The Art of Providing Amazing Customer Service
The steps for providing good customer service get plenty of attention, and you can find thousands of articles, books, and blog posts explaining what the perfect formula is. But for professionals pushing ahead in a competitive market, who want to grow the brand of the company and their personal brand, they have to go well beyond good customer service. For as long as I can remember, I have had a personal passion for providing amazing customer service. Strengthening that passion with a background in Communications, I have put my skills to work at The BLU Group – Advertising & Marketing. Customer service is taken seriously here; so serious in fact, it’s one of our three pillars of success. In my three years as an Account Executive here, I have had the opportunity to hone the craft of providing amazing customer service. Here are the top 5 ways I go above and beyond for the needs of our growing client base in order to provide amazing customer service.
- Respond Right Away – This goes beyond the standard of responding to calls and e-mails within the same day. If possible, respond to calls and e-mails right away. Of course, the need to prioritize is always a factor (to read my past post on how to manage your time better, click here), but taking a few minutes to respond to an e-mail, even if it’s just to say that you will be getting back to them at a later time, will show your client that you’re there for them.You can take this one step further by getting back to a client after hours or on the weekend (you’re always connected anyway, right?). It’s a great way to impress a client with your dedication and will also show just how on top of your game you are. At the very least, never let more than 2 hours go by without responding to an e-mail or phone call.
- Support Your Clients Beyond the Normal 8:00a-5:00p – When a business becomes a client of yours, they have an investment in you. That investment helps keep the lights turned on at your business and helps the business stay afloat. Go beyond the 8:00a-5:00p support normally provided to clients by showing them your commitment to their business in additional ways including shopping at their stores, using their products consistently, and telling your friends about their service(s). As an added bonus, you will be better able to make more well-informed recommendations on how to grow their business, since you have been a customer and have interacted with them in their environment.
- Treat Every Client Like They’re Your Best Client – The need to prioritize can often mean that some clients get more attention than others, but make it a priority to never let a client feel like they are not important. You never know what potential that client has to grow the business in the future. A happy client is the best advocate. You never know who they know. Providing amazing customer service is a key factor in ensuring they only have great things to say about their experience with your business if it should ever come up in conversation.
- Don’t Be a Yes Man/Woman – Believe it or not, amazing customer service does not always come from saying yes to everything. Rather than being an order taker, ask more questions. Dig deeper to help lead the client to points they may not have thought about. For example, if a client calls and asks for a simple five page website for their start-up company, ask questions to find out more. How fast is the company growing? Do you plan to sell your products online in the future? How strongly do you want to complete in the Search Engines? If the company does grow in the future, what would you want to add to the website?Show the client that you’re thinking several steps ahead. They’ll appreciate the fact that by helping them considering these points now, you may have saved them time and money in the future.
- Throw in a Little Extra –Although you have to always keep budget, schedule, and the agency’s profitability in mind, whenever possible, include a bit more than what the client was expecting. At BLU we call this the “BLU Plus”. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but just a little something extra. It can be as small as personally delivering something that your client was planning to pick up, or taking them out to lunch to meet, in place of your scheduled phone call with them. Whatever your business may be, providing more than what the client was expecting shows the value they’re getting in your partnership and reaffirms that you always go above and beyond for their business.
These tips have served me well in my three years here at The BLU Group, and I hope they will help you go from providing good customer service, to practicing the art of amazing customer service. What other things have you done to provide your clients with amazing customer service?