Top tips for delivering great customer service
Isn’t it amazing how often we experience really bad customer service. And, when we do, doesn’t it really annoy you?
I say amazing because to provide a high customer service level takes nothing more than some common sense actions, and doing really nothing more than treating others the way you would like to be treated yourself.
The way your customers feel towards you is so important. The more care and attention you provide them, the more they are likely to continue to want to work with you. This is simple human nature. Taking this a step further, shouldn’t customer service be a top priority day in, day out?
Here are a few of my tips and advice for treating your clients in the very best way possible.
1. Respond to them ASAP
Replying to a request, be it email, voicemail or a phone call is very time sensitive. Responding as soon as possible is not only good customer service, but will hold you out above those in your competitor firms who sit on messages for days on end.
Even if you aren’t actually able to work on their request immediately, just providing them with a timescale will make all the difference. And, if you can’t do it at all, tell them, and refer them to someone who can. Helping people pays enormous dividends as far as future referrals are concerned.
2. Keep your clients updated
It is so easy to keep a client up to date with your progress. When you leave a client in the dark you run the risk of them feeling lost, and not knowing what’s going on is one of the most disconcerting feelings one can have when you hire a professional.
Even if you don’t have anything major to report, report anyway. Keep them in the loop as to how you are progressing. Updating regularly reinforces your involvement and keeps your client comfortable that things are happening.
If the update is that there is a problem coming, don’t wait to let them know. Making a client away of a potential pitfall allows them to plan for an alternative outcome, and takes away any major issues with the problem when it arises.
3. Go the extra mile
There are so many times that doing that little bit more for someone costs us nothing in time or expense. But, the result of going the extra miles is a really delighted, and often indebted client. Imagine how great they will think you are, when you do something extra and ask nothing in return.
This is often called ‘superpleasing’ in the marketing literature – ensuring customer delight with current matters.
4. Fix your mistakes
If you do something wrong, or something doesn’t work out how you had hoped or intended, fix it right away.
You are unlikely to lose a client by admitting your mistake, and fixing it immediately. Of course the converse it true, don’t admit your mistake, and don’t fix it, and see how fast your client leaves you!
5. Listen to your clients
“Of course I do”, I hear you say. Well, I mean really listen to them. Understand what they are communicating to you, and clarify things that may be ambiguous.
Actively listen and clarify, listen and clarify some more. It is so easy for a small miscommunication to destroy even a previously strong relationship.
Also, don’t forget that we all use a lot of jargon in our respective industries, much of which will be unfamiliar to your clients, what they think you say may not be what you intended them to think.
6. Keep your promises
If you say you are going to do something, do it.
Being professional has many aspects to it, but this has got to be one of the most important ones.
7. Don’t let your clients get confused
Making a client feel stupid is a sure fire way to lose them forever. Speak in clear language, state your plans and understanding in a way which they will relate with. And then check their understanding, make sure that they haven’t missed anything.
8. Be patient
It is very easy to lose your patience with clients. We can all give examples of clients overstepping boundaries, moving the goal posts, neglecting to provide everything we need in a timely manner, or just being difficult. The key is to never let them know how you feel.
This is simply back to being professional. And, why would you bite the hand that feeds you?
9. Put yourself in your clients shoes
If you were your client, how would you like to be treated? Sit in the client seat, evaluate your service levels, and then re-evaluate your service levels. Put your clients happiness to the top of your agenda, and enjoy the rewards.
For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at email@example.com or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @jamesnathan, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.
I look forward to being in touch.