Entering any market when you have a small business is a challenge in itself. The tiniest of things can either make or break you. One of the most important features to run a small scale business is client servicing. For businesses with few clients and a limited team it is difficult to display a successful brand. However, with great communication and client servicing a small scale business can easily stand out in a chaotic market.
Expanding a small business based on customer evaluations
Making a brand and telling your story is a critical task. You have to control the narrative you put out there in the world for your business. For example, Airbnb changed their model when it launched for the third time. Once they had enough bookings they started to go to their clients’ houses and asked them what more can Airbnb do for them?
A basic three star to eleven star phenomena was applied. Where eleven star is when Elon Musks comes to welcome you at the airport and takes you to space. The two founders went door to door to figure out a doable strategy that suited their brand. Just the fact that the owners themselves were so involved in making clients’ experiences seamless gave them the brand integrity they needed. This client servicing also helped them integrate pictures on their website on a client’s recommendation. Furthermore, they also addressed problems linked with their registration processes and made it easier as suggested by a host.
How to do client servicing?
However, it is difficult to strike a balance between phenomenal client communication and being exploited. Often large scale companies sign with a small scale business to get services on lower rates. Which means paying less than what the services are actually worth. To a businessman, this deal will be fruitful for the short term but will have lots of negative consequences in the long run. Compromising your rates and then over-delivering can cause your brand serious harm. So how to maintain a balance?
1- Maintain trust
Once you take a client on board it is necessary to establish trust. Try to emphasize on the fact that you are working WITH them, not for them. Make a contract for a partnership even if you are servicing them. The goal is; if your client makes money, you make money. This establishes an underlying level of trust without explicitly asking for their trust in your company and your service. This is one of the many pillars of client servicing which makes your client feel exclusive and important.
2- Listen to all their problems
You might just be providing them one service. Although, if you are affiliated with them for one service; you are a part of the team. You may not be able to solve their problems but lend an ear. Yes, you are running a company yourself and have millions of issues of your own but their problems lie with you too.
3- Over deliver or under deliver?
When you draft a contract make the deliverables clear. If your contract is vague and does not specify the exact amount or the time of payment you are setting yourself up for problems in the future. You can go beyond your deliverables only if the payments are coming through and the client is responsive. Over delivering is critical and if done probably can give you huge returns. Clients talk in their circles and bring you more work if they are happy with you. Networking always works and what is a better pitch than the word of mouth?
4-Restrict your work hours
Do not be available 24/7. It is not only necessary for you to take a break but it should be communicated to your client as well. Whether or not you are working remotely should not influence your hours. Restrict your days and hours and make sure your clients are aware of them. This gives your business the professional outlook which it deserves and makes your client adhere to certain rules to contact you.
5- Open communication
If your business prioritizes email over messages, good for you. Emails always are a better option. But what if your client is too busy to check emails and it delays your work? Switch to WhatsApp Business or Google meet. Communicate the way they want you to communicate. Adding extra pressure on them will not benefit you in making your name but accommodating them will give you a good standing in their circle.
These small things can make a huge impact on your brand. Air BnB, Facebook, and many other brands have modified and expanded the way their clients wanted them too. Staying close to your clients helps you monitor your progress. Moreover, it gives you an understanding of your clients’ wants and assists you in constructing an expansion plan.