Something we value highly here at The Network Support Company is delivering excellent customer service. From our business development managers to our technicians to our account managers, we aim to delight and surprise our clients with our attentiveness and level of engagement. The quarterly customer service surveys we deploy – in which we score 4+ out of 5 across the board – show that we’re hitting the mark.
Excelling in customer service, however, isn’t something that happens by accident. There are skills and behaviors that everyone in the service field can cultivate and polish, so that satisfying customers becomes almost second-nature.
Here are five ways to delight clients:
- Listen. When an issue is first presented, take the time to listen, ask questions and take exceptionally detailed notes. This fundamental approach, which should happen at the very beginning of any issue or problem, helps facilitate efficient resolution and minimize a “knowledge gap” that could arise when multiple people are involved.
- Be proactive, follow up and, most importantly, take ownership. Let the customer know that you are spearheading their issue or project and pushing things along – even when action lies with another department or even another company. Too many firms let an issue fall off the radar once it leaves their immediate sphere of influence.
- Know your client. This is the golden rule of client service. Know them inside and out, at an organizational level and on a personal level. What challenges do they face internally? How can you help them work more efficiently? Where are they from? What teams do they root for? If you know your client’s business and their industry, you are in a better position to delight them with exceptional service.
- Get face-to-face. Break free of the convenience of technology, and have in-person meetings. Phone calls and emails have become the mainstay of too many support desks. There is no replacement for onsite visits to deepen client relationships. Get together to discuss pending items, ask how the relationship is going, and see what you can do better to improve your product or service. I can’t stress the importance of this enough – not just because it helps boost client retention rates – but because it makes our interactions with our valued clients more meaningful.
- Ask for feedback. Do this periodically to improve the quality of your product or service. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions; let your client know that you want to hear the negative feedback as well as the positive. Surveys are certainly helpful, but meeting in a friendly setting – over a cup of coffee, for instance – just might yield information that is more impactful to your business.
No one of these will work by themselves; employing all or as many tactics as possible with every client, every time, is the key to success. Approaching client services from a high-level perspective – while also proactively attending to the day to day granular issues – results in exceptional client service that delights.