This week I’ve been writing my Christmas cards to friends and family. It is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays – partially because I enjoy the pure process of handwriting notes and sealing + stamping envelopes. And partially because it is one of the small gifts we can give to our loved one’s to let them know we are thinking of them.
A project like this can take some time and thought. You need to make sure all of your addresses are up to date (or email addresses if you are all about digital greetings) are up to date. I also try to pick sets of cards that are appropriate for the person I’m sending it to – ie: Christ-themed cards for the church-going folks, fun holiday cards for those who celebrate differently, and this year a special New York City themed card for those in my neighborhood.
The idea is to send something that truly speaks to the heart of the recipient.
This little practice applied to managing your customer relations can bring outstanding results. (Tweet this!)
It’s the small details that make the biggest difference and this happens from the moment someone first hears your brand’s name to the final touch you give as the project ends or the product delivers (and many times even beyond).
The thing is you may have every intention to create fabulous customer service, but if you don’t have procedures in place to send these communications to every single potential, current, or former client you will fall short and could be leaving money on the table or leaving your customers with a bad taste.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be thoughtful. To help you out, here are a few questions to ask yourself in each stage of the sales process:
- Are you making it easy for people to schedule work with you or reach out to your for questions?
- Do you provide an FAQ?
- Have any testimony’s or a portfolio?
- Do you have a smooth purchasing process?
- Once clients sign up have you explained the process of how the project will flow
- Are you proactively following up?
- Have you set up an easy way to collect project details?
- Do you provide special communications for former clients to let them know you are available to help on other projects or to see how the service you provided is helping?
- Do you have a plan for managing refunds/returns?
- Will you be sending greetings or special offers to clients (birthdays/holidays/special member discounts)?
Now I have to be completely honest with you – I am currently working through all of these questions as I build up for the official launch of my signature organization package so I don’t have everything I listed above detailed on my site or completely ironed out yet, but I’ve been taking the start-before-you-are-ready approach.
Once you get good at creating systems, sometimes you have to just throw some action out there to get yourself moving and then gracefully build those systems into support your growth.
For example, I’ve had over 15 years of dance training – perfecting my technique in ballet and other forms, but then I started doing improvisation to explore new movements. I’d built up a structure in my physical abilities so I felt comfortable jumping in head first. The choreography came by taking that mashup of moves and making something harmonious out of it.
Basically what I mean, is sometimes the actions you take with intention will set in motion the processes that will fulfill your goal. That’s what I am doing right now.
I share this because I want you to know that I am serious about practicing what I share on this blog and not just giving out useless tips. If you truly apply yourself to answering the above questions like I am, I can promise you, the results will be significant.
Just think of all of the times you had an outstanding customer experience (and all the times you had terrible ones). How much did that affect your decision to use/work with that brand again
Here’s to putting heart + soul into your systems. It doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, it can become the most blissful aspect of your business!