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The ABCs of Client Service: Building a Capability that Makes an Impact

The ABCs of Client Service: Building a Capability that Makes an Impact
Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 by Rae Shanahan

Customer service has the potential to change someone’s day – whether that be positively or negatively.

the-abcs-of-client-servicesCustomer service has the potential to change someone’s day — whether that be positively or negatively. If you’re a client-serving organization, then this piece of your business is not an area you can afford to ignore. 

I mean that quite literally, as U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. Customer service not only drives business results, it also drives reputation. Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 they will tell about a good experience. Either way, those are double digit numbers and have an impact on your organization.

On the flip side, seven out of 10 consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service. The same holds true for the business world. Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, said it well: “My metric for success can be summed up in one phrase: earn customers for life.” You can be selling handbags, pickup trucks, or benefits administration technology, but your client support makes a difference in your sales and customer retention.

Part of our core mission is to delight our clients. We know this begins and ends with excellent support, especially since enrolling in benefits is not an end consumer’s favorite activity. In fact, almost half of consumers would rather do something unpleasant (like walk across hot coals) than complete their annual benefits enrollment. Therefore, we know the importance of helping our clients run a successful Annual Enrollment, which is why our support capability will always be a top priority.

Here are the ABCs you can use to build a strong client-support capability:

Attention: First and foremost, your clients needs to be the center of attention when building this capability. From considering what tools to use, to deciding on hours, pay attention to the needs of those you serve. Another way to demonstrate attention is by showing appreciation. After all, the number one reason that individuals switch away from products and services is feeling unappreciated. You can express appreciation through your client-service employees who regularly thank customers for using your services, or by sending follow-up emails to double-check that their needs have been met. Your focal point of attention in client service is simple — the client.

Best-in-class: Consider the definition of “best-in-class” as one that is constantly learning and improving. Your client service capability should not only solve issues in the moment, but it should be a source of intelligence for issues that may arise in the future. According to Harvard Business Review, it is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. However, your client-service capability can help you retain those clients by using data and real-life interactions to anticipate future needs. Stay best-in-class by being the best at listening and adjusting.

Communication options: Multiple forms of communications are always better than one. As we know, different strokes for different folks — and that applies to client service options too. In fact, our State of Workplace Empathy study found that different generations prefer different types of communications. Apply this thinking to your client service capability by offering a call center, email, and live chat. Your clients are then free to reach out however they choose, which puts a little bit of delight into their day and can be attributed to your exceptional service.

Wondering how our Service Center functions? Learn more here.