Your client wants a "needle in the haystack" candidate. Yesterday.
Your candidate wants a higher pay rate - and expects you to negotiate it.
Your client who places one order a year (if that) requests a customized report that takes longer to prepare than his temporary's assignment.
New technology and heightened customer expectations make delivering exceptional service tough. Really tough. To consistently do a great job, you have to be patient. Resourceful. Even a little creative.
We get it - because we live it every day!
Providing shareworthy service for every customer (both external and internal) is a principle we hold near and dear. So this week, we're kicking off a series of posts featuring HMG team members' best customer service tips, anecdotes and advice for rocking your customer service:
David Searns, CEO
My favorite service tip is to ask the question "And what else?"
When a client is unhappy, you have to help them to fully vent before you can start to solve their problems. You also want to make sure you understand all the symptoms before you diagnose the problem. Asking "And what else?" allows the client to get out everything that is bothering him, and it helps you as a service provider to gather as much information as possible to deliver a quality solution.
And this could be my favorite customer service story:
A staffing firm owner once contacted us - livid - because a content product he had purchased for his website was not working. Well, it turned out that this person wasn't even a client of ours and the product was something he bought from someone else!
But that didn't stop our team from helping him out. We still:
•did the research to find out what was wrong;
•obtained the contact information of the company that sold him the product;
•provided the staffing firm owner with exact instructions on what to tell the other company, so they could understand the problem and fix it.
We consider anybody who contacts Haley Marketing to be our customer (whether he's purchased something from us or a competitor). Helping people out - even when there's nothing in it for ourselves - is how we "live out" shareworthy service, every day.
Mandy Wittschen, Content Manager
My best advice? Serve your customers the way they want to be served.
When speaking with a client for the first time, do a little digging to determine the best way to work together:
• Find out how involved the customer wants to be in your process. Some clients are micro-managers; some want a lot of hand-holding; some are only interested in the "end product" (i.e., a great candidate). While your clients obviously need to be involved in your process to create a great match, tailor your service approach to accommodate each customer's expectations.
• Determine his preferred type and frequency of communication. You may love email (I know I do!). But if your customer is a "pick up the phone" kind of guy, your emails may unintentionally leave him feeling slighted. Similarly, match the frequency of your communication to your client's preferences. Twice-daily updates may be helpful to one customer, but irritating to another.
When you take the time at the beginning of a business relationship to tailor your services to a client's preferences, needs and expectations, you set yourself up to deliver consistently exceptional service.
What are your favorite customer service tips? We'd love to know! Please leave your comment below.
Victoria Kenward is COO at Haley Marketing. For more of her insights on shareworthy service, visit Haley Marketing Group.com