Great Customer Service Is Not a Differentiator

customerServiceProviding great customer service doesn’t set you apart from the competition; it’s cost of entry. People now expect ease of use with every product, application, and service.

If customer service is an area in which you’re lagging, improving it doesn’t necessarily require structural changes to your business. Small changes to your process or procedures can have a significant impact when the changes become cumulative.

Here are ten easy ways to improve your level of customer service that you can begin implementing today:

1. Always lead buyers through your process. Tell them what’s needed and when, and ask the hard questions early. It will ultimately relieve more pain than it causes.
2. If most or all of your client contact is electronic, have someone from your team call the client once a month, out of the blue.
3. If you are writing non-urgent client emails after hours or on weekends, use email plug-ins, such as Boomerang, that let you schedule a time during work hours to auto send the emails. It will help you avoid any perception by the client that their business is an after-thought or that you are too busy to focus on them during the workday.
4. The day a client says “Yes,” send over your W-9, agreement, and invoice in one neat package. It will set the stage for streamlined productivity.
5. End each client meeting with a high-level timeline, so they can see where the project stands. You should also provide a few immediate next steps to keep the process moving forward.
6. Give back to those who refer you to others. A small “Thank You” can go a long way.
7. Always beat clients to the calendar invite. Send it out as soon as you and your client confirm a meeting time over the phone or by email. When structuring the invite, you want to continue to be helpful. If the meeting is over the phone, start the invite description with “Call”; if the meeting is face to face, start the invite description with “In-person” or “Meeting.” When including an address, format it properly so people can easily access it on a map via a mobile device. When including a phone number, format it so the code shows up on the dial screen for easy access. This attention to detail will be appreciated because it makes your clients’ lives easier, and that’s something they’ll feel is definitely worth paying for.
8. Proactively make recommendations. This should be expected from firms charging for strategy; but, sadly, it is not as common as it should be.
9.Build rapport. Have dinner three times a year and drinks at least once a year.
10. Proactively send meeting recaps after a call, and email the client on Monday with an overview of what to expect for the week. Purposeful over-communication is always a plus.

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