Customer Service Is More Important Now Than Ever
Have you ever heard the saying that when things are out of control that you need to focus on what YOU can control? That really rings true now, doesn't it? AAAA-MEN! There is almost nothing that we can predict with certainty about the future, except that it is uncertain. But, you CAN control how you handle your business and how you work with your clients. In fact, customer service is more important now that it ever has been. But what if you don't really have anything in the pipeline right now? Or what if you're SWAMPED (lucky you!) and spread thin? Here are some ideas for customer service!
Check In with Former Clients
No matter how your business is doing right now, you should always check back in with your former customers. You want them to feel like they're still important to you! After all, most of us get the bulk of our business from referrals, so you want to be sure your clients will give you high marks. If you're not sure what to say, just start with: "It's such a crazy time, so I wanted to check in with people I care about. How are you and your family? How is your house working for you?"
You want to genuinely show that you care and that you're ready to help if they need something done to their home. You should set up a system for checking in with former clients regularly - not just at the holidays. Or you can be a bit blunter, if you need the work. Say something like, "I loved working with you and your family, and I would enjoy working with more clients like you! If any of your friends might be in need of my services, please feel free to send them my way!"
Communicate with Clients on Hold
Most of us have had a client stop a project or postpone it recently. They're nervous about what's coming, too, so it makes sense. But don't let fear or frustration take over! You want to communicate regularly with those clients, too, especially to let them know you're ready when they are. That doesn't mean you should pester them with "Ready now?!" types of emails. But you do want to regularly say things like, "I hope you and your family are safe and well!" People want connections right now - they want to feel like you're there to help, not to add to their stress and frustrations. You could even send them a card, or deliver some custom masks to their front door. I would take a bottle of bubbly over to them and leave it on the porch with a note that says, "For a relaxing evening on the porch!" Just show you care.
Don't Drop Your Processes
Most importantly, whether you're swamped with clients or you're only dealing with one, be sure those clients are feeling cared for, too. Remember that each one of them could be a referral if you treat them right. They still need weekly updates – even if there isn't a lot to say that's different from last week. They still need occasional phone calls and hand holding. And they still need to feel like they are the only important thing your company is focusing on. If you're extremely-busy, ask someone to help. You could have a teen who's home with you this summer write notes that you've dictated to all of your clients about how much you're enjoying working with them. You could have flowers delivered at important points. Have someone drop off games or books for the kids. Think of thoughtful touches that will mean a lot to your clients. You still need to bring your A game, even during a pandemic.
And If You Aren't Busy...
If you have downtime, think about how you can take your client care to a whole new level. What could you do better than you're doing now? Is anything missing in your customer service experience? What bells and whistles can you add that will surprise and delight your clients? Those things can create a white glove experience that's beyond what your competition is doing! And they can bring more clients to your door, too. Often it can just mean a few hundred dollars in expenses - and you can count them as marketing dollars!
To help you take your customer service to the next level, download my FREE guide to Give Your Clients the Best Experience! It will help you plot out the best client care process ever!