What makes a client decide to stay with you rather than to go check out the competition? It’s the quality of your products and services, of course. But your competitor can match those easily. What’s harder to match is excellent customer service. Are you creating the very best experience for your clients, really taking care of them?
Customer is king
If there’s one thing I learned during my 4 years in the US, it’s their motto ‘the customer is king’. Whether it is in the supermarket, while buying a house or at a restaurant, people make unimaginable efforts to make sure that the customer is happy. Here’s a quick story to illustrate customer service ‘à la Suisse’: the other day my husband was trying to find an adapter for a barbecue we bought in the US. Mission impossible. The guy simply said ‘we don’t have it’. Point final. He wasn’t even trying to come up with a solution, even when my husband insisted. Of course there are very nice people here too, but generally speaking Switzerland is not the country of reference for customer service!
Difference between ‘Customer Service’ and ‘Customer Care’
‘Customer service’ to me is what I described above. It means taking care of your customer’s immediate needs, most often this happens in a sales situation. ‘Customer care’ goes beyond that and is more applicable to service based businesses. You are not just meeting your customer once, but usually enter a long term relationship. This is where true client care comes in.
Taking care of your customers: before and after the sale
True customer care starts way before the ‘buyer-seller’ relationship. Especially in this online driven world, you never know any more when you’re meeting your next client online for the first time. So every encounter counts! Every e-mail, every Facebook exchange or tweet. Yes, the client is not paying you yet, but he/she is doing his/her research and so if you blow it, because you’re not answering that e-mail or being abrupt on Social Media, you might never see him/her again.
True customer care also doesn’t end after the ‘sale’. Even if your mandate is over, you should still stay in touch and treat your past client as part of your VIP crowd. He has trusted you once and he’s probably referring you to his friends so make sure you treat him like royalty !
Thank you !
With this post I would like to thank all my past, current and future clients for their trust and loyalty. I feel privileged to work with such a variety of different clients, who all respect me for who I am. I am a happier person because I get too choose with who I work with and this makes client care so much easier ! 🙂 Thank YOU !