Would you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions:
- Does your team sometimes miss project deadlines?
- Are they sometimes trying so hard to please the client that they over promise?
- Do they sometimes misunderstand the client’s priorities and so they over deliver on items important to themselves, but then under deliver on some items the client believes are critical?
- Do they sometimes feel themselves torn between meeting the deadline and delivering work of excellent quality?
- And does the deadline or the excellent quality usually ‘win’?
- Does your team complain that clients just want more and more these days? And that they want more and more for less and less!
- Do you pride yourselves on designing and delivering customised solutions for your clients?
- Does your team find it difficult to gauge the resources, particularly the time required, to achieve and deliver these customised solutions?
We live in a time where clients do expect more than ever before. And sometimes those expectations mean that your team almost needs to be a ‘troupe of magicians’.
We live in a time where globalisation means that everyone has access to the same products and services, or at least they are so similar that it is unlikely a client would be able to discern any real difference. And because products and services are so similar between competitors, the only real differentiator is the level of service you give your clients.
Research shows, in fact, that clients will pay a 23% premium when they believe they receive excellent customer service. Conversely, they will demand a 13% discount if they don’t believe the service is exceptional.
And what is it that constitutes excellent customer service?
It means you deliver on your promises – deadlines are met, there is a high-quality standard, and your quality is very consistent.
It means you are proactive in your communication – you keep your clients informed about items that are important to them; you build and maintain strong relationships with your clients.
And perhaps the greatest challenge of excellent customer service is that you must do these things absolutely consistently, with every client, every time. And that includes the demanding or obnoxious clients too!
Of course, we usually ‘know all this’. We are, unfortunately, just not as good at ‘doing it’.
What are the customer service ‘obstacles’ your team faces? And how can you help them to get over these ‘obstacles’?
The most relevant mindset for delivering excellent customer service from the client’s perspective, while simultaneously being conducive to strong business for you, is to see yourself as a servant, rather than as a slave.
You maintain a sense of control by offering a pool of options, each of which you can give or deliver. The client then chooses from this pool of options and will enjoy their sense of decision-making power. This scenario ensures you can serve them, and will willingly do so. You are not the victim under the spell of an all-powerful master, rather a servant willing to give.
To your success,