You may not think so. You are probably running scenarios through your head, right now, justifying your reactions to customer requests and thinking you handled it just fine. Problem averted. No need to change. That’s what most of my clients think, before we work together.
What your clients or customers experience might be something entirely different. It is essential to know what they get from interactions with you and that you always present a professional and authentic environment to do business with you.
I work with a client that does great work. It is a service that many of my other clients could use. I’m hesitant to refer to her because of the clutter. She knows, we have talked about it. Some simple changes would make all the difference. The things we have done have improved her bottom line. I can’t wait to finish the parts of her office that the public sees. She is going to be truly amazed.
Customer service doesn’t start with the complaint. It starts from several minutes before you meet them. They have expectations based on your branding, what they have heard about you and how you appear to them on first contact.
You can have the coolest business card on the planet but if your first impression is not pulled together, you won’t have the chance to serve them at all.
There are three areas that really are super simple to fix and can instantly help your customers actually experience great things from working with you.
1. Return phone calls promptly. Notice I didn’t say urgently. Set your clients expectations for when you return phone calls and then do that. I let my clients know that I return within 24 hours. That allows me to prioritize based on their needs, and for me to not feel interrupted, so that when we do speak they have my full attention. I have picked up a lot of business just by returning phone calls.
2. Ask the right questions. What information do you really need from the customer to fulfill their request? Ask those questions. Providing a bunch of information about other things you can do for them is not the best way to start. Save that for after the first delivery or for when something you can help them with organically comes up in conversation. No one likes to be inundated, it can cause stressed out decision making and buyers remorse.
3. Eliminate some clutter. Your business environment needs to reflect professionalism. Take everything off your desk and then dust it. Now replace the things you need to do your job. Then add a little personality and inspiration. Really 1-3 items will keep you interesting and your workspace efficient. While you are at it, take all the things taped to the walls and counters down. If they are important enough to have in view of the client, they need to be framed or mounted. If you decide to keep any artificial plants and flowers, you must be vigilant to keep them dust free.
Did you notice that all three of these areas are really just systems waiting to be implemented? Try one at a time and see if the urgency in your day diminishes enough to actually notice how great your customers are.