you can then ask them for advice on, you know, whether or not [00:16:00] it’s, what marketing should we be doing or, or using they’re getting their testimonials or their case studies and actually, you know, promoting your business with them, maybe in alignment or in collaboration with your clients as well is often opportunities there.
But you were asking about other impact. I. I’ve seen lots of different areas of impact from, you know, obviously the marketing, but also I’ve had a number of occasions where clients have been saying, they, they really like the organization, the business, but actually they don’t feel, for example, they might not be proactive enough, then it might not be thinking innovatively.
Then I might not be thinking about the future and. and actually opportunities have come up for my clients to come up with new services or new products, right. To meet the needs of their clients. Yeah. And, and then they can then grow off the back of what their clients are actually asking for. Yeah. So I’ve had a couple of clients.
I have one [00:17:00] client who. Their clients were all saying they wanted them to be more strategic. And within six months they were making 40% profit off the back of what their clients were asking for. Nice. I I’ve had other, I mean, impact. Sometimes the work, the findings I find can be quite difficult for, for a business to hear.
It’s not always good and it can be very uncomfortable. So, yeah. I’m
Sarah: gonna ask you about that. Cause I, I think you probably have some stories there as well. I do.
Remeny: And it’s it’s it is, I mean, people. Have to be quite brave to hear truly honest feedback. Yeah. Because it can be, it can be hard. And you know, I’ve had situations where I’ve interviewed clients and it’s been really clear.
There’s one team member that might be causing trouble within the organization that is upsetting the clients and the clients are leaving. Cuz they mm-hmm don’t feel they can feed that back. And actually you’re gonna lose. Business, unless you’re actually aware of what’s going on within, within your organization.[00:18:00]
Yeah. And then act on it and then, but, you know, feed that back to your clients and make sure that you are. Showing that you can be vulnerable, but you are actually, you are trying to fix issues. And I mean, I had another client where their clients were finding the, the way they were being serviced with the product.
Projects they were working on was so appalling that they were complaining. And again, they were leaving in droves and it was cause some of the processes were so bad and the way they were being treated was so negative that they were deeply unhappy. And so after speaking to their clients, Who all said they were felt like they were being over, over promised under delivered that once the, my client understood what was going on, they were able to fix those problems.
Went to their clients, apologize was really open and upfront and said, look really sorry, but [00:19:00] you know, this is what we’re going to do to fix it. And their satisfaction. Rating went from 22% to 74% over four months just by being honest. So I think, you know, that impact that can save reputation yeah.
Sarah: Is so good.
So many things I wanna kind of go back to, I think the first one is what I heard you say, you know, when you talk to the clients of your clients, you really find out what they want and what they. What they, their expectations are. But sometimes as the people who are delivering, delivering the service or, or creating the products, we’re not actually aware of what our clients really want.
And so we give them what we think they need, but. You know, maybe it’s completely the wrong thing. And so actually talking to your clients really gives you that information doesn’t it? So that you can then adjust the business and say, oh, okay. And also adjust the marketing. Like, [00:20:00] because in, in marketing, if we are talking.
About something that they don’t actually want. Well, obviously that’s gonna be a problem. Nobody’s gonna buy our services anymore. Yes. So yeah, I think that that was such an important point you made there. I forgotten now. Oh, the other thing you know what, like, I, I Think about my humane marketing circle, where last year we did a, a town hall meeting and I said, look, let’s get all together.
And let’s think about how we can make this circle even better next year. And it was just so helpful to hear different opinions and people, you know, say, well, actually I think the calls are too short and. Can we add this? Can we have a community platform? So really yeah, creating it almost together that I think is really helpful, but you’re right.
It also does take, you know, courage to say, what if they’re gonna say we don’t like it, or, you know, what, if these is issues come up, but that’s why [00:21:00] transparency, I think is just so key. Mm. And. It takes
Remeny: courage. Yeah. yeah. And it might be that you, you are aware that there things aren’t going quite as smoothly, but you don’t know how to quite approach it.
Yeah. And actually by having impartial feedback and, and interviewing impartially, it means that then the clients can feedback honestly. And then it opens those conversations up that might be difficult to have if you. Trying to do it yourself because it’s, it’s totally natural to try and defend your business or defend your people.
