Everyone 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.
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