Ah, so let’s get a little clearer at the outset – is your customer service costing you? Now, I’m not talking about you providing shitty customer service here in the main but will touch on it briefly to start us off (as that is what you might have expected when you clicked through to read this one and I would hate to disappoint).
Shitty customer service isn’t acceptable. It’s not BIG, it’s not clever and it leaves a super bad taste in the mouth. Shitty customer service is about really not caring. It’s about not responding to people’s enquiries or messages, it’s about not delivering what you’d said you would deliver and it’s about generally disappointing your crowd.
Now, don’t get me wrong – we all have times where we are busy and keeping our usual standard of customer service simply isn’t possible. It’s a harsh turn of phrase to use but we do occasionally drop the ball a little bit. You are human. Stuff comes up and sometimes it’s unavoidable.
What is important is that you have systems and strategies in place which mean that your crowd feel well cared for.
Let’s talk a little bit about that dropping the ball thing.
People feel that they have dropped the ball when they have;
* had some time off
* had a rest
* not posted on social media for a couple of days
* not sent a newsletter this week
* not written a blog for a while
* not recorded a video for a while
* hidden for a bit
They feel super guilty and then get massively overwhelmed about how to get things back on track.
BUT it’s ok!
You are human and sometimes, guess what, stuff happens that interrupts the plans, sometimes circumstances arrive whereby you need to take a step back. You don’t need to beat yourself up about this. It happens to everyone and it’s totally ok.
How to get back? GET BACK!! Write that first social media post, send that newsletter, write that blog – if all of them have fallen by the wayside then choose ONE to start with. The enormity of the situation is never quite so huge when you give yourself permission to break it down a bit.
You can’t change that which has passed and chances are it needed to happen (for whatever reason) but you are in control of how you crack on from here.
The dropping of the ball which needs a little closer attention is when you aren’t delivering to your paying clients. This one needs a little more focus. There’s nothing worse than feeling that you have signed up to something and that once the point of sale has been achieved that you become unimportant. Again, sometimes things happen and it can’t be helped.
* The first thing that you need to do is to communicate – tell your clients what’s going on and let them know the situation (you don’t have to go into masses of detail but not communicating is the worst thing you can do – it simply looks to them like you have disappeared).
* Manage expectations – it kinda goes hand in hand with the communication thing, let them know what they can expect and when you will be back with them as radio silence annoys people.
* Don’t ignore it – again, all marries together. As soon as you can, come back and serve the pants off your crowd and don’t think – “gosh, I dropped the ball there and don’t know how I can bring it back and make things right.”
What you are NOT to do is beat yourself up, get overwhelmed and take NO action.
If you do ever drop the ball a little on the customer service front then it’s important that you acknowledge it and apologise and seek to put things right rather than gloss over it and move on. A dissatisfied customer simply isn’t good for business.
So the bit that you were expecting out of the way.
Time to move on to what I actually wanted to talk about…
Ok, so what I actually wanted to talk about was whether your customer service was costing YOU!
I know that lots of heart centred and soulful entrepreneurs are passionate about serving their crowd. They are super keen to help other people. I am not exception to this one. I have probably, at times, cost myself when it comes to customer service. I want to reply to that message and help people get unstuck quickly, I want to be there for my 1-2-1 clients and I want them to know that they can rely on my support. I go above and beyond at times because I truly don’t want anyone to be stuck and my purpose is to enable the ripple – if I can help you and you can go on and help more people then we are achieving a ripple effect of awesome work going out there into the world.
I can no longer have the volume switched on on my phone because the notification pings are relentless. I don’t want to turn off notifications because I want to be able to find things with ease so the simplest solution has been NO VOLUME!
So – can you see where I’m going with this – is your customer service costing you your rest time, time out/time off and ultimately your sanity? Is your level of service so relentless that it’s leaving you exhausted and on the verge of burnout?
Let’s see how we can save ourselves – without compromising our service!
Do you manage client expectations? This is a lesson that came my way initially in the corporate world. The line of work I did meant that it was absolutely essential to manage client expectations. This is equally important to me today and should be very important in your business too.
If you don’t create boundaries in your business and manage your clients expectations fully confusion can arise.
Often, it is no-ones fault – it just happens.
So – it’s important that you set out expectations when you are working with clients (either 1-2-1 or product based) – what can they expect from you and what do you expect from them?
Be clear on what you are offering your audience and steer clear of confusion.
Geez, this one can feel awfully icky too! BUT it’s massively important to set boundaries both for you and for your clients. Without boundaries you will end up resenting what you do! You’ll be chained to your work 24/7 and you’ll have people who ask for the world without staying in fair exchange with you.
I’ll slowly raise my hand and admit that I have fallen foul of to whole boundaries thing on more than one occasion.
It’s an easy trap to fall into – ah, well – I’ll just……….
AND before you know it you’ve given in and you are answering messages at 11pm whilst trying to drift off to sleep or you’re supposed to be having a lovely meal out with your family and your phone is so busy vibrating away that you simply can’t enjoy yourself.
Giving yourself boundaries is as important as giving your clients boundaries!
- When are you working?
- When are you NOT working?
- When can people expect replies from you?
- When are you simply not available?
I remember, in the past, self care = not possible. Fancy not working on an evening after the kids have gone to bed fancy not working weekends fancy having a monthly spa afternoon
I remember thinking that those were pipe dreams and simply wouldn’t be possible. I had to keep working – harder and harder, staring at the computer at midnight, tapping on the keyboard all weekend. Taking an afternoon off felt ridiculous.
BUT I learned that the one thing that is as important as working hard and working smart is REST! You gotta have time off to make you more creative, you need to have good boundaries to nurture yourself and help you to fire on all cylinders when you are working and you need time off to serve you and to serve your crowd. It’s not lame and it’s not selfish and it’s not indulgent. Instead of it actually costing your business time and slow your growth it will Supercharge it!
Side step the hustle
Embrace yourself as your biggest business asset