It can take months to get your ideal client on board, but it only takes seconds to lose them. Customers are the integral part of your business and without them you have no business, your focus has to be your clients.
So you’ve worked really hard to get to the point you are now and to win those clients. Now you need to make sure they stay loyal. This does not need to be a difficult process. Showing that you are friendly and approachable goes a long way, you need to develop a connection with them so that they don’t forget you are there for them when they require your services.
Communication is key
If you’re offering a service to your clients rather than providing them with goods, they have to see that you’re worth the investment. If you are selling goods ensure that they are not forgotten, keep in touch and make sure if they have any issues they know where to turn to, even if it’s just dropping them an email from time to time to check in with them.
Ensure communication is warm, emails and messages can easily be misinterpreted, read it back before you send it, would you want to receive a message like this? This also works the other way too, you may receive an email that comes across as abrupt and unfriendly, try not to read too much into it. Pick up the phone and discuss it with them, sometimes things are lost in translation, speaking on the phone will soon smooth out any issues.
Don’t use jargon, keep your communication clear so that it’s understandable. You may be an expert in your field but those big words may just confuse your customer. Be straightforward and use terms you know that they will easily understand.
If you’re having a bad day, whatever you do, don’t take it out on your clients. Push all your troubles to one side and smile! It may sound silly but even on the phone people know you are smiling. A happy, positive, enthusiastic person on the end of the phone is much more inviting than someone who is grumpy and dismissive. Avoid using negative wording such as, ‘can’t’ instead say, ‘what I can do’ show that you are happy to go above and beyond.
Make friendly conversation, even if it’s just about the weather, idle chit chat is how you build relationships with your clients, get to know them, ask about their day, listen to them and don’t forget what they have said. The next time you pick up the phone to them, ask them about the things you have previously discussed. Don’t treat your clients as just a number, give them a personal touch that leaves a lasting impression.
We have just touched on listening to your customer but don’t just listen, absorb the details of the conversation. If your customer is unhappy about an experience they have had with you listen to why they feel this way. Be empathetic and show understanding, put yourself in their shoes and react accordingly. If a customer knows that you understand how they feel they will come away feeling much happier that you have considered their feelings and taken on board their suggestions. Plus you can use their feedback as a learning curve, learn from your mistakes.
Show best practice at all times, ensure those standards you have set do not falter. If you feel that your customer service is slipping then take the time to reflect and put things right before doing anything else. It’s great to grow your business but if it means that standards start to slip then you will start to lose those loyal customers.
Think quality over quantity. It’s much better to have a handful of clients who are happy ones then lots of unhappy ones. Keep to your word, if you say you’re going to do something by a specific time, make sure you do or at least keep them informed of the progress. If it’s one thing people don’t like, it’s feeling ignored. Make them feel important and reassure them that they haven’t been forgotten.
The internet is now the place that people turn to rant and rave about their experiences. Don’t give your customers the opportunity to turn to the internet when they’ve had a bad experience. Prove to your clients that you will go the extra mile for them and not just meet their expectations. Respond quickly to any problems so that they do not escalate.
All is not lost if a customer has a bad experience providing you do the right thing and act on it accordingly. Make sure that your unhappy client becomes a happy, satisfied client once you have dealt with their query. Customers are more likely to be loyal to you and return for repeat business if they connect with you and have a great experience. Not only that but they will recommend you to their friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to generate business, and if they leave you a great review, even better!
At Clear Bookkeeping Ltd our focus is our clients and we pride ourselves on the high level of service we offer. If you are considering hiring a bookkeeper or want something a little different with an exceptional service then please give us a call, we would love to hear about your business.