In today’s fast-paced world of hurried meetings, ongoing marketing efforts, and staffing issues, it can be easy to overlook the most important reason for your business’ success: your clients. We need to always remember that, at the end of the day, our clients are the reason for our business and why we continue to stay in business, not just an interruption when conducting business. Here are some tips to give your customer service a quick refresher course.
Know Everything You Need to Know and Admit it When You Don’t: As a coach or service provider you know the need to constantly grow and learn. Our clients look to us for knowledge and guidance, and when an issue comes up that we don’t have an answer to, a flat “I don’t know” simply doesn’t cut it. I read somewhere once that the real definition of “expert” is not someone who just has all the answers, but someone who knows where to find the answers. When faced with something you are unsure of, your response should be; “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”
Respond Immediately: Nothing is worse than waiting for acknowledgment when your system is down or you’re confused about a project. Stellar customer service involves responding as soon as possible to a client’s inquiry even if it is just “let me check into it.” This way your client knows you’re on top of things and you respect them enough not to put them off.
Bite Your Tongue: Sometimes the one of the hardest things in business is to be patient. When we are frazzled, swamped, and running late it may be very hard to be patient with a complaining or needy client. These are the times you dig down deep and bite your tongue, because to lose your cool and begin to show your annoyance will only fuel the situation and do long-term damage to your relationship and your reputation.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: This sounds like a corny, old-school adage, but in customer service it still rings true. Take a moment to put yourself in your client’s shoes and provide for them the customer service YOU would expect. This ensures they have a great experience working with you, and gives them one more reason to continue doing so.
Admit When You Are Wrong: No one likes mistakes, but they do happen. If you mess up, fess up! Take responsibility and fix the problem right away. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years that has never proved to be wrong, it’s “honesty is still the best policy.”
These tips may all seem like “no-brainers,” but they are also the basics for great customer service. Whether you are your own customer service desk or it is provided by a team member or even another company, make sure there are established rules, guidelines and parameters in place to make ensure your clients (and future clients) are taken care of in the best possible way. Treating people and providing excellent customer service is what will really set you apart from your competition. It’s not all about how slick your website is or how flashy your online presence is, or even how good you may be at what you do … it’s all about how customers and clients and prospect are treated in the process!