“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. ~ Maya Angelou
This quote from the amazing Maya Angelou is one of the most true statements in life and business. I have learned that creating an amazing customer service relationship is a lot of work, but well worth the effort. Good customer service (relating and serving your customers needs) is one of the best ways to connect in a positive way with your client. This also allows you to maintain that powerful relationship for a very long time. My social media management company is in its fourth year, and I am very proud that many of my clients have been consistent AssistantAngel clients for years.
Here is a list of 7 Tips to encourage excellence in your customer service:
1. Believe in Your Client’s Vision. When building my business many years ago, I made a conscious effort to work with clients whose businesses I truly believe in. It is important, as a social media marketer, that I am fully invested in what their business goals and objectives are. If you are not invested in your client’s best interest at all times, it will become obvious in the work that you do for them.
2. Under Promise, Over Deliver. Without a question, when making promises to your client, be sure to “under promise and over deliver”. Recognize the limits of your time, resources and deadline schedule so you can give your client a reasonable end time for a project. I even plan to have the project completed a day or two before I promised, just to allow for any last minute “time challenges” that may occur in my business schedule or personal life.
3. Set Reasonable Expectations. When beginning to work with a new client, be sure to set resonable expectations so your client can know what he/she can expect from working with you. For example I always remind my clients that email is the best form of communication with me. I am often on the go and working “virtually” and I am able to best manage my time and team if I correspond with my clients via email. For some clients, if we do have phone commitments, I schedule them and make sure I am prepared for the call and honor that time for the client to answer their questions or provide them an update.
4. Listen, Listen to what a client shares with you. It is important to hear what they need and how you can best help them. A good practice is to repeat back to them what your understanding of their needs are, so you are both on the same page.
5. If You Find A Problem, Present A Solution. Often when working on a client project (i.e. blog, event, etc.) I sometimes find additional areas that need to be addressed. If it is something I can handle quickly, I fix and/or update it, and let the client know what I have done. If it is a larger issue, I do research to find someone (or more than one) reliable contact who can solve their issue. It is important in a fast-paced marketing world to not just address a client’s problems, but also to find a solution (if possible) for that client.
6. H.A.L.T. It is important when dealing with clients that you recognize your own limitations. I always plan far ahead for my clients’ needs, and sometimes I have an off day. These are some instances when it is best to work behind the scenes and not directly with a client. There is nothing more challenging than to repair a relationship with a client. If you take a few minutes to know when it is not a good time for you, you will be in a much better place when engaging with the client at a later time. I always encourage my team to consider when they need to HALT:
If you experience any of the above, it may not be a great time to engage directly with a client, if you are not at your best.
7. Connector. I personally believe that being a “connector” is not only a great marketing tool for your business, but it is a powerful way to truly support the business owners that trust you. If I recognize a client can benefit from a business connection that I may be able to help facilitate, I do so. I do not expect anything in return, it is just a way of letting my client know “I believe in your vision”.
To have great customer service for your clients does take time. Every email you send, every comment on a post, every level of engagement is a way for you to show your support for your client and create excellent customer service.
How about you? Do you find it easy to give amazing customer service to your clients? What do you find as your greatest strength to encourage great customer service for your clients?