The Secret to Building Long-lasting Relationships Remotely – Jon Stern – Retention Rocket
Adjusting to Remote Work Environments
There are definitely some challenges in the transition from an office to a more flexible remote environment and working only office when it's strictly required. One of the biggest challenges lies on setting those boundaries “...in a startup, we're all working so hard - you could work a little bit too much and burnout and not give your family the time that they deserve because you're working on a big project or have a tight deadline or something like that, so it's a challenge to set the real boundaries and make sure that you are really present with your family when you're with them, and that you're concentrating on your work when you're not.” According to Jon, the biggest hurdle is being able to balance family time and the work time and making sure that even though we work all the time our work doesn't negatively impact our family life in a detrimental way.
Educating Clients for Remote Tools and Relations
Setting the expectations and boundaries in any remote relationship is really important. Availability, ease of access and readiness are double-edged factors that require a lot of day-to-day micromanagement. Building the right expectations for your remote relations requires a lot of focus and balance, “But basically, my customers understand that they're going to be able to get a hold of me in a pinch. So if I have something else going on in my life, I'm going to get back to them as soon as possible. And really, it's just, you kind of set those expectations by doing the work and like showing them, Hey, you know, maybe John's not going to be here in our office, but he's always going to be there for us if we need him to be”.
Keeping your Online Presence Consistent
It's difficult to build trust online and in person, and the best way to build that trust is to be consistent with what is being said and what is being done. For example; If our job constantly requires approval or meeting deadlines for our clients - it’s imperative to make sure we meet our word with results and actions, and if mistakes are made be as upfront and clean in communicating it as possible. A nice way to connect with a client would be to order them a delivery meal, while you have a zoom meeting and in that way share a brunch, lunch and even dinner together, which you can do if you were in person. This trick really helps to break the ice with people and share a laugh or share a drink or a meal or whatever it might be. And that really helps build the relationship.