Mm-hmm when actually it, and I think it’s much easier for the clients to say. I’d rather not feed that back because it’s much easier just to find someone else. Yeah. Actually when you fix things, clients become so much more loyal. Yeah. And you know, if you are saying, look, you know, I’m sorry, we’ve messed this up.
Or, you know, understand that you’re interested in this. Let’s, let’s talk open those conversations up and try [00:22:00] to do it with someone who’s not going to take anything personally. Yeah.
Sarah: What are some things that you hear over and over again? Like complaints or
Remeny: just there’s there’s three, I’d say there’s three complaints that come up the most frequently, and one of them is lack of.
Processes or kind of not very strong processes or the clients are aware that the processes are failing here and there, which you don’t want lack of productivity and lack of communication. So they’re all really intertwined with each other. We’ve got good processes. Hopefully the other two will be fixed and equally, if you’ve got communication and you know, you are being more proactive with the way you’re thinking, you can, oops, you can build things up and I mean, I believe gen generally that if you look at your customer journey or client journey, when are you speaking to them?
When are you engaging with them? And then you think about that, the processes, proactivity and communication. At each one of those points. [00:23:00] Can you improve anything that you are doing with your clients to address any of those three things? I think every business could improve. Mm-hmm by doing that and ultimately bottom line be more human, you know, actually engage with your clients in a human way.
And the other one that comes up, it’s not so much as of a complaint, but I’m tied to the proactivity thing, but again, a lot of my clients. Clients say that they wish that their supplier were a bit more proactive and forward thinking and taking time to understand their business and then come up with solutions that were valuable for them.
Mm-hmm . And so be being a bit more proactive with their thinking and, and ideas for how you can serve your clients better, which of course is going to bring you more business. If you are trying to think of ways of doing things better. Yeah.
Sarah: Can you give us an example of a process that they’re [00:24:00] referring to?
Are they referring to like customer experience or more like, you know, delivery process or, or what are, what is an
Remeny: example? With the, with the. Kind of proactivity or the, that side of things or no, you
Sarah: were saying processes process. Yeah.
Remeny: Yeah. Mm-hmm so, yeah. So pro pro processes kind of thinking about how.
You might be delivering your service and you have a team of people working on something and mm-hmm and say your onboarding processes. Okay. You know, actually things might not be clear or, or who’s doing what within a team. Yeah. Actually make it really clear who people are, what they’re doing and who you should be getting in touch with for what, or you know, when you are delivering.
Part of the service, make sure that the clients are clear on what is being delivered when, how you know, and the timings being really clear with your time scales and things like that. But just giving people [00:25:00] certainty of how things are working with your processes can improve things. And I think that causes frustration when people aren’t clear.
Sarah: That is uh, that’s such a good point. I, I see that. You know, happening to, to me when I sign up for something and then, you know, the calendar isn’t there and you have to go back and forth to find a date or, or like little things. Right. I’m thinking mainly about my solar printer, heart centered business owners, entrepreneurs, like the onboarding process is so important because that is the first.
Kind of interaction that your client has with you. And so you can really either shine and, you know, just impress the heck of the client or everything can be a bit clunky and things are just not quite organized. And, and, and, and yeah, I think people do notice it. And yeah. If they talk to you, they’d probably say, yeah, isn’t that
yes. [00:26:00] And I think as well for the solo printers and the, the, the smaller businesses, it’s an interesting one because they might not have a big team, but actually when you’re speaking to your clients as a solo, talk to them about. Your processes and talk to them about what they want and how do they want those processes to work?
Do they want weekly meetings? Do they want meetings monthly or, or do you want to do it so that you are, you know, how do you want to be. Treated and nurtured. And, and are you better on the phone or are you better on zoom or, you know, actually it’s not, I mean, it’s that old saying, you know, doers to unto others, as you do under your unto yourself, actually it’s what do your clients want?
It’s not how you want to be working with, it’s actually making sure that you are adaptable and you’re flexible. So I think it’s important to. Stay agile. And again, it’s that human conversation. Yeah. And trust, you know, make sure that you build that trust and you know, you are honest and if you’re gonna be late for something, there’s always gonna be hiccups.
That’s fine. [00:27:00] Just tell your clients don’t tide. Yeah.
Sarah: Okay. That’s I think that’s the, that’s that integrity piece that is so essential here as well. Like if mm-hmm , you know, be true to your word. Yeah, and we do that in our marketing, but we don’t, we also do that in our delivery and I, you know, find myself.
