Sunday, October 7, 2012

Communicating with Clients

Melissa and I are blessed to work with a large number of truly excellent clients and we are even further blessed to have a waiting list of potential clients who'd like to send a horse for us to look after. Melissa's excellent ability to communicate with our clients is largely why we are where we are today.  A critical part of the communication process is making sure potential clients have a clear understanding about what we can and can't do before they send a horse to us.

The most important thing we do in our business is care for the horses every single day. Nothing comes ahead of that. The second most important thing we do is communicate what we're seeing while we are caring for the horses with our clients. Once a client's horse has established itself here with us we mostly communicate via pictures, emails and through our blog rather than by telephone. Of course we have employees who work regular hours to help us complete some of our tasks and to allow us some time away from the business.  That said, Melissa and I do the lion's share of the horse care and work at Paradigm Farms. I think our clients appreciate that it's mostly our eyes and hands on their horses and mostly our hands doing the maintenance work. We often catch things that were missed at previous boarding barns simply because we get to know the horses very well over time and it IS our eyes on the horses most days. The trade off for clients and prospective clients is that when we are doing the actual work we need to be paying attention to what we're doing. If we're trying to talk on the phone or visit with someone in person while we're working with the horses a lot of stuff could potentially get missed.

Most of our clients live one or more airplane rides away from our facility and they visit infrequently, if at all, simply due to logistics. When they do come they rightly have lots of questions about their horse, his or her care, their pasture mates and what it is they are seeing. Unlike most traditional boarding facilities our clients can't just walk down the barn aisle and look for their horse's nameplate on the stall.  Someone has to be available simply to help them find their horse in the appropriate pasture.  We absolutely welcome clients and prospects to come and see their horse or come check us out before sending their horse to us but we do ask for lots of advance notice before they do so.  All the conspiracy theorists out there will be disappointed to learn that we aren't trying to hide anything or magically find the time to clean up every horse on our property (as well as the property itself) to show standards before their owner visits. I promise we aren't. What we ARE trying to do is ensure that we are on site and available to our clients and prospects during their visits. In order to achieve that we have to schedule enough labour well ahead of time to cover the tasks that we aren't able to get to while we are visiting with the client or prospect.

Most problems in business and in life get started or are abetted by a lack of effective communications between parties. We have found that if we are able to communicate the things I mentioned above to our clients in a way they understand we have done what we can to set the stage for a positive long term relationship.


Romeo and Lotus

Lighty and Africa

Levendi and Moe


Gus, Winston, Silver, Lotus, Romeo and Titan



Lotus, Romeo, Titan and Winston

Norman and Cuffie

Walden, Lightening and Noble


EvenSong said...

Miracle? BABY Miracle?? She's filled out a bit! Lookin' good, Girl!

Anonymous said...

Wow! is that just the camera angle or is Miss Miracle turning into one big girl!! Would love to hear about and see pics of her more often!

Cygnata said...

Miracle is gorgeous!

Cygnata said...

Forgot to ask, is she officially a grey, then?

Jenny said...

I couldn't agree more, Miracle looks great!