Client service – Do people talk about ours?
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When I came across the quote from Dr Ken Blancard, business writer, which reads: “Providing good service, on time, every time, is not good enough”, I was astounded. Is this not the essence of service excellence?
In this article I quote some of Dr Ken Blancard’s tips that brought about a positive change in my way of thinking about service delivery.
Who is a satisfied client?
A satisfied client will most probably not complain or argue with you about the price or terms of payment, but if they have to do another transaction in the future, they will probably try to find or negotiate a better price somewhere else. That is, they will not necessarily return to your business as their first choice.
We need “raving fan” clients – people who are truly committed to our products and services and would not even consider taking their business elsewhere; and who are prepared to sing the praises of your business from the rooftops.
To create this type of client experience we need to establish a client service culture within our businesses that joins together everyone in the business to live out service excellence both internally and externally.
This starts, inter alia, with the relationship that exists between management and the front line staff. If they are not being treated decently and with respect, they will reflect this on to your clients.
In his book “Raving Fan Customers” Ken gives the following three tips to establish “raving fan” clients.
1. Decide on what you want
This implies that you compose a clear, client-centered vision for your business.
2. Find out what the client wants
There are two actions that embrace listening: (a) Understand what the client is saying and (b) decide whether you want to implement the client’s suggestions.
3. Deliver on your business’ vision plus one percent
This means that you have to deliver on your promises and look for ways in which this delivery may be improved.
This implies, inter alia, that your front line staff should be empowered to use their discretion and common sense in the implementation of the vision and values of the business.
I conclude with the words of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart: “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everyone in the company, from the chairman on down, simply spending his money somewhere else.”
Written by Jannie Rossouw, Senior Business Manager: Sanlam Cobalt
Copyright © Sanlam, 2016