Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Importance of Client Satisfaction to Business

Client Satisfaction  -  7 client imperatives

1. Fulfill commitments

Match your commitment to my request
Coordinate people who promise and people who deliver
Deliver on your promises and commitments both formal and informal

2. Make it Easy to do business

Make policies, practices and procedures invisible to me
Do business in my terms
Have personalized choices
Make it easy to do business

3.  Understand the client
 
Understand the industry
Understand the business
Know me (strategy, processes, organization and culture)
Understand how solutions fit the business needs

4.  Communicate
 
Initiate contact. Tell me what i need to know when I need to know it
Listen and hear me
Use my language and say in simply
Be honest and respectful
Assign single points of contact
Give the customer a better view of the support
Use internal communications to drive consistency

5.  Be competent

Demonstrate expertise
Have the resources (people, products and services to solve my business problems
Provide quality workmanship

6.  Be cost effective
 
Give the most cost-effective solution the first time
Let me select the level of service for which I want to pay
Give me cost-effective, competitive alternatives
Tell me the cost up-front

7. Be responsible and accessible


Be available when I need you
Provide the right person the first time
Have a single point of contact
Keep me informed and follow up
Anticipate what I need

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Why the focus on client satisfaction?

The value of high client satisfaction - Happy customers buy more service

1. It is far easier to support a happy customer
2. Satisfied clients are more likely to buy new services

Actions
1. communication model
2. Transparency
3. Service consistency

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Communication model - Core principles of interactions with the customer

1. Provide the service the customer has requested
2. Be indifferent between the levels of service (the customer picks the service they need)
3. Counsel and not threaten (proactive vs reactive)
4. Listen to what customer has to say
5. Have verbal conversations and not just discussions through email
6. Never say, 'I can't talk to you about that!'
7. Don't use the term 'contract' with the client, use the term agreement or avoid it altogether
8. Have senior management involved in conversations about strategic issues

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Make it easy to do business - Customer perspective

Customers generally expect problems, they often see satisfactory solution of these problems as a bonus

The biggest customer issues often have their roots in
1. Lack of communication also known as 'The Bad' surprise
2. company over the customer,  example, Policy, Matrix
3. Failure to support the customer in dealing with their management

Customers who have the perfect experience when working with you often give lower client satisfaction ratings
than those who have problems or complaints that get resolved quickly

It all ties to managing clients needs and expectations

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How to handle upset customer

1.  Empathize with the client (let them know you care)
2. Listen completely - don't interrupt
3. Ask questions to better understand the problem
4. Take notes and confirm that you understood what was said
5.  Take ownership, don't pass the buck
6. Respond immediately, if you are unable to fix the problem, get help
7. A great guideline to use at any time:  Why Am I Talking?

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Ideas for creating partnership

Buy them coffee :-)  It works sometimes
Listen
suggest interim workarounds
Acknowledge the problem, sympathize
Ask questions
Find out exactly what is bothering them
Make sure the right players are participating- escalate if necessary
Offer a solution
Remain Calm - don't panic causing more frustration
Search for causes
Make sure you understand the severity of the problem
Take responsibility for the problem
Offer to have technical teams engaged
Don't hide
Participate in cost containment exercises with the client
Identify ways to improve client's processes there by increasing productivity and reducing cost
Reviewing Disaster recovery and other processes and implementing a higher level of recovery
Review customer's utilization, application performance and making meaningful recommendations
Making network recommendations to help customer reduce network response time, service cost, and/or single points of failure


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Understand the client - General Guidelines

1.  The client pays the bills, so treat them that way
2. Work with management and expect them to say 'Yes , we can' but help to understand what it might cost, time required and information needed.
3. Sit with your customer and hall conversations are great
4. Build relationship at the operations level







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