I pride myself on having great service for my clients and prospects. Anyone who works on my team knows this is of utmost importance to me. I didn’t realize that not everyone runs their business this way until a team member told me she wasn’t used to taking this approach – and she has worked with A LOT of coaches.
I have definitely been on the receiving end of poor service though. It’s amazing to me how bad the service level is with a lot of businesses. When we’re not treated well, we are much less likely to continue doing business with that provider.
I’m thankful to have learned a lot about service during my corporate days. Sadly, I don’t think a lot of business owners have had a lot of training in this area, if at all.
I’m assuming you would like your clients and potential customers to feel great and recommend you to others. It’s all about creating an experience. In order to create that experience, you must have several things in place.
- Define what good service means to you. What is a reasonable time frame for you and your team to return messages and emails? Stick to it and provide consistency.
- While number one is definitely important, so is letting go of unhealthy expectations. Look at what is reasonable in terms of timelines. Check in – when would you expect a call back or a response from someone? Look at your own “rules” around this and see where they came from.
- If you can’t respond fully to someone within the time line, send a quick note saying you received their note / message and that you will get back to them by ___ date.
- VIP service – consider offering a more excelled service level for your premier clients. For example, all of my personal clients have email access to me. I have let them know if they don’t receive a response from me within 24 hours, to re-send me their note as it likely got buried. This way they know my time frame for responding, and they’re not sitting there wondering why I haven’t responded. When I check email, I’m also scanning it (I get a lot), for emails from clients first, and they are whom I respond to first. My team is second.
- Set standards for all of your communication between clients and potential clients, all the way from enquiries to each step of your programs / services. Have clearly identified processes and procedures. The LV connect
- Communicate ALL of the above with your team! Make sure they understand this is of utmost importance to you, and that they know the standards and procedures with them that you outlined in step 5. If they are not sticking to this, or if something is happening and the service level is not where you want it to be, you may need to make changes with your team. Your team is a direct reflection of you. People will remember your company and their experience with it. It’s up to you as the CEO to make sure everyone on your team is alignment with your vision and mission. You have to take responsibility.
- Stick to what you’ve outlined! This will help you build a reputation for great service and experiences for your clients. If something is happening and you just can’t do what you’ve promised, communicate that to your clients. People are a lot more understanding then we give them credit for, and appreciate being advised of things upfront.