The client is king: Four simple ways to provide exceptional service

It doesn’t matter whether your startup is focused on providing bespoke accountancy services for IT contractors, importing the latest ball bearings for specialist manufacturing plants or whether you are an eBay entrepreneur, you will need to provide exceptional service to see your business thrive.

Competition, even within niche markets, can be fierce. With online review sites becoming like Holy Grails for potential customers to seek out impartial feedback on companies, it’s more important than ever that your online presence upholds and backs up your claims of having an excellent reputation for customer service. One or two bad reviews can direct traffic away from your brand and into the arms of your competitors.

Customer service isn’t simply delivering a product on time or having a website that is easy to navigate around. You need to go the extra mile and make your brand memorable for all the right reasons. To secure repeat custom and to encourage word of mouth recommendations, you need to put client experience high up on your list of priorities. Your business vision should encompass all aspects of the client experience you provide. Take a look at how you can provide exceptional service to all of your clients.

Under promise and over deliver

If you know for certain that you will be delivering your product to your customer in forty eight hours, make it a point of business to state that you will deliver the product within seventy two hours. While this may seem counterintuitive, by promising a delivery a day later than you can provide, you will appear to be going the extra mile when your customer is pleasantly surprised when they open their door to see their much-wanted item on their doorstep a day early.

Providing exceptional customer service is all about generating a feeling of being valued. Seek out the problems that your potential customers face and aim to solve them with a product or a service. By appearing to go that extra mile, you are engaging your customer base with your brand.

Be organised

There’s nothing worse than organising a meeting with a client overseas and then turning up late or not at all. One of the easiest ways to ensure this doesn’t happen is to charter a private plane the moment the meeting is booked. The more important the meeting, the more vital it is that you are organised and prepared. When considering, how much does a private jet cost, you may be surprised at how reasonable small Cessnas and Learjets can be. To be more financially astute, you could even schedule meetings closer together geographically at any given time.

If chartering a flight is a tad out of your price range, you can always complete long distance meetings via Skype or WebEx. The technology is immense in the twenty first century and makes the world seem all that smaller. Ensure your startup has the tech you require in order to be as efficient and as productive as possible.

Don’t be tardy

If you receive enquiries via email or have phone messages left for you, make sure you turn these enquiries around within twenty four hours. Any longer than this, and it will appear to your potential customer base that you have other priorities. After a day, these clients may have sourced the service that they require or the product they wish to buy from one of your competitors who returned their calls quicker.

Have a generic email that forwards onto any enquiries automatically stating that you will be back in touch and that their query is a priority to you. People need to feel valued and kept in the loop. Every query is a potential sale which is revenue and profit. Any interest in your startup should be harnessed and exploited.

Follow up

Even when your product has been delivered, or your terms of engagement have ended, you shouldn’t relinquish all ties to your clients. Follow up a few weeks after they have received the custom t-shirt you printed for them or the marketing campaign you helped them launch and ask them for their feedback. Sweeten their efforts with a discount for any further work or products they may want from you. This generates a positive feeling towards your brand and can help secure repeat custom.

Although your business vision may be focused on the hard numbers, sales figures and metrics, don’t forget the softer and trickier to measure aspects that will help your business thrive. To be sure of success, you must make sure that your client is king.