If you work at a company and you answer the company phone and you cannot answer someone’s quesiton and you send the customer to another employee’s voicemail, is that really serving clients’ needs? Some people would say yes.
A current client sends you an email and you reply with an answer five days after receiving the email. Is this effectively serving the clients’ needs?f
You educate a client and ultimately they decide to go to another competitor with the information you gave them regarding type of product/service and price. Is this serving clients’ needs effectively?
In each case, you could make a case that a clients’ needs were taken care of in the above examples.
My point is client service is evolving into something much bigger. It really is more about client account management.
If you were given a client and told to work with them for the rest of the year, wouldn’t you take steps to keep in contact with that client on a regular basis in order to nurture the relationship. In addition, if you were absent for a period of time, (vacation) wouldn’t you take steps to insure a proper backup person was trained and introduced to the client to help serve their needs while you are away from the company. Finally, wouldn’t you insure a client’s questions are addressed promptly without much delay.
As you can see this type of relationship is much powerful than simply answering client questions. It’s more about insuring the client is taken care of in such a way that it would be very hard to leave your company.
If you can get to a level where the clients are being taken care of from a service standpoint, you have just added more value to your particular product or service and you have earned the right to increase the price for this service.
Too many companies are focused on lowering prices and in some cases really undercutting competitors’ prices in order to bring in new business. This type of thinking works well in the short-term but is not a sustainable approach. The better goal would be to improve customer service and focus on bringing in the type of clients who are loyal to you because of service and not price. It is a delicate balance, but the better companies are figuring out the “service” part of the equation a lot more.
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