While many business owners want to make a difference, there is no business if there are no clients. Your customer care program will make or break your business. Here are 5 customer care mistakes that will destroy your business (and how you can correct them).
Mistake #1 – Unresponsive to Concerns of Your Clients
One of the worst customer care mistakes a business can make is to be unresponsive to the needs of clients. It’s important for business owners to remember that what clients might be concerned about could be different from what they think. To correct this, you need to take three steps:
- Respond to every client who has a concern (and respond to them in a reasonable amount of time). When you respond, truly listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt them. Sometimes all it takes to calm a situation is to simply hear the client out.
- Pay attention to trends. What are the most common concerns clients have about your business? Keep track because this could indicate a problem in the way that you do business.
- Create a written policies and procedures manual to walk employees through how to handle common client concerns.
Mistake #2 – Powerless Employees
If you’re not the first point of contact for clients, it is extremely important that your employees aren’t powerless when it comes to helping a client. Clients who hear, “I can’t,” “That’s not our policy,” or “There’s nothing I can do for you,” can be upset and they may decide to take their business somewhere else. Instead of making clients wait for your approval on a solution, empower your employees. In addition to empowering employees, change default responses from “I can’t” or “That’s not our company policy” to something more empathetic such as, “I understand that you’re upset. Let me see what I can do.” This gives your employees time to research the matter, look for solutions, and talk to you if necessary.
Mistake #3 – Clients Can’t Talk to You
Your busy days may necessitate that you have an assistant to help you get things done. Keep in mind that clients don’t always want to do deal with your assistant…and when a client is upset, your assistant likely isn’t paid enough to put up with whatever may be thrown their way. When clients ask to speak with you, they should either be able to speak with you or you should return their call within a specific amount of time. Your assistant should be trained to respond with the following if you’re not able to speak with the client: “I’m sorry – they’re in a meeting / with someone / out of the office. Is there something I can help you with?” If the answer is no or the client insists on speaking with you, your assistant should say in a pleasant tone, “I’d be happy to have _____________ return your call when s/he can. May I please have the best phone number s/he should use?” Your assistant should repeat back both the name and the number. It also helps to ask what the matter is regarding so that you may properly prepare to return the call.
Mistake #4 – Your Company Takes Too Much Time to Return Calls
How long does it take before you get antsy when you’re waiting for your lawyer, doctor, or other provider to call you? Chances are, it doesn’t take long. You probably aren’t real crazy about being on hold for long periods of time, either. There’s no shame in either one. It’s human nature. If your clients are waiting days to get return phone calls (or they’re calling multiple times to remind you to call because you have a habit of not returning calls), it’s time to create a communications policy. Write a short policy that explains how long clients or potential clients could wait before they hear from your office. Try to make that time period no longer than 24 business hours. If, for some reason, you won’t have an answer to their question in that time, call them and let them know you’re still looking into it. This can go a long way when it comes to keeping clients happy.
Mistake #5 – You’re Ignoring Social Media
Social media is a great place to do more than advertise to your target market. Yet, it can do a greater service for your business. Social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are fantastic tools that you can use to address client concerns in real time. Use social media to make a bad situation better and to answer questions for both current and potential clients. Social media also gives your business the opportunity to correct misinformation that may be given by angry former clients. Simply set up an official Facebook page and Twitter account. Then, plan strategic searches that you can use (based on company name or even your name if clients know you by your name) so that you can help.
Get Help with Your Client Care
Client care is important and we know that you’re busy providing services and growing your business. Yet, client care can’t be ignored. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to improve your client care, schedule your free consultation with Clients ARM. We have more than 30 years of client care experience.