Clockwork Director Andy Milner took a little time out of his schedule this week to address a vital component of business success: customer service. Drawing on his background in the finance world and a career that spans decades, Andy tells us exactly how Clockwork manages to deliver a world-class customer service experience every single time…
Q: What is good customer service?
A: Call me old school, but I think good customer service is as simple as getting the basics right – every time. That was true 20 years ago, in my former life at a large financial organization, and it is still true today.
Q: Can you give us an example of what you mean by ‘the basics’?
A: Yes – I can give you a few! Here’s a recent example from Clockwork’s day-to-day business, when we were presenting to a new client:
1: Be early! We arrived 20 minutes before the meeting, and used the time to set up everything we needed in the boardroom.
2: Be prepared! In this case, we made sure we knew the ins-and-outs of the organisation we were dealing with. That means doing a minimum level of research: use Google. Check out their LinkedIn profile, and the profiles of people who work there (as well as other social media platforms, if appropriate). Can you request a free brochure? Is there anyone you should talk to before you meet them officially?
3: Be personal! Every situation is unique, and needs to be treated as such. In this case, we made sure our demonstration was personalised to the client. You don’t have to go above-and-beyond, just show a basic level of care: use their name, use their logo, make sure that you are talking directly to their needs, etc.
This is very basic stuff that everyone should be doing. But they are not. In this example, the client in question also met with two of our competitors, and they both failed on all three points.
Q: In your opinion, what turns good customer service into world-class customer service?
A: That’s easy: the ability to deal with complex problems as easily as simple ones. Customers generally know when they are posing difficult questions, but if the service you provide is as helpful, personal, and quick as it is when they want something very simple done, then you are delivering a world-class service. The key to this is also simple: invest in continual staff training.
There’s no better way to convey your credibility than providing high quality customer service; conversely, if you can’t deliver on this crucial element of business, it is clear that you are lacking something vital.
That’s why Clockwork strives to be world class: we get the basics right first, and ensure that all of our clients are satisfied.