How can keeping your customers in the loop help you win more work?
What happens when someone phones your office? Or when they make an enquiry through your website?
Do they always get a response?
If you can’t answer that last question with an emphatic, “Yes!” then it’s likely that you have let some potential clients slip through the net.
However, I would say that “customer service” for people who are not yet your clients, is only part of the puzzle of keeping people happy.
Of course you want to do everything in your power to ensure you are not missing out on business. Things like answering the phone, replying to online enquiries and following up with referrals are all important.
But what about your clients – the people you’re working with right now? How do they feel about the customer service they’re getting from you?
Recently I sat down with my team to review the entire journey our customers take, from first enquiry through to coming on board as a client, and the experience they have while they are working with us.
One of the things we identified is that there is an opportunity to keep people better informed of what’s happening with their project.
For example, in our work flow the gap between the site visit and the client getting their drawings could be three weeks. And if we are silent during that time, how do our clients know what’s happening? They will be lining up other people, such as builders, and it makes life easier for them if we stay in touch. A simple email saying, “We wanted to let you know that we’re working on your drawings, and we expect to deliver them to you on X date as planned” will improve their experience.
If you put yourself in your clients’ shoes it makes sense. I think we’ve probably all been in a position of having hired someone for some work, and then getting concerned when we don’t hear anything from them for a while.
Even though you’re fairly sure the work is underway, the lack of contact can make you a little anxious to know what is happening.
It’s the same for our clients, and probably for yours too. If we don’t get in touch regularly, there is a chance that they’re thinking:
- What’s going on?
- Are they doing what they said they would?
- Are we on schedule?
- Why haven’t they been in touch?
- Is something wrong?
There will probably be points in your work schedule where there are natural gaps, and these are the times when it’s good to make contact. Amongst our team we’ve decided that making contact once a week is about right.
Another potential advantage of keeping your clients informed is that you will be over-delivering compared with most service providers. This increases the chances that your clients will recommend you to their contacts. It’s not the motivating factor for providing a great client experience, but it’s a beneficial side effect.
I hope this has made you think about your customer journey too – looking at this from start to finish has been a valuable exercise for us to go through.
And if you need any assistance with the structural elements of an upcoming project, please do get in touch.