Yeah, it’s probably not a good thing, but I find myself judging when I don’t see that integrity when, you know, someone promises something and, and I don’t see it. I don’t get it unless of course there’s a good reason and they tell me, oh, I couldn’t, you know, couldn’t get it on time. Like you just mentioned, you know, communicate.
But the integrity piece I think is so, so
Remeny: key there. Mm. And I think it goes back to that, you know, the humanizing business. Yeah. If you. If you are proactively human with your clients and the people you’re working with, and you are honest and. I, I mean, sounds awful, but I think it opens up the opportunity for if you are going to mess up or you are not going to deliver [00:28:00] something.
Cause you’ve been really honest and you’ve been really human and you’ve told them the truth all the way along. Right. If something’s gonna go wrong, they’re probably gonna forgive you much quicker. Yeah. If you’ve actually been upfront and say, look, sorry, this has happened and I will do what I can to make this happen.
Yeah. People appreciate. Honesty.
Sarah: Yeah, it feels like I have this image of a, of a piggyback, you know, every time you did something good, you did something on time. There’s like, you know, some money in your piggyback and then finally you’re like, Ooh, I messed this one up. They’re like, oh, it’s fine. You know, piggy bank is full.
So yes. So it really feels, yeah, you’re right. They they’ll forgive you much easier than yeah. Than if you kind of emptied the bank account
Remeny: more . Yes, exactly. And then the other thing that it reminds me of, again, from a lot of people’s feedback is, is having the courage to challenge your clients. And again, I think for like solo pronouns or any business, but I [00:29:00] think the idea is, you know, you are the expert, you should be confident in what you’re going to be delivering and your clients.
Yes. You know, they say clients are always right, but they’re not always right. And they don’t know everything. And actually, I think it’s important to have the confidence to challenge your clients sometimes and tell them, no, you know, this isn’t. Quite right. I don’t think this is gonna get you the results you want, you know, have a discussion with them and be brave about the fact that you know, your stuff and, you know, have that human conversation.
Don’t just say yes, yes, yes. Mm-hmm because then when things go wrong. Well, You’ve got you. Haven’t got a leg to stand on if you said, well, you know, yes, I just did what you said, but I mean, you, you can PR maybe just hide behind that, but I think you get better results. If you can actually be honest about your belief, don’t just do what you want.
And also don’t just say, yes, I’ll deliver, I’ll deliver the I’ll deliver because that’s what you want. If you can’t say so. Yeah. So [00:30:00] again, it’s having those honest conversations. That’s a good
Sarah: point because I, I, I think that as well, takes courage, right? To tell your client actually, yeah. I don’t think that this text or this, you know, whatever it is that they did, it’s not gonna.
Go well, you know, like I think you should work on it again, or here’s some changes that I suggest and, and, and yes, that’s your job actually. That’s, you know, what they pay you for is to help. Help guide them through whatever you maybe already have been through, especially in the, in the service business.
Right. So exactly. So yeah, it, it, it, it takes courage, but at the same time, it it’s key. And the other thing that came up for me is boundaries. I think that’s another thing that, you know, you establish. Boundaries as the, as the entrepreneur that also gives your client kind of You know, it gives those, it [00:31:00] gives them the, the, the, the idea that yes, you’re there for them, but they can’t abuse you either.
Yeah. So before you were talking about flexibility where flexibility. Yes, it’s good to a certain point, but I don’t think we need to overstep our boundaries either. No. So that we still have. You know, respect somehow. It’s like, oh, I have my personal life as well. And here’s where I put the limits on my time or whatever.
Remeny: Yes, no, I absolutely agree. And I think it’s, and I think it’s fair enough to have those. You’ve got to have those boundaries and otherwise people will take advantage and, and you’ve got to have, I mean, you were saying right at the beginning that you know, that the idea of that the partnership, right.
And I’m a really strong believer in. Building again, proactively thinking about your relationships with your clients in a way that’s relationship led and not transactional led. It is a partnership it’s in your best interest to do a great job for your clients, because it means you can then start [00:32:00] singing and shouting about it and equally your clients should be wanting to shout about you because you’ve done a great job and it’s something you’ll both be proud of.
