There is one major missing link in many businesses that claim to strive for excellent client service: what their team thinks about incoming client contacts and requests.
Beginning today, stress to your team the importance of realizing and believing that every incoming call, email and website inquiry is a gift! Embrace this belief company wide and you will realize that through these vehicles you have the opportunity to:
Serve and solve. This is a big one as the word 'serve' is the root word for 'service'. Every one of your employees is a member of your sales team. At some point they will interface with a current or prospective client. If everyone that reaches out to you feels that your team will help in some way, your business will thrive.
Learn. Every touch with a client is precious. No matter the circumstance when you personally interact with your clients you learn more about them and what they believe is important. Positive attitudes and approachable tones prove to them their interactions are welcome. They explain, you learn. Their information can be helpful in every aspect of your business.
Be referred. Word-of-mouth will always be the most potent form of marketing. People share their experiences, now more than ever. Communicate how important recommendations and referrals are to you. Remind your team that they are the first ones to make your positive impression.
Gain a new client or get additional work.
The only businesses that don't care about this point are those that are no longer in existence. Every client interaction involves at least two people, one from your team. Who should be in front of your clients, answering your phones and responding to website inquiries? Who should be filling in when they are out?
Be refreshingly different. What do people experience when they phone your business? Do they hear an automated message? Someone who answers by saying 'hello' and not mentioning the company? Someone who apparently hates answering the phone? If you use automated services are they regularly updated when people leave or change roles, is the voice and message used the same as 1000 other businesses?
Heck, even telemarketers can teach you what not to do, like:
read from a script,
show anything less than sincere interest in the other person
be so rushed to make your point that you stop listening
focus so much on your message that the conversation is one-sided and comes across as borderline desperate.
If you care about setting your business apart from your competition, prove your difference every chance you get, especially when personally communicating with clients.