Whenever I travel, I pay close attention to the quality of service around me. I’ve learned a great deal watching how other businesses treat their clients and customers, and service always plays a big part in helping me decide which businesses I want to patronize.
For example, for many years I refused to travel on Delta Airlines because I had some pretty terrible customer service experiences with them. However, recently, a client booked me on a Delta flight to Las Vegas, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Delta’s service has improved tremendously.
Seeing Delta’s great improvements made me think of my own efforts to give great service to my clients. Here are five areas of customer service that are always at the forefront of my mind when it comes to my business and my clients:
1. All clients are not the same. Some clients need more attention than others. Recognizing how much attention a client needs is extremely important, and it’s best to determine this at the very beginning of your working relationship. I am so bored by folks in the service industry who bitch about how difficult clients can be. Get over it! Part of giving great service is knowing how to manage demanding clients.
2. Even though discussing money is never easy, it’s imperative that you manage client expectations from the very beginning. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your time as well as your clients’ time. (Unfortunately, I have been guilty of this one on more than one occasion.)
3. Even when you’re busy with other projects, every client should always feel as though he or she is your number one priority. If clients feel like they’re being pushed aside, they will start to resent you. Many of us expect our clients to understand that we’re busy people and that everyone has to wait their turn. Big mistake!
4. Keep your promises. No matter how small, if you do not keep your word, you will lose your client’s trust. I have been guilty of this, because, sometimes, I just forget what I’ve promised. Now I take notes whenever I speak with a client, and I write down every single promise I make.
5. Naturally, I saved the best for last… when planning an event, something will always, and I mean always, go wrong. When this happens, don’t make it your client’s problem. Just fix it. An integral part of our job is to improvise.
Remember, most clients are just like us. I was really touched to see that Delta is working so hard and trying their best. That’s the key to good service: make an effort to do your very best every single day.
Dear Readers, what do you think is the secret to good service? How do you feel about putting a client’s event on hold in order to finish a more pressing job? Do you ever find yourself letting off steam by bitching about difficult clients?