And I think it’s, you know, it shouldn’t be just about the money and, you know, Again, this, this client, I was just doing an interview for, they love my client and he was, she was saying, you know, quite often he’ll come back and I’ll say, can you do this? And he is like, well, no, because that’s not gonna get you anywhere.
And, and it does him a disservice because he’s coming out worse off financially, but she said, but the thing is I trust him completely. So I will always go with him because he. You know, I have used him for years in all my different roles. I could never not work with him. Mm-hmm and we’re friends now. And you think, well, gosh, that’s what everyone should aspire to.
Yeah. Is having those honest human relationships with your clients. Yeah. Yeah.
Sarah: The one thing that I keep coming back to in my head is, is, you know, we’ve talked [00:33:00] about referrals, so we’re, we’re getting more referrals. How else can we use our clients or customers voice in our marketing? You know, obviously there’s the, the testimonials.
I, I think there’s definitely positives about that, but at the same time, We’re kind of maybe tired of these testimonials because they’re all, they’re always positives of testimonials, right? Yes. So you’re like, well, you know, is that the only thing or is there other things?
Remeny: Well, I, I, I think that one of, I mean, a number of my clients have come to me because they dunno how to differentiate themselves.
And actually, you know, there’s so much out there nowadays and you’ve got the web, you know, there’s so much competition, but one of the things that I find by interviewing people’s clients. I find out what it is that they like about the business and why do they work with them? Why did they choose them?
What was the, the message that made them buy mm-hmm ? And if you can get that information, you can then use that [00:34:00] in your marketing. It’s not testimonial, right? You start to see those themes and actually you can then start utilizing that in your design and your marketing and your, your processes and, and use the words your clients use.
to describe what you do and why they buy, and then hopefully that’ll resonate with your other clients. And I mean, the other thing is, is understanding your ideal clients and understanding why, who they are. And again, why they like you and you like them. And then think, how can I replicate that? Mm-hmm . And so thinking about how you can mirror your ideal clients, you’ve gotta understand who those ideal clients are and why they’re your ideal clients before.
you can do that. Mm-hmm . And so I think again, doing that, doing this piece can be valuable because you can start to recognize that and then plot your ideal customer journey or potential clients and, and move on going that way, using that [00:35:00] in your marketing. Mm-hmm
Sarah: I’m curious I’ve heard or read somewhere that, you know, on the testimonial page, again, back to that, how.
Usually we only have very positive testimonials and this one person, I can’t remember who it was. It said it’s actually not a bad thing to have one, not so great testimonial just to kind of show that the other ones are real, you know? Yes. Not made up. What do you think about
Remeny: that approach? Well, the first thing that jumped in my mind was that’s very brave.
mm-hmm yeah. I think, I mean, it’s, you know, I’m thinking about it. And I think one of the things that would be an interesting approach to that is not necessarily in the testimonials, but having a case study mm-hmm where you admit that maybe things didn’t go well at the beginning. Yeah. Yeah. And you addressed it.
And even saying it’s still a work in process progress. I think that would be a really interesting thing. I think I, I mean, yes. If, if you, if you can do that, [00:36:00] I mean, my own, my only worry about having a negative testimonial is I might think, well, they’ve scraped the barrel. why did they put this one?
Can they put that one in? That’s just really bad, but I think you could do it as a story. Yeah. And, you know, because. Yeah. Showing that you’re human and make people make mistakes. Yeah. And, and use it in that way, showing that you
Sarah: listen. I like to yeah. The idea of using it in a story and, and oftentimes I guess the not so good testimonials you also later realize, well, actually it just probably wasn’t the ideal client.
Why did I. You know, accept the work with them. And I, I didn’t do my best job because it was just not a great fit. Yeah. And sometimes explaining that then helps the real ideal client realize. Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. I’m different. [00:37:00] So I understand why this person was not an ideal fit and, and I am. Yeah. Yeah.
Remeny: I mean, it’s like the whole, you know, Seth golden and the purple cows, you know, you shouldn’t be for everyone and actually by honing in on what you are good at and what’s special about you.
Yeah. Means you can then get to the right people who will chime and, and you can then collaborate with and work with them. So, yeah, I think it’s a, it’s a good point, but yeah, I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be putting a bad test to
Sarah: move me up, but , I haven’t tried it yet. Yeah. I, I, I remember when I first launched a marketing, like we’re human book I kind of saw, you know, I launched it on Kickstarter and so there was also kind of.
