It seems nowadays that good customer service isn’t just expected it’s necessary if you are looking to keep your clients happy. But what was once just sending an occasional fruit basket has now turned into constant promotions, taking calls on the weekends and loyalty discounts. So when do you draw the line between keeping your clients happy and giving too much away?
It’s Still A Business. Yes, you love your clients and hopefully you love your job so much you would do it even if you weren’t paid. But, facts are you’re still running a business. Now, I’m certainly not saying to do away with your client’s perks but you do need to be financially compensated for every hour of work.
Pricing. For one week, start tracking your time. You’ll start to notice how much those extras are costing you. If, for example, you spend two hours answering client calls on a Saturday and your average rate is $250 then you just lost $500 worth of time. Start tracking how many hours are generally needed per client and then factor these new hours into your pricing. If, for example, you see clients weekly for one hour but then have three hours of follow-up work then your service or package needs to include payment for sixteen hours of work a month instead of four. That’s a huge financial difference!
Protect yourself. There will come a day when you come across a not so nice client. The kind of client who feels they are entitle to everything the second they want it for a quarter of the price. Now there are only two ways to deal with a bear and they happen you be the exact same tactics as with horrible clients. 1. Make a lot of noise. Terrible clients are bullies who have never come across anyone with enough courage to tell them how inappropriate their behavior is. State clear boundaries from the beginning in terms of work ethic and pricing. If the bear tries to engage don’t be scared to say “if you don’t like it I’d be more than happy to refer you to someone else” and watch the bear regress into a cub. 2. Play dead. In other words, if you don’t want the headache then disengage the minute things go south. Sometimes its even worth returning the money.
Smiles Are Free. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, what your client truly wants is free and a universal phenomenon no matter race, age, gender or industry. It’s called ‘attention’ and it’s one of the most powerful human elements because we are all in ‘attention withdrawal’. The minute we all agreed to pick up shiny screens that talk back to us and be bombarded by advertisements, campaigns and a constant flow of TMI is the day we all went into attention withdrawal. Attention is a human factor that allows people to show appreciation, love, caring, good intentions and above all express “you are not alone. I am listening”. Which happens to be the #1 human fear. So, this being such a people’s art means that it cannot be delivered by a computer; it needs to be delivered by you. But, the good news is that attentions comes in a multitude of forms and can be as simple as you calling a client to find out if their daughter got into Smith College or introducing your client to a prospective client you know would be great for them.
Do you feel like you’re giving away too much? Let us know below or email us at email@example.com.