Peerless WordPress Support.
“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford
As a WordPress Agency in the digital space, it’s fair to say we’ve learned a lot about client service since we founded in 1996. Some of it is obvious, much of it less so.
There is no fixed model that works for everyone – how and when you provide client service is very much a function of understanding the needs of your client base and adapting accordingly. We are fortunate enough to be selective with who we work with, the team we use to deliver and the cost model we work to.
The first, and most important lesson, is that client service must be baked into everything you offer. Sadly, it’s all too common for agencies to sacrifice great client service on the altar of growth, money and profit. This is putting the cart before the horse.
Every new client and every new project has an impact on the ability of the business to provide service. I suppose what I’m saying is winning new business is the easy part, but balancing the needs of new clients with the existing commitments is tougher to do.
This is particularly true in the WordPress Agency world. We’re seeing unprecedented growth in the sector and it would be easy to pick off all these new opportunities – and then drown under weight of new, poorly services clients whilst managing to hack-off existing clients as you go.
So, think service first: How will you continue to service your loyal clients as well as meet the needs of the new clients coming on board.
We have a simple approach, albeit a little bit blunt. Put simply, we don’t take on new clients until we really understand them, their needs and how they will fit into the longer-term aims for the business. The net effect is that we turn away about 90% of new business, and “win” 75% of the business we actually want to win.
“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford
Two ears, one mouth.
World-class service is also about great communication, it’s no longer enough to be good, you really must be excellent. And as we all know, great communication involves expertly listening to the needs of clients. So we listen first, and then adapt how and what we do to the needs of our clients.
This means being inventive and innovative with how we approach client service. It means investing in the very best tools, the very best people and keeping on top of the backlog. This might sound simple, but how many businesses really listen to their clients? Or do they simple take instruction and react to tactical needs?
The importance of being honest
We are human, so we make mistakes, and usually quite frequently – this is normal so don’t hide behind techno-babble and made-up rubbish, be honest and then do your very best to fix it. But fixing problems after they are out in the open is only one part of being honest.
If clients understand you try your best, and will openly talk about issue-resolution then you’ll find everyone is on the same page. It’s even better if you can identify (and fix) problems before the client even sees them.
Love your clients’ business.
We’re in business to enjoy ourselves, enriching lives, working towards a greater good and, lastly, to make money. This is how we approach our business and is grounded in the firm belief that profit is a function of a good business and not the other way round.
Removing, or demoting to last priority, the love of profit liberates you and your team to provide the best service possible without worrying about the cost of providing it. This may seem counter-intuitive but great service is actually the most cost-effective thing a business can do to prosper.
As a result, clients stay for many years, their confidence and trust is high, they themselves are successful and once these are compounded the result is a super-stable company with brilliant clients and a long-term outlook.
And, finally, a quote.
The strength of an organisation is measured not by what is does when the sun shines, but how it deals with a world that is raining
It’s kept us sane over the last 3 decades, and continues to underpin our support service. And the reason we’ll still be prospering 3 decades from now.
//By Martin Dower