Welcome to Customer Service Week! One of my passions in business is observing and improving client interactions in business. I hope you learn some new systems for improving how you relate to your clients and leads in the coming week. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and get all of the free resources I offer to entrepreneurs here: Get the Newsletter
When I talk about systems, there are always variations between businesses. Some coaches use telesummits and others do live events. Businesses communicate with ezines, emails, videos, phone calls or in person meetings. All of these methods can benefit from systems to optimize best practices.
There is one system that every business needs and that is customer communication and service.
Here’s my simple, 5 step process for developing your customer service system:
1. Find your people – where and how do your clients and leads communicate with you and the team?
If they’re already clients there are a number of communications including emails, membership sites and resources from your business.
With leads you may bring in clients from an ezine, guest post, expert interviews, social media, websites, teleseminars or events.
2. Redirect requests – where do you want inquiries and emails to go?
You may be currently managing all of the email coming in, especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur but you can begin *today* to develop a new account that, when you’re ready, you can hand off to an assistant.
Action Step: Create a new email account and begin updating all of your communication listed in step 1.
3. Sort Responses – Identify what kind of requests you’re getting and sort them. These will likely revolve around your product and service offers, requests for interviews, networking and from colleagues.
Action Step: Set up folders within the email you created in step 2.
4. Answer Requests – Don’t get too caught up organizing that you don’t respond to the opportunities in your email! Make sure that each request is answered and you’ve provided the information requested but don’t just send an answer, if you want a complete system you have to finish with step #5.
Based on your experience in answering customer requests you may need to test a few different responses and be open to adapting your responses to ensure the answer is complete, thorough and hits the right tone.
5. Document by Developing a Database – To truly leverage your time in business you’ll need to create systems. In Customer Service you’ll want to identify the types of questions you’re getting and the answers that resolve the request.
Doing this will help you:
* Save time
* Create consistency in your message
* See the holes
If 50% of your group clients email you to ask where to find a call recording you not only have a stock response that saves time but allows you to fix the communication problem. Instead of being reactive to your audience you’ll be proactive in seeing where you can improve.
A bonus result: when it comes time to hire support in this area of your business you can transform from “answer emails” to “here are the standard responses and database I use to reference when answering customer service, if you don’t see an answer please write one up and send to me for review.”
Remember that you’ve got to start with the basics before you innovate so if you have no customer service system this is a great place to begin. Each of these steps should be detailed further but if you have no system around your customer and lead communication then start here!