Tag Archives: customer service

What’s your service like, after the sale?

window blindsDo your clients cringe at the thought of calling in to your service number? Sunday night, as I was pulling down our window shade, the right side string broke, and the weight of the unsupported slats brought the entire blind down. Fearing the worst, I called Levolor first thing Monday morning to inquire about repair costs. Fully prepared to go into battle with what I thought would be an overseas customer service department, I was pleasantly surprised when my call was answered by a real live human named Donna, within a ring or two of the phone.

Tip 1: Call your client or customer service number — how long does it take you to get through to a representative? If you grow impatient, imagine how your clients feel.

Donna then quickly looked up my account, all based off of a little tag on the inside of our window shade. She knew when it was made, when it was bought (by the previous homeowner) and based off of that little tag, which window it belonged to.

Tip 2: Do your systems work this fast? Or do you make clients go through hoops validating who they are?

I explained the problem to Donna, and she told me the repair charge was $25. All I had to do was mail in the blind, and they’d do the rest. Not bad – sounded like a fair price to me. While she was writing up the repair order, I chatted with Donna about her weekend. I must have made an impression as Donna informed me she’d waive the repair fee and the return mail charge — again, all I had to do was ship the blind.

Tip 3: Are your client services staff empowered to make impressionable decisions? $25 isn’t a lot, and I was fully prepared to pay it. But her change made my Monday. And we all know what Monday’s could be like…

Your “after the sale” service is often what makes or breaks your business. It also has a dramatic effect on the referrals you get.

Are you doing everything you can to get the sale, only to fall flat afterwards? Or are you like Levolor, which just made me a client for life?

Photo credit by iprole.

Simple Ways to Provide Great Client Service

easy buttonProviding good service is often the fastest, least expensive way to make more revenues for your firm. Start by satisfying your clients before they even walk in the door, such as returning phone calls quickly, and really listening to their concerns. Often, lawyers are so busy they may miss huge opportunities (and referrals) without even knowing about them by not returning calls.

Another way to provide good service is to empower your staff to make decisions and reward them for good choices. This is often hard for lawyers or other professionals, who often have difficulty delegating tasks and incorrectly believe they are the only ones capable of making business decisions. But empowerment won’t bring down the business; it actually boosts job satisfaction, keeps turnover low and breeds loyalty. All of which equates to better client service, more revenues and more time for you to develop business and build on your competitive advantage.

What happens if you’ve really, really ruffled some feathers? It happens. Most attorneys just ignore problems, letting voicemail or worse, their assistants handle the brunt of client complaints. Instead, let your clients vent, directly to you. Even encourage them to do it. Imagine you are the one with the concern, and treat them how you’d expect to be treated. This could turn an ugly complaint (which, gasp, could even be posted online as a negative review!) into an opportunity to really hear someone out, and improve your service.

An interesting way to provide great client service is to show, don’t tell. Consider making social responsibility part of your client messaging. Many clients like to see and know what causes are important to you. So, consider posting information about your involvement on your website, and including it in client literature. Even better, involve your clients too. For example, if you’re collecting or donating food to a local homeless shelter, consider putting a box in your office, and ask your clients to contribute. Client loyalty increases when they see involvement with a good cause.

Great client service doesn’t happen by pushing a button. Review your current office policies, and consider implementing the above suggestions. I’m confident they will make an impact.

The Easy Button can be found at Staples.