Strengthening Client Relationships During a Global Crisis
by Kelsey Hurter

A Special Thank You to Our Clients

I wanted to take a few minutes this week to thank Affirma’s amazing clients! Whether you’ve been a client for years or have recently started a new engagement with our team, we so appreciate your business!

My clients span industries, global locations, and various job functions. Each of them are helping their organizations and communities navigate COVID-19. Some are donating their goods and services to those in need. Some are innovating new ways their employees work from home to ensure their safety (and sanity!). And all are leading with compassion.

Continuing to strengthen my client relationships has saved me during this global crisis. As a Customer Engagement Manager at Affirma for the past 5 years, I get to interact with clients daily. I guide them through the ever-changing technological trends in the market and offer direction as their products, teams, and visions expand.

I am fortunate to have this steady communication daily, especially during this time. As I have been relying on my established relationships and network for a sense of normalcy- it has also become a guiding force in continuing to operate successfully through this time of uncertainty.

For me, the four walls of my apartment have never felt so small and quiet than over the past 2 months. With this time alone, I have found a real resurgence of love and appreciation for my client’s approach to problem-solving, general engagement, and workplace positivity.

Changing how we connect

We all generally crave connectivity at the core of who we are as people. Without my daily commute and after-work activities, I have had more time to develop deeper professional and personal relationships- a surprising gift I hadn’t expected to need so much.

Some of my favorite moments of connecting are now shared over video chat on Microsoft Teams. I have learned from clients the difficulties that come with their kids’ online learning journey. I have emphasized with folks over their fears of their kids heading off to college in the fall to join a sorority. I am now an expert on the topic of my clients’ pet’s nap schedules. I have salivated over favorite takeout food options across the country. And I have discussed the fandom around the 90’s Chicago Bulls courtesy of ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ at length. While I would have preferred these conversations face-to-face, I recognize that it might not have led to the same moments. This time and energy to learn more about my client’s interests and personal lives has been a gift. And that’s the key essence of how businesses will not only survive but thrive.

People enjoy working with people that they like, and I am so encouraged by my community. My clients and coworkers have been instrumental in helping me bridge communication in new, creative, and adaptive ways. Ways in which businesses (and people) have rarely been open to before COVID.

I appreciate the commitment and loyalty of all our clients who have made this pandemic feel less heavy. Though, I also cannot wait to visit my favorite IT Directors again in person sometime in the future!

All in all, I have found that digging deeper into my relationships has been a saving grace. Not only will these deeper connections pay off from a business perspective, but they have taught me more about myself than I would have expected.

 

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