Where’s the Service? | Part One

A simple guide to client obsession… and a better bottom line!

An incredible lack of customer service has taken over our culture like a bad epidemic. What has happened to the motto “the customer comes first” or “the customer is always right”? It seems good employees are a dying breed and good customer service is a mere luxury.

The invention of automated phone systems was supposed to make our lives simpler. We would be directed to the right person to solve our problem; however, what we got was a tangled web of pressed buttons that, more often than not, created a barrier between the caller and the company. Even computers create an outlet for employees to easily duck behind their screens and avoid personal attention.

Here are PEC’s top five tips to achieve a “client obsessive” business regimen:

1. The client comes first – This is business etiquette 101 when you are a service oriented business. It is your goal to build an honest and reliable relationship with the client to ensure quality service.

2. Always maintain a professionally staffed office and event – This is a biggy! It is key to have a professional staff with the proper work attire, etiquette, speech and behavior. Hiring a staff that can communicate effectively through speech, attitude and presentation within the office and on-site allows for an established reputation amongst your clients and competitors.

3. Define excellence in customer service and make that your number one priority – Survey your current clients and find out what is most important to them. Make sure you listen and establish a set of guidelines for your employees to follow. Also, always be accessible to your client for questions or concerns. Lastly, stand behind your commitment of service excellence by offering a money-back-guarantee or incentives.

4. Provide creative and unique venues, tours and event ideas – Traditional banquet space is not always available or desirable. Be creative in your suggestions. Your clients will be very appreciative of the time you took to offer up something other than the normal hum-drum meeting space.

5. Troubleshoot – Take whatever steps necessary to thwart off any and all possible problems and communicate this with your client. Make sure to anticipate and prepare for any possible last minute changes or requests. Put your client’s mind at ease by burdening them less with the small details you have already accomplished. It is important to stay flexible especially when dealing with different client personalities.

At a time when service needs to be more than excellent, “Client Obsession” is a basic principle for businesses to maintain an edge over their competition in the service industry.

This article was written by Cheryl A. McShane, President of Professional Events and Consulting.

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