Benchmark Business Group

Client Service

How well does your business keep it's promise to customer's?  Client service or customer service is all about delivering on the promises that you make.  If you deliver your promise well and customers are happy it often leads to referrals and repeat business.  If you fail to deliver your promise it often has an immediate negative result and long term results that can impact the success of your business.  It's vital for small businesses to be able to deliver an outstanding client service.  Below are a collection of articles on client service from our weekly Business Owner Insights.

June 26, 2018

Every business owner knows providing excellent service is important. Many businesses have standards and expectations in place for their employees when it comes to customer service. They have processes, systems, scripts, and other resources for communicating with customers in person, over the phone, through email, when texting, etc.
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June 30, 2015

This month we've been discussing the importance of knowing your customers. We've looked at how to identify frustrations and how to be proactive in dealing with frustrations. Last week we touched on an important piece of your customer service, which is that your customers want to know that they are valued.

 

This week we want to challenge you to define what that looks and feels like. If you don't have one already, consider creating a customer promise or a value statement that outlines what your customers should experience as part of your business. If you already have these documents, pull them out and see if they are still relevant or need to be refreshed.

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June 23, 2015

In the last few weeks, we've discussed the importance of knowing your customers and being able to listen for when your customers are frustrated. The next step in providing excellent customer service is to understand what areas of your business are likely to frustrate your customers and be able to quickly react to them. As you work through understanding your customer's frustrations there will be a set of frustrations that you can solve through systems and processes, but there will also be frustrations that your business will never be able to completely eliminate.

 

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June 16, 2015

When a business is reactive to customer frustrations instead of being proactive, it's often more difficult to turn the experience into one that leaves the client feeling as if the businesses went above and beyond to meet their needs and exceed their expectations. They key is to identify a frustration...
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June 9, 2015

Quote: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."  -Henry Ford

 

Our Thoughts: There have been many articles written, especially on innovators such as Ford or even Steve Jobs, which discuss that customers don't always have the answer. They can't always tell you want they want if they can't imagine it themselves. There's definitely a kernel of truth to this, but it doesn't mean you can tune out your customers. It means that your business needs to listen differently.

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June 1, 2015

There's a little known feature in Google Maps that displays just how well Google understands their customers. Take out your cell phone and open the Google Maps app. Now let's say you were trying to find a location, but when you got to the end of the directions the destination was wrong. Frustrated? Shake your phone and see what happens.

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February 9, 2015

Last week we began a series on collections, a vital part of your customer service. This is often a overlooked process for keeping and building customer relationships.

 

You may be thinking: "What?! Collections are vital to keeping and building customer relationships? Are you crazy? The reason I have to "collect" from them is because they have not paid me when they were supposed to --- why would I want to keep and build that relationship?!" Simply put, you want to build these relationships, because they have already done business with you and because they do owe you money.

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November 17, 2014

In today's society communication is definitely changing. There are newer methods that are picking up momentum in all demographics such as texting and email. People are becoming more impatient as they expect faster responses. We're connected to constant streams of information at all times, and somehow some way your business has to keep up. Thankfully there are apps out there that can help your business. These are just a few of the ones out there:

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June 24, 2014

The past month we've talked a lot about handling customer service from the stand point of when things are not going right.  We've looked at you not being the first person to provide answers, firefighting, and how things are handled when they go wrong.  All of these are necessary steps for providing excellent service, but in order to provide top of the line customer service, you also need to be thinking about how you can be proactive. Customer service isn't always about handling the day to day or when things go wrong, but about going above and beyond.   

 

To be proactive in providing extras such as sending out birthday cards, holiday gifts, welcoming packages or just thank you for doing business with us postcards, you must be organized. It's not the fun side of customer service but it is the critical, behind the scenes work necessary to wow your clients day after day. The two main steps for organizing the service you provide to your clients include: ranking and scheduling.

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June 17, 2014

Without a doubt, there will be a time when your company stumbles and your customer is not happy with the service. This means your employees will need to be prepared to interact with an unhappy customer.  It's easy to make the assumption that your staff knows how to handle an upset customer. That assumption might have some truth to it. They know their way to solve problems, which might include years of bad habits. The question is do they know your way? Sure, they might have even seen how you handle it, but do they know how far they can go to satisfy a client? Can they give the client a discount or refund? If they can, how much can they offer? Do they offer the discount first, or is there something that should happen before getting to that point?

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