Taking the customer services journey


Chantal

The October issue of my email newsletter, Scribbles, was about sales and marketing, and which is more important. (Click here to read it.) I received some really interesting feedback to that question. One issue that came up a few times was that marketing will bring in the leads, sales will convert them and then the third element – great customer services – will help you keep the new clients.

So how do you develop and maintain great customer service? I’ve been doing some work with Joolz Lewis, otherwise known as the Corporate Hippy. We looked at the four stages of the customer journey – prospecting, selling, delivering and servicing.

In the prospecting we looked at who our prospective clients are. We’ve got a really clear of the types of people and businesses that we like to work with (coaches, consultants and trainers!) and explaining this to someone else confirmed the clarity. Do you have a clear picture of who your ideal clients are?

Selling is about turning your prospects into clients. We use a sales process that we developed last year with a sales consultant, Trese Rowe at Amplia. It uses consultative selling, which is all about asking questions and shaping one of your offerings to provide the solution to your prospective client’s problem. Along the way, the process helps you find out exactly if the prospect will be ideal to work with and helps you qualify which ones that will never work out. By the end of the process, if it all goes smoothly, you have a brand new client! Do you have a sales process that works that well?

The next stage is about actually delivering what you promise. It’s about starting work with your new client and this is the stage that we’ve been working on improving the most. Setting up a new website, blog or newsletter can take up to four weeks, if it’s done thoroughly, with great design and top quality copywriting. It’s a very detailed process where things can get missed or forgotten if you’re not careful. Not anymore! For every set up process we have – websites, blogs, newsletters and all the rest – we now have a set of emails that we send to our clients. Each one explains exactly what we’re sending them and what need from them. No more assumptions. No more letting things slip, everything confirmed in writing. A process like this means less time, more accuracy and clients who feel safe and supported. Do you have clearly outlined processes that fill your clients with confidence?

The final stage of the journey is all about looking after your clients in the long term, because winning them and delivering the first bit of work is easy compared to developing a long term relationship. This is about keeping in touch with your clients and always looking at how else you can help them. For us, this is about having regular meetings with clients, and at the end of each meeting setting the date of the next one. Right now we’re busy arranging meetings with clients who we’ve not seen for a while and it’s amazing how well the offer of meeting up for lunch goes down! When did you last take your clients out for lunch?

Our customer journey – and all the improvements we’re making – are on the wall of our office, on colourful flipchart sheets, so we can see how we’re doing. If you need help with improving your customers’ journey, get in touch with Joolz. If you need a really successful sales process, contact Trese. And if you want to meet up for lunch to talk about anything marketing related, let me know!

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