Stellar Service Without the Stress

As an entrepreneur, you depend on repeat business to thrive. That means you need to serve your customers well every time they interact with you, because outstanding customer service is what keeps clients coming back. It can even transform them into advocates who refer business to you!

But when you’re fully booked, feeling overwhelmed, and racing to meet multiple deadlines, it can be easy to fall behind on proactively serving your customers, and lose sight of what’s behind all that work – hard working people who are also putting 100% into their own businesses (just like you), and your relationships to them.

Providing stellar service without the stress is easy if you remember the 3 best practices we use at Any Old Task to keep our own practice running smoothly:

1) Implement effective processes and procedures

No matter what type of client you’re working with, there are some things you do every time you begin work with a new customer. If you implement easy-to-follow, step-by-step policies and procedures for things like submitting proposals, onboarding and collecting payment, this saves you having to spend the mental energy and time it takes to complete these tasks.

Related Post: 3 Reasons Why Processes Change Everything

2) Give your clients the benefit of the doubt

Sometimes it can be easy to respond to the first emotion you feel when something negative happens to you. Maybe a client harshly criticizes you for a minor mistake (or they’re just having a bad day and take it out on you), you receive a confusing email that addresses none of the issues you inquired about, or they still haven’t provided feedback and sign-off on an important part of your project.

Whatever it is, stay objective, and empathize with your client. Wait until you can detach from the situation enough to examine it without bias, which only serves to inflame negative emotions. Your client is like every other person on this planet – they’re doing what they feel they need to do, to be happy.

Take a deep breath, remind yourself that your client is trying their best, and consider your response. What’s the message behind their criticism (or the real reason they snapped at you)? They’ve probably received a lot of emails today, just like you, and are feeling just as harried and overwhelmed. And providing feedback and sign-off on that project may be the next thing on their to-do list.

Next, reach out and work through the problem. Even if you don’t understand where your client is coming from, keep in mind that there’s a reason they’re acting this way. People act based on emotion. They may or may not explain what their trigger was, but you can identify your role in providing a solution, and making their job easier.

Pro TipRemember, email and text do not accurately relay tone. If you’re communicating through email and think your client is angry or disappointed about something, pick up the phone. The situation may be less dire than it appeared, and they may simply have chosen their words poorly.

3) Proactively build relationships with potential and current clients

Relationships are built on trust and are enriched with the time you invest in them, so look for ways you can demonstrate your value to people, whether they’ve hired you or not.

You can do this in a number of ways. For example, maybe you come across someone who uses WordPress and is having trouble installing a plug-in. You happen to know the answer or where they can find it, and send the information to them. It doesn’t matter if their problem has to do with your area of expertise; you just demonstrated your ability to be a resource to them, with little extra effort on your part. Or perhaps, your latest client let it slip that their guilty pleasure is watching cute cat videos during lunch. Why not take a moment and send her a link to a video you love. 🙂

Pro Tip: A great CRM tool like Contactually* will keep you on top of any followup you need to do, provide a place to store all the little tid-bits you learn about your clients and partners, and provide quick and easy suggestions for staying in touch, all while saving you a absolute TON of time!

Still feeling stressed out? At Any Old Task, we specialize in creating processes and systems that boost your productivity and save you time. Get in touch to find out what we can do for you. Email us at today.

*Transparency Alert! That link to Contactually up there…? That’s an affiliate link. Because I freaking love that CRM. I have tried many, many, many others and although this one is on the higher end of the cost scale it is the best one I have found for the way I work and saves me so much time that it is 100% worth the price.  =)

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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