Any VA can give a service and find some clients, but a Virtual Assistant who focuses on service excellence, will have a business that prosper and will attract clients into long-term relationships.
Now the question is: what is service excellence and how can you ensure your business delivers it?
Well, service excellence is about having:
- Solid beliefs in what you do and how it can benefit your clients;
- Exceptional behaviours and applying those to your client relationships.
- A great attitude;
Service excellence is all about finding ways to make your clients feel good about your services, your business and themselves because they simply feel good when dealing with you.
Here are some great ways to create service excellence in your business:
- Be reliable and ALWAYS deliver on what you say. Reliability is one of the key aspects to any good relationship. If you say, “Your report will be typed and ready on Tuesday”, make sure it is ready and delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t say it. Never “over-promise” and then “under-deliver” – rather do it the other way round (i.e. under-promise then over-deliver).
- Listen to your customers. Let your customer talk and take the time to identify exactly what they need by asking questions and concentrating on what the client is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and how they feel. Show that you are listening by making the appropriate responses and suggestions or giving alternative options on how to solve the issues. From a client’s perspective, there is nothing more frustrating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention.
- Always play open cards with your clients and be honest in all your negotiations. Don’t tell a “half” truth or withhold information from your clients, just to “save face” or earn a few more bucks. When you are honest about situations, even when you’ve made a bad mistake, you’ll win the client’s respect and trust.
- Deal with complaints promptly. No one likes hearing complaints, but when a client complains, the chances are there is a problem in your service that is causing it. Listening and solving complaints is an ideal opportunity to restore goodwill, keep a client and build stronger relationships. Improve your procedures to eliminate or minimise similar issues in future.
- Give more than expected. Be creative and give your clients what they do not get elsewhere. People love to get more than they thought they were getting – and it doesn’t need to be large to be effective. E.g. include a thank-you note when you’ve completed a project; send a birthday card – even when you’re not working together anymore; follow-up and thank them even when they don’t buy; send them information to help them in their business without expecting anything in return; give them a coupon for a couple of additional service hours. There are all sorts of ways to go the extra mile and to give them more than they expect. They may not say so, but people notice when you make an extra effort and will tell other people.
Creating service excellence in your business doesn’t cost much, but it can mean a world of difference to your clients and your business. If you deliver service excellence consistently, it’s a free form of marketing. Over time your business will become known for its good customer service and will attract more clients.
Your business assignment for this week:
How can you create even more service excellence in your business to make your clients come back for more.