Effective Customer Service Program
What Are Your Clients Saying About You?

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Do they think you add value? Do they say you care enough about their business? Do they see you as part of their team? If the answer is maybe, or you don't know the answer, it's time to make some changes.

Last June the Association of Accounting Marketing held a panel discussion with CEOs to see just what they liked and didn't like about their CPA firm. The results aren't surprising but they do serve as a very big reminder from customer service training that building close relationships with clients is the key to success.

Here are a few of their comments. (to read more visit Golden Practices, penned by professional services marketing guru, Michele Golden):

Be Proactive-Tell me before it's too late

Make my life easier- Share resources that improve my entire business

Tell us all you can do- Be a 'full service' team player

Stay in touch personally-Know me and what's important to me

Be collaborative- Treat my concerns in a holistic way that brings me the best results

Reading this list it's easy to see that clients crave deep, trusting relationships with their financial advisers. They want a helpmate who is attune to their interest, needs and goals and will keep them out of harm’s way.

How can you become a valued helpmate? Ask. Ask lots of questions, both about what life is like for them and about how they experience you as their adviser. Asking the following open-ended questions will demonstrate your commitment to quality service and assist you to create a unique bond with your client:

What's happening now that's keeping you up at night? What's got you so excited you can't wait to get to the office? How's business? What's preventing you from taking your company to the next level?

Who is your ideal client, and how can I help you do outreach? What can I do to make you more successful? Is there anything my firm is doing that you wish we'd stop? Tell me about the best business experience you ever had?

Of course, the key is to be sincere and to follow up with more clarifying questions so the exchange turns into a mutually satisfying conversation. Before you know it, your clients will be saying you're the best!

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