Technological and digital advances have changed the way clients communicate with businesses. But has this fast-paced online world hindered the basics of customer service? Are we pouring too much effort into the latest digital fads across multiple channels and forgetting to respond? Are we missing simple opportunities like answering the phone or responding to an email or enquiry form quickly?
Is it time to rethink and go back to basics?
Remember, no matter how great your product or service is, if your customer service isn’t, people will complain about it…and let others know!
Customer service is all about providing support to prospective and existing clients and in today’s digital world, this includes everything from social media and ‘live chat’ as well as the traditional in-person, email, and phone methods.
The importance of being human
Live chat, email, or even over the phone can seem impersonal because you can’t read the other person’s body language or interpret their tone. Clients will want to feel connected so it is important that you sound like a human and can empathise with the client. Do you have consistent messaging set up through automatic replies, combined with a genuine timeframe within which a real person will get back in touch?
Make sure you create memorable experiences
When you communicate with clients, it is important to make sure that the experience is personal. This can be done simply by using their name, sending messages and replies from a personalised email or rewarding loyal customers, for example, with a discounted offer, sending a useful thought leadership piece of content or even doing something unique like sending a handwritten note or corporate gift.
In today’s fast-paced world, people want a quick response whether that’s over the phone, via a live chat, email or on social media. Setting out guidelines or assigning responsibility within the business to answer and reply to messages, emails or even answer the phone within a certain time frame will help to increase response times and, in turn, lead to more conversions. Our previous blog explains the importance of response times and answering the phone.
Do we need to bring back face-to-face?
With the pandemic contributing to a boom in online meetings, have we become too comfortable with engaging with prospects and clients through a screen rather than face-to-face? With more face-to-face meetings, networking and events happening, is it time businesses looked at how much they are doing online in comparison to in person? Sometimes, face-to-face meetings are crucial in enhancing client relationships, building trust and in turn loyalty.
Asking for feedback
As part of any process of ongoing improvement, it is important to ask clients for feedback – and rather than just waiting for it, be proactive and ask for it. Send a survey after you have finished a piece of work to find out how satisfied clients are. It’s also another opportunity to gather testimonials and feedback that can be used for marketing purposes. This blog reiterates the importance of client reviews and feedback. Asking for clients’ views demonstrates that you care about them and are committed to making improvements.
Whichever way your client communicates with you and vice versa, your business must have the right set-up to be able to answer and respond to clients quickly, effectively, and appropriately. Effective customer service is crucial to business success, particularly in the professional services sector, where people are the ‘product’. Taking a step back and looking at processes and how your customer service can be improved can greatly improve client experience. After all, it’s not what you say about your business but what other people say, isn’t it?
With a few simple changes and adjustments, a business can dramatically improve its clients’ experience. Contact us if you would like to find out more about how we have helped clients facing this challenge.
Marketing for Professional Services
The go-to strategic marketing partner for ambitious professional services