If you work in an industry where attracting and retaining clients is of paramount importance in achieving success, then you need to make sure they are well looked after. Here are five tips to make that happen.
1. Make sure that when they call your company up, they are greeted by a friendly and professional service. Help them find the person they're looking for and don't keep them waiting on the phone for too long. They may hang-up and not call back. Get this right and they know that any time they engage you, they are going to receive excellent service.
2. Extend that friendly and professional experience to visits in person. If your client is coming in, make sure someone meets them upon their arrival and they're not left waiting in reception for too long. If they do have a short wait, make sure they aren't sat twiddling their thumbs. Consider laying out something for them to read, like a trade magazine or information about your business, or you could even consider installing a TV.
3. Don't say 'yes' every time. Sometimes clients are wrong and, while agreeing with them may endear you at the time, come the delivery of the work you're sure to get a less enthusiastic response. Be tactful and explain why you think an alternative route may be better and, eventually, they'll appreciate your willingness to make a stand.
4. Deliver work on time. Whatever type of product or service your client expects from you should always be provided on time. Keeping them waiting, especially when time matters, will do nothing but sour the relationship. This may require early starts and late finishes, but it'll help the relationship immeasurably.
5. Biscuits. Yes, it's sounds silly, but during a meeting, have a plate of biscuits for clients to nibble on. Or, if your industry is more creatively focused, why not have sweets for them to take. The point being, it may be the smallest of gestures that makes them remember you fondly. Think outside the box.
If you're likely to receive lots of calls and not all of them from important clients, why not consider an outsourced call centre for inbound call handling? They can deal with individual calls exactly how you brief them to, so you know only the calls you're waiting for or need to take come through.