In this day of global competition and low barriers for clients who want to switch to a different provider, it is essential to offer clients the best service you can. Clients are quick to change to a competitor if they don’t receive the service they expect from a company. Conversely, give clients a great customer experience and you will probably have gained a client for life.

Most businesses view their service department as a necessary business expense and give little to no thought on how it impacts the outside perception of their business. With exceptional service, you can win more work just on word of mouth alone, with bad service you are likely to lose potential clients in the same way.

So let’s dive right in and analyse the 4 keys to great customer service and how you can delight your client:

1) Staff

You may have heard that your staff are the greatest asset that your company has and this rings true especially for the client-facing service department. Clients expect to deal with well-trained and knowledgeable staff. This means that you need to make sure your staff are up-to-date on your service offerings and trained in the relevant products that you support or services that you offer. The best advice is to always hire the best that you can afford. There is nothing worse than dealing with a service representative that hates their job due to a low salary or underappreciation. If you look for the cheapest staff, you are likely to find them, and in return, you will get people who only do the bare minimum to earn the bare minimum.

Treat your staff with respect and value their input to the organisation. Staff that are valued are motivated to go the extra mile for your company.

2) Culture

Foster a culture of excellence in all facets of your business, not just service. Reiterate 100 times a day to your staff that by giving the best of themselves, they improve the company, their salaries and the future of all the people involved in the company, including your clients. Lead by example and always hold your staff up to the highest standards. Praise staff that uphold the culture of the company and don’t be scared of being tough on staff that do not. Your staff need to know what is expected of them.

3) Systems

An important key to great service is a great system of managing incoming requests and making sure that they are dealt with on time and to the client’s satisfaction. Scour the market and look for the best possible software that fits in with the needs of your company. If you are in the trade or a service industry business, take a look at IntelliServe, field service software. They offer a free 14-day trial. Their features include custom checklists, quoting, invoicing and ticketing.

A good system should allow you to centrally manage all service requests to allow you to keep an eye on company metrics at all times.

Systems also allow you to consistently offer the same level of service. Once you have set your goals and metrics in a service application, you will be able to keep an eye on them and make sure that everyone is performing according to the standard set.

This is the start of a great service journey. These keys should be revisited on an almost daily basis to make sure that your company is providing the best levels of service that it can