Most of my posts focus on the importance and benefits of marketing for businesses in the architecture, engineering, construction and real estate industry.
Where does client service fit in? After all, it isn’t really related to marketing, right?
People often think that referral business has little to do with marketing and branding, and everything to do with quality work. While the quality of work is utterly important, it isn’t the only reason for a referral.
Client service = long-term relationship building. Taking care of your clients and letting them know just how valuable they are, keeps them coming back for more and it’s what makes them remember and refer you. Your reputation for client service IS your brand, just like your quality of work is.
How defined is your expectation for client service? How can your firm control your brand through day-to-day interaction?
Communication. Defining your brand doesn’t just mean making sure your logo is used consistently. The strongest brands filter through to every activity and the strongest leaders communicate the expectations. Many companies define behaviors such as:
• Client calls are returned within a day, without exception.
• Every project begins with a bound document with job roles, contact information, schedule…
• Every client should be taken to lunch monthly during the duration of their project.
Depending upon your business, services and client list, some of the above may not make sense or aren’t realistic. However, in some form or fashion, these service-related behaviors should be defined and communicated to your team in a way that is unique to your firm.
I’m sure we’ve all had partners and clients miss appointments or fail to follow up on important deliverables…I’ve probably had three in the past month. But for you, and your business, is that how you want your brand to be remembered? If not, how are you communicating that to the rest of your team in a way that is empowering and engaging rather than restrictive and cumbersome?