Keys to truly exceptional customer service
October 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM
When was the last time you experienced truly exceptional service?
Perhaps it was a barista who remembered your name and coffee of choice, a retail assistant who went the extra mile to track down the shoes you wanted, or a call centre representative that was beyond helpful.
In this day and age of increasing options and availability, good service is paramount to building a good business.
Good service is why you’d still choose to buy coffee out rather than making it on a machine at work or home.
It’s why you would choose to shop for clothing instore rather than online.
Hopefully, it’s also why clients will come to your firm – even when there are many other options out there.
There are many examples of truly exceptional customer service to be found, gone viral on the internet because they struck a chord in people who are used to being put on hold, shunted aside, forgotten or ignored by a company that was supposed to look after them.
Customer service is an art, and a good example is a story from the luxury hotel Ritz-Carlton, in Bali, as told by Business Week: “One family staying at the hotel had specialised eggs and milk for their son, who suffered from food allergies. Upon arrival, they saw the eggs had broken and the milk had soured. The Ritz-Carlton manager and dining staff searched the town but could not find the appropriate items, but then the executive chef at this particular resort remembered a store in Singapore that sold them. He contacted his mother-in-law, and asked that she buy the products and fly to Bali to deliver them, which she agreed to do.”
While this is a rather extreme example, it is a good reminder of what fantastic service can look like.
Service like this will keep your clients coming back to you. It will see them recommend your services to others, and it will ensure steady clientele well into the future.
It’s always a good time to review where you’re at with customer service, and how you could do better.
So what do you need to look at?
Are you offering a personalised service for your clients?
Are your clients greeted by name when they walk through the doors? Do you or your lawyers remember your clients’ interests and passions, family members’ names, holiday plans? It’s important to keep professional conversations, well… professional, but if you are having a friendly chat with them about their world it would be a good idea to remember the things that are important to them. If necessary, write some brief notes after meeting with them and file them away under their contact information. That way, when you meet with them again in 6 months’ time, you can ask them how their holiday in Tuscany went, or if their pet fish survived its operation (which it probably didn’t, so maybe don’t ask that). Simply remembering what is important to them costs nothing, but it could greatly improve their day and brings your service up a mile.
Are you easily contacted by your client base?
There is nothing worse than being told to wait on a phone line, someone forgetting to call you back, not being able to get through when you need urgent legal advice. While it’s not always feasible to pick up your phone straight away, and law is a profession with many time pressures, your clients are busy people too. They need to know you will get back to them promptly, or at least know when you’ll be free to chat. Make that a priority.
Could you do better?
Look around at your opposition. Notice the service that makes you smile. Could you bring a little of that into your business? Is customer service a priority, or merely a mental tick box? Your clients will notice the difference, so aim for truly exceptional service.