Are You Losing Prospective Clients or Impressing Them Through Your Customer Service?
Now this may be TMI (Too Much Information!!)—but we had a lower level toilet back-up this past week at my house. You may be wondering, “Why the heck is she telling ME this? And why do I care?”
Well, I actually do have a reason—It’s because I received such great customer care from everyone I worked with at Dean’s Professionals, a 24/7 plumbing, heating, air conditioning company. I was ultra impressed and they are going to have my business for a lifetime because of it!
I actually dealt with 5 people within the company over the course of a week—the gal who scheduled the first and second appointments, the young guy who came out and fixed the toilet and a sink drain the first time, and who came back when it backed up again the next day. I got a discount coupon to use at my next service. Then when we wondered if a new toilet was in order, the installation guy was super helpful, enthusiastically explaining the differences and helping to place the order, apologizing for the 4 day delay. I got another discount for the delay. Turns out the toilet was just fine after the 2nd attempt at repair but I now know what kind I’d order, from whom and who I’d have install it. Guess who? Yup—Dean’s! I even get the discount if I ever do need that new toilet! Oh, and the gals in the dispatch and billing departments were also super helpful and friendly. I never had to wait more than a 45 minutes for someone to call or show up at my door. They were non-salesy and very humanly interested in making my plumbing fully functional and my day go better.
Sounds silly, but after each contact I felt really great—Now that’s great customer service!
Tips To Nurture Your Clients or Customers
Let’s glean some good sound best business tips from my seemingly little, but chock full of Ideal-Client Connection example above. These tips will help you nurture customer relations and your ideal clients no matter what business you’re in.
- Know Your Ideal Client
It’s important that you hone in on the answers to these questions: Who do you want and like to work with? Who are the clients who like to work with you? Who are the clients who need and will pay for your services?
As you focus on these folks you will enjoy and prosper in your interactions with clients. You’ll have an easier time experiencing them as building relationships vs selling. Service will become your passion and not just drudgery or a J.O.B.
- Nurture & Automate Many Paths to Touch Your Ideal Clients
Think of at least 7-10 ways you can reach your clients weekly or monthly. Utilize both email and snail mail options. Set up a campaign that your VA or team carry out on a regular basis. These might include a regular newsletter, social media posts, sending articles, discount coupons or bonuses, reminders or tips.
- Approach Every Interaction With a “Human Touch”
Connect with each person you come in contact with, be it through remote means or in-person. Talk about what you offer people (not your job title) share your experiences and your philosophy. Wear a button on your purse or briefcase with a question or a logo that peaks people’s curiosity; one that starts a conversation. Have a business card with questions that your ideal client struggles with in the middle of the night.
Talk about what you love to see in your client’s reactions or growth from the work you do. Silly as it may sound, the guy selling me the new toilet let me know many times, in many ways that he had three of these toilets in his own home and he’d do it again. This was his personal experience. Then he told me why he’d chosen them and why he’d never regretted it. And why he’d install them again. He promised me I would not regret it if I chose that brand myself. He was putting himself on the line. Not just his company or his job title. I paid attention because of his real life human experience.
Talk about your work philosophy. Openly share why you do what you do. For example, my plumber guy said: “We want you to be happy. Call us if anything goes wrong. We want you to be a lifelong customer. Let us know if there is anything we can do.”
- Leave the “Salesman or Saleswoman” at the Door
We all know the stereotype of the Used Car Salesman and how we cringe and run from such people—right? Stay focused on how you can serve others. What does your ideal client need? What pain are they in that you can alleviate? What problem do they have that you can offer a solution to? How can you serve? You are here to serve. Remember that when you walk out the door every morning and it will make your life so much more meaningful.
- Show That You Care
It doesn’t matter if you are delivering a FREE report, product or call, or if you are charging a million bucks—always offer high-value, high-content and high-quality service. Your reputation is on the line. My plumber folks were each kind, relaxed and on time. They left my home clean and always reassuringly said “Be sure to call us again, right away, if you need anything or if the problem reoccurs. We guarantee our work and want you to be happy.”
- Give High Quality Service; Then Give a Little More
Again, give high content, high-value and high-quality, then offer a discount or a bonus or some additional up-sell that your customer may really need. It’s good for your business and it’s good for them too.
- Stay in Touch; Involve Them in The Interaction
Develop a plan for follow-up with all your clients. You might follow-up with a survey or a postcard; send them discount coupons for their next service. If you send an email or phone survey offer a reward. If you ask them to Refer Your Friends, give a discount or bonus. Involve them: “How Did We Do? Is There Anything Else We Could Do Better? What would you like to see us do next time?”