High5 Friday: How to E’s Your Client

I am still chewing on a lot that I heard at the INA Conference. One unexpected question was asked during the workshop “Mandated Court Reporting” with Marriage and Family Therapist, Ronald Mah. The idea has stuck with me.

“As Nannies, is your Employer a CUSTOMER or a CLIENT?”

To help us figure it out he prompted the phrase aloud, “The customer is always _____ ” and let us fill in the answer. You probably answered just as we did, aloud, in unison… “RIGHT”. There is a great difference between a customer in client. A client has specific expectation of the person providing them a service and usually pays accordingly. As he described this, my mind went on the tangent… babysitter vs. nanny. To me, a babysitter has a customer; she will care for the children following exact directions of the parent. It is unlikely that a sitter will provide resources or ideas in child-rearing. As nannies, we have clients. We are providing a specific value to a family. Mr. Mah, said that “A client may disagree with you, but that is what they are buying” and shared, a client may unknowingly expect “The 4 E’s” which are “Education.Experience. Expertise. Ethical.” I would like to expand on his ideas and add one my own…after all it is High5.

I have told many families “you get what you pay for” and I finally have the “E’s” to follow-up the mantra I share. If you are looking to add to your professionalism and differentiate yourself as a nanny rather than a babysitter, think about these. They will not only help in transitioning to a new job, but also will help you to go to the next level in your current one. Your client will recognize improvement, which may help in contract/pay re-negociation and continue job security instead of it becoming stale. Developing in these 5 areas just may help you ease your client.

High5: How to E’s Your Client

5. Education
Your education – whether slim or vast – shows that you have achieved goals acquiring knowledge. Attending professional conferences, finding local seminars, and even short, specific classes are impressive! There is a great deal of free or inexpensive information out there that not only is good for your brain, but can be put onto paper as tangible growth.

4. Experience
With time comes experience. Though each child is different, there are natural patterns and milestones marked by children. As you begin to recognize these patterns, your confidence will grow; your experience will benefit the family who may be new to child-rearing. If you are a new nanny just starting out, think about picking up some babysitting positions on the weekends to add to that experience.

3. Expertise
While most Nannies won’t claim to be an expert, there is great wisdom with each that I’ve spoken with. I love to be a sponge and soak up information of situations that I have never been in. Families are the same way. They want to see that you not only know what you are talking about, but that you carry it out. I have noticed that as they progress in their careers, many nannies get into a niche: twin nanny, infant care specialist, special needs nanny, multiples nanny… even, traveling nanny. If there is something that you excel in, focus on it! Share that as you interview to set you apart from the others (and make sure your can follow-through).

2. Ethical
Honest, responsible, unselfish….just to name a few. When families look to hire someone for their family, they must have someone of the utmost character. It is essential that you make good choices for their children. Do you prove trustworthy with your words and time?

1. Excellence
This is the one that I added. I believe that we have a great amount to give, simply by doing our best. When we put our heart and desire into something it is obvious. I believe this is the “star-factor” or your the secret weapon. If you have this, your client will never want to lose you!

Today has been brought to you, by the letter “E“.

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