5 Ways to Please Your Clients and 5 Reasons Why You Should

satisfactionEveryone knows that the customer is always right, but good customer service is so much more than that. If you’re interested in keeping clients around for a while, here are five things you should be doing:

1. Be Ultra Responsive

When you get a message from a client, get back to them as soon as possible. Even if you can’t respond in detail or won’t be starting on the work immediately, let them know you have the information so they aren’t left hanging.

2. Communicate Effectively

E-mail is all-too-often considered a lesser form of communication. While it is quick and can be easier than using the phone, all of your e-mail communication should be clear, organized and, of course, professional. Here is a good read with some quick tips for keeping your e-mail communication up to par: Business Email Etiquette 101 on Business Know-How.

3. Exceed Expectations

Go above and beyond what is expected…every single time. Yes, even though you probably have a fairly defined list of deliverables, you can do more by putting in time to ensure quality, testing and re-testing, and essentially creating a final product that is even better than what the client expected.

4. Listen

How often do you truly listen to what your clients are saying, beyond the work they are relaying to you? If you listen, you may discover new areas where they could use your talents, or be able to suggest a different and more efficient way to do something.

5. Be Honest

Be truthful about your skills and don’t tell your client you’re capable of doing something you’re not. Many times, admitting inexperience with something is appreciated and doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get the work.

Why would you want to do these five things to make your clients happy when you can just as easily get in, do the work, and get out? Here’s how you can benefit from having happy clients:

1. They’ll come back.

A happy customer is a repeat customer. Hit the five targets above and you can be sure they will come right to you next time they need someone with your expertise.

2. They’ll tell their friends.

Word of mouth is powerful. Satisfied clients can be the easiest way to get referrals for new work.

3. You may find new opportunities.

You never know what other things a client has going on, and by being a valued service provider, you may be in a position to experience new and exciting opportunities.

4. They can be references.

If you’re clients are thrilled with you, they will be willing to speak about your work to others, write letters of recommendation and even vouch for you when you need support for non-work endeavors.

5. You’re building a reputation.

If you’re serious about what you do, giving your best on every project will build a reputation that will make your business sustainable.

What else do you do to ensure client satisfaction and why do you do it?

Image credit: Steve Woods

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  • danh2000

    I’m going to sound really critical now, but hey… I mean no disrespect, it’s just my honest opinion:

    There was a time when every article on sitepoint was really in-depth, quality content that was worth reading.

    Ande here you are in 2009 thinking that this is news worthy:

    When you get a message from a client, get back to them as soon as possible.

    Please don’t patronise your readers – if you don’t have a decent article, don’t post for the sake of it, it simply waters down your overall quality.

    • http://www.avertua.com Alyssa Gregory

      danh2000 – Thanks for your feedback. What would you like to see more of in terms of post topics/formats?

      samanime – Thanks for the compliments!

  • http://www.arwebdesign.net samanime

    @danh2000: I wholeheartedly [b]dis[/b]agree with your comment.

    Believe it or not, there are a lot of beginning web developers (and beginning business people for that matter) that don’t realize how important it is to get back to your clients with some little message as soon as possible. Many of them will wait until they have the whole answer, which could be a week or so, and the client is left waiting with no idea if they even got the message.

    It is far from patronizing and I think the [b]blogs[/b] (these aren’t meant to be full-fledged articles… check the section) are very valuable not only for beginners, but for those that have been doing it for a while and see a few tip or two that they’ve been neglecting (as I have).

    @Alyssa: Another great blog. As I just said, these “Lists of” blogs you have been posting the past week or so have been very good.

    I think your second point is something that is very often overlooked. I don’t know how many times I get an email from a company wanting me to spend major bucks for some service vital to my business and I get a message back that looks like they can’t find their shift key.

    Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.arwebdesign.net samanime

    Oops, sorry about the BBCode. Didn’t realize we could use <strong> instead.

  • danh2000

    If I could, I would actually retract “don’t patronise your readers” – I suppose some readers may not have considered the basics.

    Personally though, I followed the link on twitter and felt patronised by the content.

  • http://www.marieculver.com erythisis

    Even with quality habits, the “do it later” monster is immortal and never really goes anywhere. Though I agree some of these things shouldn’t really require review. Sadly, there are large companies who could stand to look at the list and realize most these things apply to them too.

  • danh2000

    @Alyssa Gregory

    I personally found this article far too basic and still see most/all of the content as common sense, however in hindsight I respect that other readers may find this helpful.

    On another day I probably wouldn’t have commented, however..

    From a personal point of view, and based around what I believe to be your area of speciality, I would like to see more content targetted to the more difficult aspects of running a business and engaging with your clients.

    If for the purpose of this comment, I may still refer to the current article as basic information – (Be responsive, Communicate well etc) then I would be interested to see tips around more advanced/difficult topics, such as (just off the top of my head):

    Writing a contract.
    Pricing your work.
    Debt collecting.
    Licensing and Copyright.
    Accounting.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe that many more of your readers would benefit from this (what I’ll refer to as) ‘meaty content’ than the article that I commented on.

    I appreciate you listening and respect the opinions of anyone who disagrees.

    :)

    • http://www.avertua.com Alyssa Gregory

      @danh2000 Noted. Stay tuned for posts on your suggested topics.

      @AK Thanks for your feedback. As I said to @danh2000, I am very open to other ideas/suggestions/comments. Feel free to email me personally or post a comment with your suggestions, and I will do my best to deliver. :-)

      @chicagocubsfan Thanks!

  • chicagocubsfan

    I feel Alyssa wholeheartedly delivered on the title. Why do some people bother to leave such unpleasant comments. (danh2000)

    Writing is hard work and the fact that Alyssa took the time and energy to come up with the idea behind this article and actually deliver the article to SP, speaks volume on her ability. I for one found the tips useful and appreciate it.

    I understand danh2000 disguised his comment as constructive, but it was 1. unnecessary and 2. unpleasant.

  • danh2000

    @chicagocubsfan I am glad that you found the article useful and were able to learn from it.

  • AK

    I agree with danh2000. The article could have been a little more in depth. It seemed too basic. Even if it was for beginners, the write could have done some more research and provided better points.

    However, I’m not bashing Alyssa. I’ve read previous articles by her and thought they were good.

  • Daquan

    danh2000, it’s the basics that matter. The advanced stuff is nugatory unless you have a strong grasp on the basics. Besides, common sense is picked up, it’s not automatically dropped into your head as if you’re a cyborg.

    Good, basic article. I agree with the points made.