Think back to the last time you the crushing pressure of having to deal with an angry client. When that locked-up feeling of helplessness transformed your place to work into a hellacious courtroom – where you are being judged over the mistakes of others.
We have all our ways to handle an unsatisfied customer. But wouldn’t it be better if there was a system in place that helps us deal with these precarious situations?
The reality is, the system is already put in place, whether you did or not. It is called service marketing. Or as many people refer it to: customer service.
When your clients come blitzing into your office demanding answers, it is because your service marketing system has done a terrible job of letting your clients know what to expect from your firm, and how to approach a problem, should there be one.
Whether you are service firm or a product company. A B2B or a B2C entity. A large corporation or a freelance. The first thing you need to make sure is optimized to the fullest is the way you present your service.
Yet, that is something that many companies either avoid or completely ignored. And yes, there even are service firms out there who do not bother to make sure the customer service lines are clear for their clients. Which, quite honestly, is infuriating.
But how do you eliminate the bad service marketing from your company and stop your clients from wanting to decapitate you? Here are twelve quick tips that can help you.
Marketing is Service; Service is Everything
The misconception of marketing and customer service is that they just departments, and they are the responsibility of a group of people. That is the furthest from the truth.
Everyone within your firm that meets a client has a role in the service and marketing of the firm. Everything that is said and done plays a role in the service and marketing of the company.
Therefore, service marketing is a responsibility of your entire firm. The marketing and customer service departments simply overlook and make sure everything works accordingly.
Realize the Value of Word-of-Mouth
Your prospects are collecting information about you before they even think of hiring you. That is why the first thing you must understand is that everything said about you matters.
Sure, if it’s a lie or people trolling you can easily deflect their comments with the truth. But, what if the word on the street is what’s happening within your firm?
Your customer service should be sharp as often as possible. And your marketing should never be misleading. Those two factors can contribute greatly in generating overall good word-of-mouth.
Be Nice at the Start of a Meeting; Be Nice at the End of a Meeting
The chances that a client will remember every single moment that happened in a meeting are slim. But they will remember how you said hello, and how you said goodbye.
We’re sure there will be some feathers ruffled during negotiations, as the client is coming to you with a concern of some sort. But helping them calm down as the arrive and sending them off with the best solution possible and a smile on your face will be memory that will last a lifetime.
So, as a rule of thumb, try your best to be as nice as possible at the beginning and the end of every meeting with a client.
Have a Service Recovery System in Place
No matter how awesome your offers might be – there is always a chance that something will go wrong. And when that happens, you don’t want to get caught with your pants down.
Having a service recovery system in place will help you attend those glitches that could occur not-so-often with precision and quickness. It makes you look exactly like the expert I know you are. 😉
Assuming everything in your business will go smoothly is a mistake that can cost you dearly. Do not run that risk.
Have a Rewards Gift on Standby
Let’s face it, we don’t the answers to every solution. And we can’t solve every problem under the sun. But that doesn’t mean your clients can leave your office with a bit of happiness.
When the solution to a problem is out of your reach, you can offer a client something of similar value (or even more valuable) to alleviate the pain.
Remember what I said about being nice at the beginning and end of a meeting? This is a way to end a meeting that otherwise would have ended on a sour note, with a level of satisfaction from your client.How do you eliminate the bad service marketing from your company and stop your clients from wanting to decapitate you? Here are twelve quick tips that can help you. Click To Tweet
Understand What Your Client is After
Not everything is about money. And perhaps your clients would find you offering a refund right away as a poor way to handle the situation.
Make sure to let the client know that you value not just their money, but the time and effort they have taken in both buying your offer and letting you know their problems and concerns.
Do not just send them away with a refund or a gift card. Listen to them, find out what they’re looking for, and act accordingly.
Honor Your Deadlines
You’re as good a person as your word. When you say you’d do something, do it by the time you said you would.
And yes, I know life gets in the way of things. But that’s why we have communication channels – to let your clients in on what’s going on. If something catastrophic happened, I’m sure they would understand your situation and give you a break.
But don’t abuse your client’s goodwill. Honor your deadlines.
Watch Your Language
When clients point out the flaws of an offer, some professionals go on defensive mode and try to let the client know who has the expertise. Do not be that professional.
Leave the condescending tone at home. Avoid jargon and speak as clear as you can. And look after your body language – don’t roll your eyes or cross your arms.
Be welcome, candid, and gentle. Do not lose your cool over a matter that can be solved and earn you extra points for effort.
Keep Your Standards High
Now, don’t misunderstand me. When I speak of standards, I don’t speak of industry parameters; I’m talking about client satisfaction.
Most of your clients don’t know exactly what high-quality service is for your field. They just want to walk away happy with the results they get.
Pay attention to what the client wants and strive to give it to them. If you can give a little extra then, by all the means. But focus on satisfaction first.
MBWA: Managing by Wandering Around. That is the principle christened by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman in their best-selling book “In Search of Excellence”. A principle you should adopt as well.
Get empathy by learning what your clients want from you. Walk a mile in their shoes.
By “wandering around” you will learn exactly up to what standards your clients hold your services. Then you can do what’s needed to meet those standards. And eventually surpass them.
Service Marketing Training Lasts a Lifetime
Times change. People change. And your service marketing should change with them.
Thinking service training is a one-and-done deal is what leaves companies to become stale. You must have your finger on the proverbial pulse and knowing what you need to change as soon as your clients’ needs change.
Keep in mind that reminders are better than instruction. Having empathy will constantly remind you what your market expects from you and will help you stay trained to deliver.
Hire the Right People
Everything you state and do to maintain service quality can go down the tubes if you don’t have the right people in place.
Don’t make the mistake of just hiring a pair of hands. Make sure the values of the people bring are aligned with your firm’s character description.
Only then you can be certain they will do what you need when a client wants help.
End Bad Service Marketing and Become a Hero
It’s no secret that when you put your entire focus intensely on what your market wants, loves, or needs, then they will become your committed, lifelong clients. And they will be fiercely loyal advocates for you.
It’s a core underpinning of the Third Tribe concept (a concept created by Copyblogger founder Brian Clark and Sonia Simone): if you earn loyalty, you’ll receive loyalty.
So now it’s time for me to put my method where my mouth is: What do you want to see from me when it comes to helping you boost sales? What would be the most useful service I can offer you? The sky’s the limit — and I’m all ears. 🙂