Actively managing relationships with clients is essential to keeping them. It can also aid in your sales efforts by building the reputation that your company takes care of those who do business with it.
But customer service does not have inertia – without active engagement and constant improvements, it will lose direction and speed. In order to keep moving forward and delivering value-added service to your clients, it may be wise to give your business a customer service audit.
Do your salespeople have a process for following up with prospects before the sale and regularly checking in with clients? Have you given everyone on the team leeway to respond to client requests within the scope of their stratum capability, and do they know to refer the client to someone else if they cannot help the person themselves? What steps do you take to ensure no client falls through the cracks?
Martha Newman, a professional certified coach for lawyers, offers some advice on conducting these kinds of audits on her blog, Top Lawyer Coach. While she’s discussing what law firms can do to overhaul their customer service strategies, a lot of what she says is applicable to financial advisors, too. Newman outlines three central aspects of client relationship management that you may be overlooking: email, online forms and phones.
She emphasizes the importance of making sure every email is personalized and professional, and directing everyone else on your team to do the same. Sending a generic answer can give clients the impression that you haven’t taken the time to put any thought into your response.
If you have forms on your website to make it easier for clients to contact you online, make sure that those are actually being processed and quickly responded to. Also direct at least one person on your staff to be responsible for answering the phone every time it rings – clients shouldn’t consistently get a voicemail when they call in with a question or concern. Newman notes that the details can make a difference, so make sure hold music isn’t too loud or annoying. Try not to leave anyone on hold for longer than one minute.
While these are just a few broad issues to assess in your office, think of all the other ways clients interact with your business. Have someone monitor your social media pages, set up a special client contact email and offer guidelines for contacting the office on your website.