Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Power of a Word

I feel like I’ve written this before but I’ll write it again – I feel fortunate to offer a service in a niche market that has become a really small world. Word-of-mouth referrals are a great way to get business without spending a ton of marketing dollars.

So how do you get word-of-mouth referrals? Offer excellent products and services along with customer service to your existing clients. Your clients will be so happy with your business that they will refer you to others – but typically only when it comes up in conversation. So to ensure you get more word-of-mouth referrals from your happy clients just ask for them. It doesn’t hurt to ask and the worst they can say is no.

You can ask them in a variety of ways.

Email taglines

I’ve seen a handful of people use a tagline at the bottom of their emails. In my opinion these aren’t used enough – in fact, I’m adding one to my email now. There are several variations of these and a few of them are below.

*The greatest compliment to my service is referring me to others. Thank you!

* If you are happy with my services I provide, please share with others.

* My business is growing! If you are happy with my service please share your experience with others.

Start paying attention to the emails you receive and look to see if anyone you are currently dealing with uses a referral statement. Chances are you can already think of one right now.

Ask in person

If you deal directly with clients and customers, ask them in person. There are a variety of ways you can mention it without sounding needy. See a few examples below.

*I hope you’ll recommend my scheduling service to any of your colleagues that really need help with scheduling services.

* By the way, if you ever have a friend in the business you think might benefit from my service feel free to pass my contact information along to them.

*I absolutely love helping financial professionals grow their business. I am expanding my business so if you know of anyone who you think might benefit from my services please feel free to pass their info along to me – or pass my info along to them. Thank you!

Social Media

Include your referral statement on your social media as well. A client may follow you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or the various other social media platforms people are on these days. Be sure to include you referral statement there, too. You just never know how one little statement can contribute to the growth of the business. It takes some time to come up with one, but doesn’t cost any money to add it to what you already have so it’s definitely worth a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone doesn’t refer you? What if you a high percentage of the people you ask do refer you? Your business can expand exponentially with just some simple word-of-mouth referrals.

Danae Branson is the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services. She offers scheduling services to business professionals in the financial industry.

 

The Value of Excellent Customer Service

There is such fierce competition out there these days and believe it or not one of the best ways to stand out from the competition is to offer great customer service. People like to feel important and they like to feel taken care of. They want to trust you and they want to know that if there is ever an issue you will take care of it. Sound about right?

How do you provide great customer service? Put yourself in the client’s shoes. I’m sure you buy products and services from others. How do you like to be treated? Do you prefer face-to-face contact, emails, hand written notes, phone calls? I realize everyone is different and certain clients are going to require a bit more service than others. So determine the type of client you have and offer them the customer service they desire.

Here are some tips on providing great customer service.

*Return phone calls within 24 hours. You don’t want to miss out on a sale just because you didn’t return a phone call. When a lot of people need something, they need it yesterday and especially if they are a new client if you don’t get back to them then they’ll go elsewhere.

*Return emails in a timely fashion. These days I think people think that email is faster than leaving a phone message because people are tied to their computers and phones 24/7. Block out a few minutes every couple of hours to return emails.

*Resolve issues as soon as possible. Work with your client or prospective client and get the issue resolved soon. The quicker the better.

*Follow up with prospects. You may be surprised at the number of people who will do business with you if you just follow up with them. Everyone gets busy and if you contact them, email them, stay in front of them in whatever way possible then you stay top of mind! Top of mind is good!

*Let people know when you are out of the office. Whenever you aren’t going to be accessible make sure you change your voice mail message and your out-of-office reply on your email to reflect that. This way if someone does contact you they will already know that you are out of the office and you will get back to them when you return. This is much better than someone leaving you a message and they think since you didn’t get back to them, you must not want to do business with them.

*Check in with clients from time to time. Send your clients an email or give them a phone call now and then just to check in with them to see if they are happy with your products/services and if there is anything else you can do for them.

*Send your clients an e-newsletter or direct them to your social media for updates, sales, events, whatever it may be for your business so they are always in the know.

*Say thank you! Either in person, mailed note card or email. Be sure to always thank your clients for their business and let them know how much you appreciate them.

*Ask for feedback. We are constantly learning and growing and building a better business. Listen to what your clients and prospects have to say and ask for their opinions. How can you help them make their lives easier?

*Listen and be polite! At times you’ll have clients who are upset. Your job is to listen, understand their issue and try to help them. I know some clients can be more difficult than others but we need to try to help them as much as we can while staying calm.

No matter how great your customer service is you may not always be able to make everyone happy. So as much as I hate to write this there are times when it’s better for you and your business to just let a client go. It shouldn’t happen very often at all but at times it may be necessary.

Practice good customer services skills and stay in front of people. You may be surprised at how much your business grows. If you don’t have time for the customer service because you are just too busy selling then it’s worth the investment to get someone to help you. An assistant is an extension of your business and let’s face it – some people may do business with you just because of the excellent customer service provided by your assistant!

Danae Branson is the Founder of Elite Scheduling Services. They specialize in appointment setting, territory management and customer service for business professionals in the financial industry.