Fixing the client

customerCertainly it’s the long term goal of every business to minimize customer churn. The expense to sign on new clients way exceeds the cost to retain and resell existing clients. Every interaction with your clients, from the warehouse, sales and service, to the accounting department shares a responsibility to exceed your clients expectations, by going that extra one percent – every time.

Fix the Client and Not Your Product or Service

When I was employed as a field technician by Varityper, our titles were technical representative 1, technical representative representative 2 and so on. That was changed to Customer Engineer. Why? When you troubleshoot a client’s problem, you’re not only fixing their typesetter, printer, broadband connection, server, website or whatever your business provides – you’re fixing the client. You need to give at least the perception of value. If you do fix their physical or programming issue, but come across the wrong way (condescending, untrustworthy … to name a few ways), then you may have lost a customer regardless.

Providing Value

Can this be done on the fly? Sure, but not with great results. Good customer support representatives go through extensive training for the sole purpose of maximizing their client’s perception of the business. They offer solutions. The go an extra 1 percent in each and every interaction with their clients, from billing  and pre-sales to customer support. This pays off in reduced advertising cost, minimized churn, increased customer loyalty and “effective branding.”

Are you remember-ableAre you remember-able?

Are you remember-able in your clients eyes? Do you ‘own’ your business niche? Or are your customers simply satisfied clients? A certain level of support is expected from every vendor, so just addressing the item on that support ticket and closing it just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. On your customer surveys, do you ask the question, “Have we exceeded your expectations?” Clients that rave about your company are the ones that promote your firm via word of mouth, impacting their sphere of influence (neighbors, friends, family, business associates). Each one of those referrals are golden.

Set yourself apart from the masses

Customer support encompasses so much more than simply responding to a service ticket, fixing the issue and closing it out without explanation. I see so many entrepreneurs asking how to develop a niche that sets them apart from the masses. Of course, whatever product or service that you’re offering has to be price competitive, but great customer support should be the primary focus of your business or organization.

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Steve

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