How to improve your client service

How confident are you that if you had a piece of business under attack, the level of service you offer could protect it? How resilient are your client relationships when under pressure? Hopefully you’re pretty confident that you and your colleagues do go the extra mile and your clients remain loyal.

Unfortunately, research* shows that in 2011, 86% of consumers stopped doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience.

Given you are in such a competitive, commoditised market, the thing that marks you out is the service you offer, it’s your reputation for rock-solid delivery and it’s how you leave people feeling after an interaction.

Fortunately, it’s relatively straight forward to get right. According to the Institute of Customer Service **, clients prioritise the following 10 things:

  1. Overall quality of the product or service supplied
  2. Friendliness of staff
  3. Handling problems and complaints
  4. Speed of service
  5. Helpfulness of staff
  6. Handling enquiries
  7. Being treated as a valued customer
  8. Competence of staff
  9. Ease of doing business
  10. Being kept informed

And while you may look at this list and think, yes I think we can safely say we are performing well in each of these areas, a word of warning,  80% of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service. Yet 8% of people think these same companies deliver “superior” customer service. ***

I am in the process of surveying some clients on behalf of one of my clients.  It’s proving an incredibly insightful exercise that will leave them in a much stronger position against their competitors.  I highly recommend you to know not guess what customers think about the service you offer.

At the end of the day, it’s very logical: There is proven ROI in doing whatever you can to turn your customers into advocates for your business. The way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.

There is a particularly brilliant ebook here written by a group of savvy Americans – I’d encourage you to take a look:


And if you are interested in a training course to ensure that the service you offer is creating advocates and loyalty, you know where to come!

* Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010

** Institute of Customer Service: Customer Priorities

*** Customer Service Hell” by Brad Tuttle, Time, 2011

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