HOW DO YOU DEFINE QUALITY SERVICE?
For every business (especially for those of us in professional services) client satisfaction guarantees future success. Happy clients bring more clients, and a great reputation in the marketplace (especially in a small market like Charleston’s) is a very desirable asset.
It is essential to have business strategies and practices that result in repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals from our client base.
So, how does one make sure that clients are happy? Obviously, we need to provide them with “outstanding service”. The problem is that not everyone is on the same page when it comes to defining “outstanding service”.
In order to avoid disappointing clients, I recommend following these guidelines:
- Clarify mutual expectations from the beginning. Ask your clients what they expect from your service, as well as letting them know what you expect from them. This way everyone will know what to expect, and you can EXCEED your clients’ expectations.
- Educate your clients. Explain the whole process from A to Z and identify the most common potential problems, so that they don’t get surprised if they happen.
- Keep in constant communication. The worst you can do when there is a problem is to avoid communicating with your clients, thinking the problem may just go away, or that you may be able to solve it without their involvement. It is much better to let them know what the problem is, why it is happening, and how you are working to resolve it. ALWAYS return calls and emails promptly.
- Assume responsibility. If there is an unforeseen event that affects the process, assume responsibility (even if it is someone else’s fault) and try to provide proactive solutions.
- Be honest. Your clients will appreciate your honesty, even if the news that you bring are not favorable to them.
- Show genuine interest in your clients. Give them personalized attention and be sensitive to their personal situations.
This will set you apart from other service providers and will provide the “personal touch” that will remain in your clients’ minds looking forward. You want to be their "top-of-mind" provider for your field, and having a great reputation only enhances your chances for repeat business and referrals!