Craig Baldwin, Sqrl
Just Doing Your Job
Glad that’s out of the way.
Good, great, even amazing client service is not black and white. Above average client service results from a willingness and interest that each accountant or professional has in their client’s well-being, experience, and results. According to the American Express 2012 Customer Service Barometer 66% of clients are willing to spend more with a business they believe is delivering excellent client service. The same report indicates 48% of people tell others about good client service all the time. 57% always tell their friends about poor service. If you mess up, word will travel fast. Just thank the world of social media for that one.
Professionals who deliver client service make their living on that one thing. And just like customer service, brands and businesses thrive when service of all kinds is more connected and personal. Delivering good client service is all about going beyond, adding just a little bit extra each and every time. Here’s 5 tips on delivering good client service from our team:
1. Send a surprise to each new client
First impressions are huge. At our accounting firm, we used to send cupcakes to every new client. But choose anything that’d be a nice surprise to your client. Last week we received bow-ties from a new contact. Bow-ties!
2. Be proactive on potential issues
It’s one of the most painful things to do when serving clients, but letting them be aware of issues or potential issues as soon as possible is always the way to go. It shows integrity, honesty, and how much you care about the success of their company or project. Just like ripping off band-aids, count to 3 and rip off at 2!
3. When problems arise, make it an opportunity
The first action at any restaurant when you have an underwhelming experience is to have an item removed from the bill. Perfect! But it’s almost commonplace these days, so in order to really get your attention the server would have to one-up a free appetizer. While breakdowns can be scary, and sometime results in a loss of client, they can also be a total game-changer for the relationship if you give it your best shot.
4. Be personal
Handwritten notes, family conversations, and beers with clients is always an impactful experience. Take away the work at-hand and you have two people who have to deal with each other socially. You can’t make friends with every client, and some won’t want to, but it always makes the relationship that much better.
5. Set expectations upfront
So many issues begin with miscommunication, which can typically be avoided by setting engagement or project expectations upfront. Because life is always easier when everyone is on the same page.
Craig Baldwin loves delicious BBQ and cool tech.
A version of this post was originally posted on the Sqrl blog.