Customer service is the lifeblood of any business

Susan Krantz, partner, Zinner & Co. LLP

Susan Krantz, partner, Zinner & Co. LLP

A good salesperson can sell anything to anyone once, but when mutually beneficial relationships are formed and nurtured, a client or customer will walk away happy and keep coming back. So what are some essential steps you can take in your business to ensure customer satisfaction?

Consistently Provide Exceptional Quality and Timely Services

The relationship you cultivate with your customers should not subscribe to the slogan, “You get what you pay for.” Instead, you should always strive to provide clients with a far more valuable experience than the price that they pay. When we enter into any client relationship at our firm, we do so with a commitment to meet the needs of that client’s engagement, regardless of size and the potential fees generated. We become proactively involved in an advisory capacity with our client relationships by meeting more frequently with their team of professionals or connecting them with additional service professionals.   As a business leader you should actively work with your clients to provide only the services that they truly need and do not over-sell in order to build confidence and a trusting relationship.

Also, even though technology has given businesses helpful innovations that are used on an everyday basis, do not underestimate the power that human interaction still holds. When a client calls your office, they want to speak directly with a real person, not navigate through a hopelessly complex voicemail system.

Attract, Hire and Retain Employees with the Necessary Customer Service DNA

Even a highly qualified individual with years of experience may not have the right tools to maintain your company’s customer service brand. A thorough process of interviewing, reference checking, and introductions to members of your company’s team can help your staff develop a consensus of whether an individual is truly the right fit for your clients and business.

Internships and internal training programs are integral components in helping employees build meaningful, long-term careers with your company. Since an effective learning experience is both formal and informal, have new employees shadow more experienced staff members to learn the “soft skills” necessary to effectively communicate with and service clients in order to meet their needs in a professional manner.

Create a Culture Where Customer Service Flourishes

Unsatisfied employees can do much more damage to your company’s brand than one unsatisfied customer.  A staff that consistently receives support and education will be significantly less stressed, allowing them to maintain superior levels of customer service even during the busiest workdays. For example, we implemented a Wellness Program for our staff to focus on physical and mental well-being during the hectic months of tax season. Encourage your staff members to get involved in organizations that are important to them, so they can fine-tune leadership and networking skills while serving the community.

Susan D. Krantz, CPA, is a partner at Zinner & Co. LLP. Reach her at (216) 831-0733 or [email protected]

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