With the year end rush behind us, the new year seems to be a good time to remind ourselves of the importance of customer service. Providing the right level of customer service and support really is critical to us as business owners and operators. Good customer relations not only keep the customer happy but also support customer retention and referrals. That makes US happy in our business.
One way to assess where you stand with regard to your customer service is client retention. If you are losing clients, especially good clients or any clients at a rate exceeding your signing on new clients, then one area to examine closely is your customer service. Do you engage your clients real time when they have questions or requests? Do you reach out to clients with useful information?
Then there is how you handle requests or needs of your clients. Without regard to whether you have a phone support menu or either voice or voice mail depending on whether someone is available, there are many factors that operate to affect client perception of your support of them as well as of your business generally. First off, are you honest with your clients about when you will get back to them about a question? This can be reflected by any part of the client experience when they try to contact you. It might be the hold message that falsely claims an unusually heavy call volume (many companies use this as a constant refrain any time) or a voice mail response saying you will get “right back” to the caller. Do you?
Next, are you honest with your clients when they speak with you or when you provide a response to a question they sent by phone, e-mail or text? Is your answer clear? Did you understand the client’s question and did you have the necessary knowledge to answer it? If so, did your response actually address and perhaps even resolve the question? Far too many times, callers get shunted off to someone else or told to wait for a future callback with the answer. How often does that follow-up happen? And how often does the callback resolve the issue?
As you can see, there are many ways in which our customer/client service may fail to get the job done right. Make a point of reviewing your process and resolving that this year you will get that customer service job done right.