Friends in there or not friends, like, you know, acquaintances that I met networking events and this one guy, he, he was kind enough to send it to me via email first. And he is like, oh, I’m really sorry, but I’m gonna give you a two star review. I’m like, okay, can you [00:38:00] just hold on with that? I’m gonna get some good ones first.
Wow. And, and, and so, yeah, it was just, you know, he was a, a real corporate marketer that yes, quit his job, but he was still very much or still is very much in advertising and, and big, you know, corporate campaigns and stuff. And so, yeah, clearly, you know, a book about marketing, like where human. Didn’t resonate with him.
Yeah. So I told him, well, just hold onto it a little bit longer and I haven’t gone back to him yet to post
Remeny: like Hmm. Maybe not yeah. Maybe not. But it’s interesting. And I think you’re right. It’s, it’s, it’s recognizing that you aren’t gonna be for everyone and, and actually that’s fine. Yeah. And that’s fine.
You know, you’re gonna get much more traction with the right people if you get the right story. But again, you know, that’s, it’s identifying. What the right story is and the right people it are, and then, you know, embracing that. [00:39:00]
Sarah: Yeah. So, so tell me kind of in closing how you do that with your clients to really make them understand that it’s all about the human interactions and, you know, focus on, on the human.
Do they all all understand it when they hear back from their clients? Or is there sometimes also kind of like a defensive reaction?
Remeny: It varies. I mean, sometimes, you know, I think the thing is if people are using me to speak to their clients, to get that honest feedback they’re going to, there are surprises, but they’re obviously open to hearing about the need for change possible possibly or improvements or developments.
And that’s why they want to use someone like me to do to do that. Right. But I think they. You know, I think, again, that defensive thing is an interesting one because of course that’s, you know, people compare me to a marriage counselor for businesses because I’m that safe place that people can talk [00:40:00] to.
Then I will feed it back, even though sometimes it can be quite harsh. Right. But it’s then, you know, don’t. Despair when you get the negative, because actually the negative is a great opportunity. You can now grow and change and then go back to those clients and say, Hey, look, we recognize that we wanted to develop things and we want to speak to you about how we can make things better with you equally.
It might be that. We recognize we don’t wanna work with you, you know, mm-hmm and actually, I mean, I’ve interviewed people before and I’ve spoken to my client and said, why are you working with that? with that person. Yeah. You know, they’re awful. and actually, you know, that doesn’t happen very often, but I think it’s kind of, it’s recognizing that you, you shouldn’t be working with everyone.
Yeah. And actually getting that honest feedback is. Is a gift because then you can improve. So I mean, most of my clients have, you know, taken on board and made the changes and develop things and speak to their clients and their clients really like it. They like the fact that they’re [00:41:00] being listened to.
And, and I also think that it’s important to be accountable to your clients. So make sure you feed back and you. Keep that process up, but it’s about being that human thing is it’s. Yeah. It’s about proactively being human with your clients. Yeah. And nurturing those relationships, opening those conversations up.
So it’s not just me interviewing people. I’ll then say to my clients, you know, make sure you schedule time in to speak to your clients. In a way that isn’t just about the transactional work. You’re not human
Sarah: clients, please, you know,
Remeny: oh. And so put those processes in place so that you are, you are speaking to your clients and also remember to speak to clients at different stages of the journey from when you’ve won or lost project you know, middle of the project end of the project, six months later, you know, just keep those conversations going as a.
As a human talking to a human, you know, actually how’s it going?
Sarah: Exactly. Not just, oh, you wanna do more work together? You know, that’s, especially what we hear. It’s [00:42:00] like, oh yeah. Follow up six months after so that you can seldom something else. Yes. Well how about just, yeah. Check in. How are you doing?
Remeny: Yes, yes. Or if that’s, then, then there’s also the proactivity bit mm-hmm , which actually, you know, proactively look at how you could help your clients better. You know, look at how their what’s happening in their life and their world and what can you do to make it better for them and for their clients.
Mm-hmm and I think that’s a an important point. I mean, with COVID I was, you know, it became very much about not just about getting feedback, but it was understanding the client’s challenges yeah. With what was going on. And, but then also the opportunities, because, you know, things can be good and Again, another tip that I I’ve learned from interviewing is that don’t look for, don’t just give your client solutions, make sure you understand the business and.
