How to Deliver Excellent Client Service
“The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer” – Peter Drucker
Effectively serving clients is hard work. When issues arise, you have to ensure that your client is satisfied, and there are certain skills that go a long way towards keeping this relationship positive. Client service is an artful combination of passion, patience, and perseverance that when leveraged correctly can create an enormous amount of value for you and your clients.
Clear and Effective Communication
Great communication is the key to a great client relationship. Clients should be kept informed. It is never a good idea to keep them guessing. When answers aren’t readily available, reassure them that you are hunting down a solution.
Now, don’t flood their inbox with “we are still working on providing you answers” emails, but make sure they know when there are updates or clear timelines. Please try to avoid COB/EOD as much as possible as this may tend to cause confusion. With more and more businesses spread globally, it is important to be aware of the time zone differences, so clearly indicating this can further clarify communication.
The only way to earn a client’s trust is through showing you care. Work to understand your clients’ businesses, acknowledge their long-term goals, and develop strategies to help them, get there. When a client trusts that you can help them achieve their goals, they are going to ask you for more help.
Proactive Information Sharing
Put yourself in the clients’ shoes, and anticipate what information they would need. Do not wait for them to reach out to you if there is important news to share. It may not always be good news, but proactively sharing information indicates that you are honest and have a plan to tackle even the most difficult situations.
The Golden Rule
Simple: Treat your clients the very same way you want to be treated. Respect is mutual and it is the foundation for open communication and fostering a long term relationship.
Go Above and Beyond
Make this a habit. This involves willingly listening to feedback, adapting through actionable behaviors, and delivering results no matter the obstacle. More importantly, be consistent and never lose the motivation to repeat success.
Learn from Mistakes
“It is not how we fall that defines us, it is how we get back again”. Don’t let mistakes demoralize you, but learn to embrace them and take ownership of their solution. It takes courage to admit mistakes. and this the first step towards learning from them.
Try to think about what you will do differently next time, and work out a plan to overcome it. Avoid wasting time arguing over who or what is at fault. Rather, focus on moving forward. Such an approach will command respect and advance the project sooner.
“Be Kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about” – Ian Maclaren
It is important to be kind in business. Holding compassion and care for your clients builds confidence and positivity in the relationship. This fuels a level of understanding and communication that rises above standard business relationships. Being kind comes with confidence, compassion, mutual respect, and ultimately happiness.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
Honesty is the foundation for every healthy relationship. If you find out something that the client should be aware of, communicate it immediately. It helps build trust and fosters mutual respect. More importantly, it is a testament to your character.
Many times, complex problems have simple solutions. Each of the suggestions outlined is simple yet powerful. Client services is an art, requiring effort, creativity, and a true passion for serving others.