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.

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