Challenges of the clients before you go back with, we [00:43:00] could do this, we could do that. That’s just annoying. Mm. You know, actually know why should you give them that, you know, is that gonna be valuable? So, but you need to understand your clients as humans and their business, to be able to serve them better.
Sarah: And that leads back to time and listening, because if you don’t take the time and don’t listen, well, then. Yes. You’re being proactive, but without really knowing what they really want. Yeah,
Remeny: exactly. Exactly.
Sarah: Yeah. So where would you say are listeners? So mainly solo printers, small business owners, consulting coaches, where do they start, you know, with finding out more about what their clients really are
Well, I think my, I mean, you know, if you are gonna be doing it yourself, either do it so that you Th think about your different clients, your unengaged clients, to your engaged, to your advocates, and think about, you know, put a list together and then think of some questions where you can actually start to [00:44:00] ask them.
Questions about improvement and how you are doing and the service and what they’re doing and understanding their pains and their, their challenges, but equally looking at things that you could do to improve your communication or whatever it might be. And then either get someone. In your team who isn’t directly involved with your project to interview them or do it yourself.
If you haven’t got someone else within your team or someone who’s completely external to do it. But I think. You know, obviously if you’ve got someone external, you get much more impartial, honest feedback, but I think if you’re brave enough to do it yourself, your clients will appreciate the fact you are asking their opinion and you are asking for ideas for improvement.
And, and then, but don’t just do that. You then need to act on it. so you need to, you know, look at what your clients are saying, and then put a plan into place to actually start to improve whatever it is that they’re saying. And then feedback to your clients. Say, Hey, this is what we’re doing. Thank you so much for that [00:45:00] advice.
Or those ideas or whatever it might be and be accountable to your clients, but keep the conversation going and also just make sure that even if you aren’t interviewing them, like I said earlier, make sure you put a process in place where you are speaking to your clients at different points and so that you can be constantly nurturing those relationships and building that trust.
Sarah: Mm, so good. Yeah. It it’s so much more than just your survey monkey or, you know, like yes. Those type form surveys that you send out and then often you don’t ever hear back. You’re like, wait a minute. I just. You know, spend 10 minutes giving my feedback and then there’s no return, like, yes. What’s the point.
What’s the point. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Do you think those surveys actually work or do we always need to like talk
Remeny: to the people? I think I think they’re good to a point, not too many questions, make it really quick. [00:46:00] Mm-hmm there’s things like the net promoter scores. I think it’s good to a point because it can give you a flavor for how your clients might be feeling right.
You know, and, and you can get in essence, but then I think. Then potentially pull out a selection that you could actually have a conversation with. Yeah. Because it’s that in depth insight that you can then start to really understand what your clients are thinking or feeling. I, and, and again, I think I said earlier is get a range of different clients from happy to unhappy because you’ll often get the same feedback, but just in a different way.
And like you were saying with your circle, Actually just asking people for ideas. It’s amazing. I mean, it’s like, that’s what I love about what I do is I’m just getting people to give me lots of ideas to help the business. Yeah. And it’s like, well, wow, that was good. Now we’ve got sort of lots of ideas, how the business, you know, my clients can improve because that’s what their clients are saying.
So it’s kind of, and they feel special. And if your clients [00:47:00] know that you’ve done something, they feel heard and seen, they, they feel heard. Yeah. And everyone. To be heard it’s such a human thing, you know? So this
Sarah: has been been so good. Thank you
Remeny: so much, right. Well, thank you. I hope I haven’t gone. Thought got too overexcited about my listening and
Sarah: I, I know we, we could do another episode just on, on, on this, but it’s been really, really good.
Thank you so much. Do share with people where they can find you and learn more about you and your work.
Remeny: Oh, thank you so much. Well, my website is brilliant in human.com. And I’m easy to find on LinkedIn. It’s just linkedin.com. And then I’m Rey, RM E N Y. That’s my I mean, I might there’s Rey Armitage, but I’m fairly easy to find.
There’s not many of me . But yeah. Thank you so much.
Sarah: Yeah, thank you. I always have one last question and that is what are you grateful for today or this week?
Remeny: Friends and the support of friends. [00:48:00] mm, I think that’s what I would say. Yeah. So
Sarah: thank you. Thank you. We’ll speak again soon.
Remeny: Definitely. Thank you so much.