We often hear companies, including Web design companies boast about how they provide customized and extraordinary client service. But how do they define it?
Let’s assume you are hired to design and develop a new website for a client. The client likes the design, and the pages you created using the latest HTML5, Java script and responsive design, resulting in a website that works wonderfully across all browsers and smart phones. The features of the new website help the client significantly increase their online sales, and the entire project is delivered on time and on budget. Now, is this “customized and extraordinary client service? I don’t think it is.
When the client came to you, they expected that you would design and develop a great website. They also expected it would be done according to the timeline and budget set during the planning stages of the project. As successful as this project may have been for both you and the client, in the end, you did exactly what you were hired to do. You did your job.
Just Doing Your Job vs Delivering Extraordinary Service
There is nothing wrong in “just doing your job.” But, while doing what you were hired to do is nothing to be ashamed of, it is also not extraordinary — nor will it set you apart. There will always be other companies or designers that will be able to do the work as well as you can — and there will certainly be someone willing to do it cheaper! The service you provide is how you can truly differentiate yourself.
Customized client service is about going beyond what is realistically expected of you. It is about surprising, and often delighting, customers, turning them into enthusiastic referral sources and lifelong clients who stick with you not only because you do great work at a fair price, but because the value you bring to them goes far beyond just your products.
Developing Real Relationships
We learn everything we can about a client’s business, but we often fail to discover anything substantial about our clients as people. If we do not engage with our clients in a real, personal way, then we are just another vendor and vendors are easily replaceable with better cheaper options. However, clients are much less likely to consider replacing people with whom they have real relationships. So, just ask simple questions about themselves and their lives, not just about their business. By this way you start learning more about your clients.
Participate In More Than Just Projects
Another way to build a relationship with a client that goes beyond the project is to participate in their events. If the client runs a non-profit organization, they might have fundraisers or similar events that offer you an opportunity to support their cause and nurture the relationship. Go to these events and participate. Take advantage of these opportunities to interact with your clients outside of a normal business setting. It will go a long way to reinforcing those real relationships that you are trying to create and show that you are more than just another vendor.
Similarly, consider inviting clients to some of your events to show that you view them as more than just a source of business. When they arrive, greet them warmly and enjoy their company, leaving business talk for another day.
Good Communication Is The Key
Regularly updating your clients by email is important, but also pick up the phone every now and then, so that you become more than just that distant person behind those electronic updates. By hearing your voice, clients will feel more connected to you and the project. It also shows them that you value them enough to take the time to make a personal call, and it gives you a chance to talk about something other than business.
Client Expect You To Be Honest
When something goes wrong, let them know quickly so that they are not blindsided by the issue later on. And never deliver bad news by email. Picking up the phone to discuss the news lets you reassure the client and answer any questions they may have. An after-hours email certainly won’t do that for them. If the matter is handled correctly, the client will not remember that something went wrong. They will remember that you were honest and kept them apprised of the state of the project, even when it did not go according to plan.
Show Appreciation & Be Thankful
Too often, we fail to even thank our clients for their business. We are so keen to finish a project and move on to the next one that we forget to properly show our appreciation. These gestures will delight and surprise your client, not only because you have thanked them, but because the way you did something personal, memorable and the perfect cap to a successful project.
This Is How We Deliver Customized Client Service
We work hard to ensure our clients receive the greatest attention to detail and have a successful transition into the online world and thereafter.
Success in this industry is about much more than developing great websites — it’s about developing great relationships