How Do You Handle Customer Service?By Nina Kaufman, Esq.
They say that the key to happy clients is to under promise and overdeliver. But I just returned from an absolutely AMAZING 5-day workshop in L.A. given by Peak Potentials, called Train the Trainer 1 (How to Earn $20,000 a Weekend Teaching What You Love), which turns that adage on its head. Peak’s approach is to “promise big and deliver BIGGER” (and I have to say they did just that).
Customer service is an area where many entrepreneurs slip a bit. Either they’re vague on what they will do and by when they will do it . . . or they don’t adequately communicate the value of what they provide to their clients. Or, they’re so overwhelmed by all the other responsibilities of running a small business that they lack a system for follow-through and follow-up.
So what’s the key to delivering on the expectations? Here are a few tips:
- Have a written agreement. Contracts make sure that you and your client are, literally, “on the same page.” This applies to purchase orders, too, where you can include your terms on the “backside.”
- Share your value proposition. For example, when I draft a business partnership agreement, I’m not just handing my clients a document. I’m providing them with a method for determining financial contributions to the company, allocating profits and losses fairly, deciding who can buy (or sell) and interest in the company — and for how much, and protecting company secrets and proprietary information. That underscores just how important the products/services are to your client.
- Develop customer service systems and procedures . . . and put them in writing. There are all kind of things you can do to ensure you meet and exceed client expectations. What I learned from the Train the Trainer workshop is that, yes, they taught me the information I was seeking, but they did so in a way that was powerfully interactive, and included certain personal development issues as well. This made it a transformative experience, not merely an educational one. You can institute regular follow-up calls to check in at 30, 60, and 90 day intervals (or whatever makes sense for your business). You can offer a free (and unexpected) gift, as I did when I ordered a Holosync meditation CD from Centerpointe Research Institute.
What have you done that knocked your customers’ socks off?
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