(Client Engagement is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
We’re confused. If you’re trying to increase your client engagement, does this mean you’re in search of a fiancé? If so, do you expect to start picking out china patterns and registering at Macy’s at some point?
Though client engagement might be correct terminology to describe the interaction between your team and your customer, it’s still quite annoying to those who are forced to hear you say it repeatedly.
Client engagement is not wrong, per se, it’s just overused by the most pompous of managers. If you’re describing, for example, multiple touchpoints in your relationship with a customer or prospect, then the all-inclusive client engagement is appropriate.
However – and this is where hearing it uttered becomes annoying – if your manager is describing a specific act of communication (like a phone call or an in-person visit or even just an email), you don’t want to hear, “It’s important for you to increase your level of client engagement this quarter.”
In its place, a simple, “You need to make more sales calls” conveys the message more clearly and includes the accountability that goes missing when managers try being overly verbose.
Think about it, one could argue they’ve increased client engagement when they’ve accomplished nothing more than sending a mass email or placing a targeted ad on Facebook. There’s generally no personal accountability in those acts (beyond hitting send or creating the ad). There’s also little actual engagement occurring.
Our annoyance with this term is only compounded by those smug organizations that insist on bestowing client engagement as a title on someone lucky enough to have a job that never has to show a return; as in Director of Client Engagement.
Ugh. Is there a douchier job title one could bestow on another human being? We think not. Our apologies if that’s your title.
Unless you’re a self-important, attention-seeking twit, we would ask for a change.
Replacement phrases: Client communication; Phone call; Email
See also: Touch Base; Ping
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon