The Joy of Client Service – Think Small, Win Big

Feb 28, 2024

I have been in a client service role for over a decade now and am happy to report that I have and continue to survive…

Only kidding; I meant to say that I have and continue to thrive, not survive. Not because of me and my personal and professional skill set, but because of my clients and what each and every single one of them has taught me and continues to teach me each day I go into work. The way I see it, a new day is a new opportunity. It is up to you, as a service provider, to either capitalize on your opportunities or allow them to pass you by. For me, navigating client service over the long-term boils down to four core questions.

Can You See the Unseen?

Most of us have probably been called out before for not paying attention. The critique could have come from your spouse, family member, friend, colleague, or client, but the fact of the matter is that we all tend to operate in a distracted state of mind. The excuses can pour in from here: too busy, too tired, stressed out, and so forth. This is a reality for most client service professionals and is a real barrier to finding daily joy and an overall purpose.

What I propose is to focus on the unseen. When I say focus, I mean creating a mental shift, or state of mind, that can be repeated every day. What if you woke up Monday morning and your first thought wasn’t all the emails you were behind on, or the demanding client that is expecting your flawless work product, or the high-stress meeting you have later that day. What if your first thought was something like this: How can I positively impact someone today? What opportunities do I have to build up or encourage a colleague? How can I make a difference in my client’s day? What ripple effects can I create today?

Focusing on the unseen aspects of client service creates a new state of mind, a connected state of mind. A mind that capitalizes on each day’s opportunities and finds joy in the little things.

Are You Taking Chances?

I’ll attempt to make a statement. Client service is uncomfortable, not stressful. People who are uncomfortable are usually taking chances, pushing the envelope, and making mistakes. But more importantly, uncomfortable people are learning and growing, becoming more well-rounded people and professionals. People who are stressed are bogged-down, worried about messing up, avoiding chances, and just trying to stay afloat. That’s no way to spend your time, which after all, is your most finite resource.

Taking chances doesn’t mean creating unreasonable risks or being negligent with your client’s best interests. I’m talking about taking the chance to speak up and risk offering a new idea or connection. These are chances that achieve results for your clients that were unexpected, above and beyond expectations. Rewards that would otherwise go uncaptured. Of course, the risk-reward concept is in play here and every diligent advisor would do the proper assessment before moving forward.

The simple fact is that client service professionals are provided ample opportunities on a daily basis. There are those that embrace them and those that don’t. If you don’t embrace them, how will you ever know what is on the other side of that choice? Could it be a mistake? Sure, but you’ll learn something and grow from it. If it’s a success, then you’ll have your chance to celebrate with those around you and capture some moments of joy.

Are You Building Trust?

All great relationships are built on trust. Whether it is spiritual, family, friendship, or professional, the common denominator is mutual trust. Without it, any relationship will deteriorate and eventually end. Building trust, in my opinion, is the most gratifying aspect of client service. Service providers are lucky enough to be sitting in a position of major influence for the clients they advise. In a position of care, you could say. Building trust is the journey, the essence of client service. It is the day to day grind you work so hard to develop. It takes years to earn, and only minutes to lose. In principle, the trust you build is a reflection of your career.

Do you value trust? If you do, your service will be of great value to you and your clients.

Are You Spreading Joy?

The best advice I have received over my decade in client service is to celebrate the small stuff. Every smooth phone call, every transaction closed, every document completed, every connection made, all your small wins should be acknowledged and celebrated even if it means high-fiving yourself. Skipping out on celebrating the small stuff allows opportunities to experience joy slip away. If you aren’t experiencing and sharing joy with those you touch each day, then are you really present? You end up at the destination but don’t remember the journey or how you got there. Where is the satisfaction in that?

Make sure you are taking the time to share in life’s small joys no matter how insignificant they may seem in the moment. The collection of parts is bigger than the whole.


I am not the first person to attempt to write an article like this nor do I really appreciate self-help books. But what I do know is that my experience in client service has taught me a great deal and I can appreciate that tomorrow will offer me the chance to learn something new if I keep my eyes and ears open. If I look where others aren’t and take my chances when the time is right, I can form deep, lasting relationships with my colleagues and my clients and, if I am lucky, I can share and spread the joy that goes along with it.

My hope is that as you read this, and you’re feeling bogged-down with client work, you may come to the realization that a simple change in perspective may be all you need to reconnect to the day unfolding ahead of you.

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