Why Proactive Solutions Matter More Than Responding to Unhappy Clients
Here at Clients ARM we talk a lot about customer service. This is because we recognize that great customer service is the true key behind customer loyalty. Many people believe that customer service actions only exist at two points: when you’re trying to win a new client and if your client is unhappy. Unfortunately, this line of thinking tends to direct business owners into a line of thinking that simply isn’t solid. Customer service starts before your clients have problems. It starts before you have your first client. When you take the time to develop proactive solutions, you reduce the number of unhappy clients that you’ll have in the future. This is the only reason why proactive solutions matter more than responding to unhappy clients.
Take a Long, Hard Look at Your Policies and Procedures
Some of you are reading this and thinking you can skip this section because your company doesn’t have policies and procedures. Regardless of your reasoning about why you don’t need written policies and procedures in place, you need them.
Back to the subject matter at hand, written policies and procedures serve two purposes. First, writing out your policies and procedures creates a guideline for how your business will be ran. Second, when you read over it, you can determine where future problems may come up. For example, after you draft your policies and procedures related to billing and payments, go back and re-read them (particularly if you elected to find some online examples). Are they clear? Are they easy to understand? If you were a client, what questions would you have? Finding potential problem areas means that you can proactively work to stop it from occurring or you can develop a list of remedies that your business plans to use.
Always Provide Follow-Up Care
Follow-up doesn’t just occur in the midst of a problem (and if you’re not following-up after your client expresses an issue, you should be). Touching base with your client throughout the life of the active relationship is a necessity. It shows the client that you haven’t forgotten about them and that you value their business and their feedback.
Follow-up should take place after appointments, near deadlines, if accounts go past due, and when your clients express to you that there is a problem. Having a solid follow-up plan that you actually implement is one of the best proactive strategies you can use.
Explain Your Late Fee Policies
Late fees can be a touchy subject particularly with clients who are only late once and have a long term relationship with your company. Make sure that your clients understand your late fee policy at the very beginning of the business relationship. You should also have a plan in place to salvage relationships with clients who are upset over a late fee. Explaining your policy in advance, and whether there are exceptions, can stop a problem before it starts.
Get Help for Your Business
Clients ARM understands that it can be hard for business owners to do it all. It can also be hard to turn over any part of your business to just anyone. Instead of choosing just anyone, you now have the opportunity to partner with Clients ARM. We have more than 30 years of director-level experience in customer service, accounts receivable, collections, billing, and other useful administrative needs related to your business. We specialize in providing remote support to service-based industries. If you own a service-based business, contact us today to schedule your free process review. We can show you how you can save both time and money by partnering with us. To learn more or to get answers to your questions, give Clients ARM a call now. There’s no obligation!