By: Jennifer Devitt on September 2nd, 2010
Customer Service is key right? So are you always going the extra mile?
Lately, I have seen a few articles about small business vs. their big business competitors or David vs. Goliath. One common thread in a lot of the comments on these articles is customer service and just what the advantage is that small business has.
The main goal for a business should be customer service or 100% customer satisfaction, right? I realize that we live in a world where in many places customer service is lacking, it is one way we strive to be different, to be better.
Something we have encountered over the last year or so is partner firms going the extra mile to help their clients in any way possible, even if that means referring them to someone else. Yes, you heard me, referring them elsewhere! And, no I am not crazy!
Face it, there are going to be times when your client comes to you with a request that is out of your realm, but a major factor for them. What do you do? Well, we have encountered a few different scenarios. One time our partner firm ignored their client's pleas for information on who worked on their project, the client had a specific need that they knew our partner couldn't deliver, and they were OK with that but were pleading for their help to be pointed in the right direction. Our partner refused to do so, but luckily their client found their resource on the first try, it ended up being the resource our client was trying to hide.
Another scenario we encountered, is a new partner came right out and said we know we don't have the tools to offer our clients certain solutions, we would rather partner with someone or be able to offer them a referral than to loose the client! That's putting your clients first.
And yet one last scenario is a personal experience. We had a client make a request for something we had no experience in, but it wasn't an unusual request either since we work in an ever changing environment of tech. We asked for a bit of time to review the specs and offer a solution. In a short time it became apparent that due to lack of proper documentation from our client's vendor, we could not do what our client needed. We came back to them quickly and honestly, that unfortunately, we couldn't do the project. Our client while obviously was now faced with the task of finding a resource for this single issue, appreciated that we didn't drag out the process and that we were honest that it was beyond us at this time. They appreciated our honesty and recognized that we realized the importance of the issue to them and acted in a timely manner.
This is how I see it, you can either hide, and make excuses or stall when you can't help your clients or you can be a strong, confident business and not be afraid to say this is something we don't offer, but we can with confidence refer you to our partner or help you find a competent resource and assist you in any way going forward!
Customer service is about putting your client first, it will gain you repeat business in the end, and maybe some new business from partner referrals. Go that extra mile!