10 Tips for Providing Great Customer Service to Your Clients
The way your customers feel towards you is important. The more you show you care about them, the more they’ll likely want to continue working with you. With that in mind, providing good customer service to your clients should naturally be a major priority in your day-to-day schedule. This article lists tips and suggestions for ensuring that you’re treating your clients well.
1. Respond to Clients as Soon as Possible
Speed is everything, especially when a client is requesting something that’s time-sensitive. Try to reply to your clients as soon as you can. Procrastinating on a response to a client’s email, phone call or voicemail doesn’t help anyone; you’re going to have to reply eventually, so why not do it as soon as possible? Avoid that "mark as unread" button in your email client.
Even if you can’t work on the task they’re requesting you to accomplish right away, at least let them know you got their request and then supply them with a timeline of when you’re able to get the task completed. If you can’t find the time to perform the task, it will be considerate of you to let them know as soon as possible so that they can make alternative arrangements.
2. Keep Clients Updated
Feeling like you’re lost and that you don’t know what’s going on is one of the worst situations you can be in when you hire someone. Even if you don’t have anything major to report, you can still let your employer know what you’re working on and how things are progressing. Are you on track on milestones? Did you find something that might become an issue later on? Status updates give clients reinforcements that they’re involved in the project.
If you’re experiencing trouble with something, let them know right away. It shows that you’re keeping them in the loop and that you have things under control. If it’s something major, communicating your concern right away allows clients to plan for possible delays in the project’s completion.
3. Go the Extra Mile
If a client asks for you to do something that truly won’t cost you a lot in time and income, you have the option of going the extra mile and doing it for them. Not only will this result in an indebted and happy client, it can also go a long way in terms of keeping yourself in their radar for future projects.
4. Fix Your Mistakes
If you did something that didn’t end up working, you should repair it. A quick way to lose a client forever is not admitting that you are at fault and not fixing your own mistakes. You should always strive for a high-quality output; it shows that you have a high level of standards in your craftsmanship.
Not taking responsibility of your own blunders is a sure-fire way of gaining a bad business reputation. Transparency is important in any business; service work is no different.
5. Listen to Your Clients
Listen to what their needs are, and then offer your suggestion on the best way to go about fulfilling their needs.
6. Keep Your Promises
If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do it. It’s part of being a professional. If you need more time on something, you should let them know as soon as possible, not after you’ve already missed the deadline. Honoring your commitments is very important.
7. Don’t Confuse Clients with Jargon
Try to explain whatever the problem is as best as you can without making the client feel stupid. When proposing a solution, make sure you state it in terms they understand. You could use analogies that are relevant to them. Read more about how to talk to clients effectively as well as how to get your ideas across to clients.
8. Be Patient
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve exhausted my patience on my clients. But I’ve never actually showed them my agitation. If you feel like the client is overstepping their boundaries, let them know in a cordial and professional manner. You just don’t want to start yelling and cursing at the people you make a living off of. Maintain professionalism at all times.
9. Know Everything You Need to Know
You are a paid expert. Someone is giving you their hard-earned money to do something they believe you have a high level of mastery of. You need to keep yourself up-to-date with the profession and always be ready to answer questions your client needs to know. If you exhibit signs that you don’t know your craft inside out, you risk the chance of ruining your professional reputation.
10. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
If you were in their shoes and were being treated the way you’re treating them, would you enjoy that experience? If so, you’re doing a good job. If not, you probably want to get a little better. It’s important to constantly evaluate the way you communicate with others. Our profession is heavily reliant on communication skills.
- Client vs. Designer: Four Lessons to Win the Battle
- 5 Practices Your Clients Will Love
- The Key to Successful Collaboration
- Related categories: Project Management and Productivity
About the Author
This was published on Jan 28, 2011