A gentleman once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?” “No,” said the sculptor without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.” The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. “Where is the damage?” he asked. “There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his work. “Where are you going to install the idol?” The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high. “If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” the gentleman asked. The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I know it and God knows it!”
According to Gartner, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, and it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one satisfied. So it is a no brainer to understand that retaining an existing customer is very important for the continuous growth of any company. In my earlier post 7 Tips Having Good Times In A Client Relationship, I shared tips for helping experience the good times in a client relationship while converting them into everlasting memories & forging long term relationships. According to report from Oracle:
81% - customers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience with nearly half (44%) willing to pay a premium of more than 5%.
89% - customers switched brands after a poor customer experience.
20% - annual percentage revenue losses due to poor customer experiences.
Below I am sharing 5 tips on how to deliver quality services to your client and ensuring trusting relationships
Tip#1:Understand the strategic objectives of your client - Long everlasting relationships begin with knowing your clients' wants and needs. Most times the focus is on scope, schedule, cost and the solution. It is important to understand the business problem or the strategic goal, which the client needs to achieve. We need to provide simple solutions to complex problems and not the other way around.
Tip#2:Provide transparency in the delivery process to your client - Transparency is important in every business and client service is no different. Always strive for a high quality output by being transparent with your client on the delivery process and keep them engaged. Being transparent and with robust communication, you minimize the element of surprise and at the same time, earn client’s trust. One reason for wide adoption of Agile is mainly because it encourages customer involvement throughout the delivery process.
Tip#3:Proactively plan for frequent client feedbacks - You need to measure client satisfaction and engagement by taking frequent feedbacks. Regular check points with the client can help easily identify areas of concern and perform course corrections before issues lead to an unhappy client. Without constant feedback from clients, it's more like working in a vacuum and waiting to be surprised.
Tip#4:Be consistent in providing your services - Every client is important and you need to appreciate that by creating a unique client experience. Whether your client is a fortune 100 or not, be consistent in providing your services. It's a fact that a satisfied client would be willing to refer your services, leading to increased opportunities; while a non-satisfied client can spread the word faster and even more so via social media.
Tip#5:Share your new services, processes, tools or competencies - A proactive customer service to help find solutions for continuous improvement not only helps keep the client happy but turns them into your strong brand advocate. You are cultivating shared values by engaging the client in your new services, processes, tools or competencies, which fosters relationships.
To summarize, clients do not owe you their loyalty, you have to earn it continuously. Any organization’s strategy for their services should be built around delivering quality customer service. When performed properly, you have earned a happy client for life.
"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." - Henry Ford