Developing successful client relationships are critical to long term success of every business. Trying to keep the customer happy is rule number one and as the customer advocate, the client management organization is there to ensure the customer needs are met in a timely manner.
To truly build a rapport with the customer, an ongoing set of rules will apply. Each rule will help the client care organization to cultivate and nurture the client so they will not hesitate to speak highly of the company long after the sale is made.
Rule #1: Respect – Every call that comes into the support desk of client managers office is critical in maintaining the relationship. Respect for the customer and attention to their needs are important aspects of every interaction.
The customer can sense and will react accordingly if the team member does not take their issue seriously or develops a condescending attitude. Sometimes this can be difficult if the customer is demanding and negative, but a good associate can get past that and still convey a positive result in a timely manner.
Rule #2: The Follow up – In most cases, the resolution to the issue cannot be completed on the initial call. It is crucial to follow up and communicate status and an eventual solution when available. If not, the customer will assume the worst and feel that Rule #1 has been broken. Communication is key when working with any person and a strong customer service representative knows the value of keeping the customer in the loop.
Rule #3: Driving a Resolution – Client managers may not always know how to fix the issue and must delegate the task to another person or department for an answer or solution. In either case, the customer advocate must retain ownership and drive the issue through to a solution if it is available. If the issue does not have a workable resolution, then the client representative should relay the message back to the customer with Rule #1 in mind.
In summary, Client relationship development is a long term process and can allow a company to build trust and a strong bond with the customer long after the initial sale has taken place. If the organization does not see this area as a strategic component of their business, it will struggle to maintain client retention and be pressed to find references for new opportunities.
By Alexis Dean