The road to an ideal client experience

Grovelands is proud to put our candidates and clients at the forefront of our business. David Leen, Director at Grovelands, shares a great customer experience and provides tips on keeping your clients happy.

I started running two years ago and joined a local running club. After much ribbing by my fellow joggers I decided that my baggy running shorts and top with holes weren’t really right. I’d read an article about a British retailer who sold high quality running gear, a shop called Iffley Road, and placed an order for a few things. The website was very clean and simple to use with beautiful photos so I was quite happy. A few days later the box arrived, when I opened it up the clothes were wrapped in tissue paper and there was a postcard on top handwritten by the Directors thanking me for my order and an offer for £20 off my next shop. It was a great first experience and they’d won me over before I’d even tried their merchandise.

Last year I wrote a blog about championing feedback from your clients and maintaining high standards of service to ensure your clients are happy, something we are very keen to maintain at Grovelands. I’m surprised by the number of companies that take such little care of their client’s experience so here are my suggestions to improve:

  • Add value or value added – I’m not fond of this phrase as it’s over used, similar to the word ‘genius’ to describe something above average, but in essence it notes the act of giving something extra, unexpected or different that lifts you above the rest of the crowd. I recently ordered a book twice by mistake but when I spoke to the online retailer they said I didn’t have to return it – I thought this was cool. It was likely due to the cost of return or an inventory issue but it had saved me time, effort and money. This is key, find ways to do the heavy-lifting for your clients and they’ll be happy.
  • Know your products and services – There is nothing worse than brief and vague answers given to clients when quizzed about their work or product so ensure everyone in your business knows your products and services inside and out.
  • Be flexible and accessible – People like doing business with people they like but being flexible in your practices means that you can tailor your service to your client’s needs as and when they need your product or service. Offer a variety of avenues to access your products and services and make sure you are accessible to the clients your serve.
  • Stay in touch – There is a balance to master here, one company I used over 9 years ago continue to send me daily bulletins, offers off and reminders about their founding partner’s birthdays – a little too much information for my liking. I’ve tried to block them, add them to my junk and unsubscribe but I know at 8am on each and every Monday I will get that dreaded Groundhog Day feeling as another piece of trivia lands in my inbox. Rather than promote, it demotes their brand. Instead vary the contact, catch up over a coffee or phone call, send relevant emails, use your social tools or organise a webinar or seminar. At Grovelands’ new London office at WeWork Moorgate we had a small and informal gathering with drinks and nibbles which was really successful. In the past I’ve also sent newspaper clippings and articles to clients I knew would find them interesting and when I heard feedback about a project that one of my clients had worked on I sent a note to congratulate them on their achievements.
  • Admit mistakes – It can be daunting to admit you’ve made a mistake but when you apologise and take your client’s views on board to make the necessary adjustments or changes you can gain a client that respects and appreciates the efforts you’ve made when things go a little pear shaped. This process helps build trust and it shows you are invested in the relationship. Be grateful for their feedback and that they’ve highlighted the mistake to you directly instead of going elsewhere quietly with you left not quite understanding why.
  • Keep detailed notes – Our CRM system works wonders for our team and we can all record our notes in one place. Before I kept notes on Outlook and on random pieces of paper in my briefcase, not ideal and I feel more relaxed knowing the progress I’ve made with my clients – I suspect my colleagues do too. My notes too often reveal the gaps in my memory when I think I’ve remembered everything about the conversation.
  • Don’t take clients for granted – We know that we are only as good as the last piece of work we’ve done and that we’re always on probation. We need to constantly innovate, ask for feedback and keep an eye out for what’s coming down the hill from both competitors and new entrants into the market. You won’t win them all but you’ll want a long-term sustainable business and looking after your existing clients should be part of your foundation.

This is by no means a definitive list and I would welcome your comments about what else you’d add; let me know what you do and what tips and strategies you follow.

We welcome your feedback and comments, if you would like to contact us directly please call 01273 651 500 or email contactme@grovelands.co.uk. To keep up to date with our news and updates don’t forget to follow our social media channels and sign up to our newsletter.

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