The National Institute for Genealogical Studies


The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION


Client Relationships 

It is often said that people tend to hire service professionals that they know, like, and trust. Clients entrust us with their life stories, their precious photographs, and personal data on their entire family tree. Developing and maintaining a respectful, professional relationship – that is warm and friendly but not too close – is a key skill that should be considered of utmost importance.  



Difficult Discussions 

You may find yourself in difficult situations where you will have to deliver some sort of bad news to a client. If you find these situations difficult, stop and think about what it would feel like if you were in the client’s shoes. You will go a long way toward helping the client accept the situation if you approach them with possible solutions to the problem. 

Another situation might arise when you feel you must refuse a client’s request, perhaps because you believe it is unethical. Here are some suggestions for having a conversation with the client about this difficult subject: 

  • Try to keep from expressing judgment of the client. 
  • Time the conversation for as soon as you learn of the situation as possible.  
  • Steer the conversation away from blame or accusation.  

You may find, however, that a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, and you may have to withdraw from the project. 

Client Feedback 

Another prime opportunity to communicate with clients is when all the work is done (i.e., after you have completed the book, presented them with a family tree, or pulled the records they requested). Soliciting feedback and evaluation is something that many entrepreneurs neglect to do. When you have received evaluations or feedback, be sure to review them in detail. Make note of any positive comments for your Compliments File. Look for suggestions for improvement and follow through on them.  

In the course Business Skills: Business Administration  you will discover more about keeping your clients happy and growing your business. 

Your Genealogy Business 

 2 Tips for your Genealogy Business 

Tip #1: Your Professional Image 

The public image that you and your business project are important and should not be overlooked. Realize that prospective clients will be checking you out in whatever way they can. Take some time to set up a routine check of your online presence and reputation by doing a search for your name and your business name. If you uncover some issues that need repair there are a few steps that you can take to improve your online reputation.  

  • Take the time to say you are sorry. 
  • Speak to the negative commenter (on your blog or social media account, etc.) on the phone if you can; if that is not possible, try another form of contact. 
  • Clear up any misconceptions by posting the facts online.  
  • Create positive profiles for yourself and your company on social media websites.  


Tip #2: Your Connections  

Networking is a vital skill, especially for a business owner. This is another skill that is often taken for granted. We tend to network sporadically and without a plan. One way to analyze for yourself how effective your networking activities and/or organizations are is to make a simple list of the events you attended during a set period of time, the number of new people you met, business cards exchanged, and any results from that event. Don’t forget the other side of the networking coin. In order to receive, you need to be willing to give. You are also part of your network and you have value to offer the people with whom you connect.  

The “Business Skills: Business Administration” course is packed with information, tips, and advice on helping you develop and fine-tune your professional image.  



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