One of the best and arguably easiest ways to generate good faith with your clients is via the customer service you provide. I’m an advocate of providing killer customer service wherever possible for many reasons. A large part of that killer service is how fast you get back to your clients.
Yep, speed is important! The old cliche is that “time is money” and when your clients consistently get super fast responses to their queries, your stock with them invariably goes up. It’s also important to understand that as a freelancer one of your greatest strengths is your mobility. Studios and development teams aren’t generally able to respond as quickly as you are. So get guerrilla and leverage that competitive advantage to the max!
OK let me put the brakes on here for a sec though. I know some people advocate checking and replying to email during specific sessions — like when you first log on for the day, and before you leave for the day — for reasons of supposed productivity. That technique is fine, clients will be happy enough if you get back to them a couple times a day, I guess.
Since I’m nuts about differentiating myself with killer customer service, I recommend doing things a little differently.
The 30 Second Customer Service Technique
The 30 second customer service technique is as follows:
- When you’re on the clock, keep your email client open and running in the background
- When a new email comes, skim it
- If it’s a query which would take less than 30 seconds to reply to then …
- Reply right away
Put yourself in Joe Client’s shoes for a sec. After weeks or months of working with you and you consistently get back to him almost as quick as the message is sent, do you think Joe is going to think you are one stand up professional or what? The short answer is: Big time.
Joe will be so stoked he’ll:
- Give you more and more work as it arises
- Be willing to pay you higher rates
- Be less likely to shop around with your competitors for similar services
- Happy to tell others how “awesome my web guy is.”
All because you spend 30 seconds now and then to get back to the guy at speed. How about you, have you got any best practices for customer service?
- Provide killer customer service
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