Providing great customer service is often the weakest link in an agency’s business model. Given the changing societal expectations and the Why Worry Generation who thrive on instant gratification, giving your customers what they want as quickly as possible is vital to the growth of your business.
Today, “knowing” your client involves cultivating a solid relationship with them that allows you to articulate your understanding of their needs and then back up your claim by providing what they asked for in an expedient time-frame.
In an earlier blog Should I Choose the Grave or the Beach I discussed the need for Supervisors/Owners to recognize areas within their agency that are bottle-necked and hindering overall agency growth. Especially if they themselves oversee those areas, supervisors need to delegate tasks and step aside if their involvement slows contract fulfillment and causes customer service to lag.
Although building relationships with your clients seems easy, a vital component is to first engage your staff. Engaging your staff must include a discussion with them to determine if they enjoy the role they play in the agency, if they believe in the mission of the agency, and if they understand your agency’s customer service philosophy. Once your employees are on board, you can move forward with engaging your clients.
An important aspect of client engagement is to develop and maintain a kinetic (evolving) style of providing customer service. Utilizing a kinetic style of client interaction is merely a commitment to continuously seek innovative ideas and recognize new trends in your clients industry that result in needed modifications to the services you provide. Additionally, this style requires total transparency between you and your clients to facilitate trust. For readers who need some practical steps on how to facilitate engagement and trust, John Spence provides some basic, yet VERY valuable examples in his article Six Engagement Essentials on Open Forum.
At the end of the day, people become clients because they need certain services performed and lack the skills to complete them. They specifically chose your agency because they either had a referral from someone they knew, or they researched your agency and liked what they saw.
Perhaps the greatest lesson in how to engage your clients is to remember that continued engagement with the client is critical to keep them coming back for more.