As public relations professionals, we’re a lot of things: writers, consultants, friends, creative gurus – you name it. While we play many different roles, we’ve certainly learned that no matter what it is we’re doing, customer service is always an integral part of it. After all, when you’re working to enhance the reputation of other companies, it is vital to ensure that you have a top-notch one of your own – and that starts with great customer service.
Whether it’s helping someone tell their story, launch a campaign or develop their brand, we work with the mindset that the client comes first – always. And, well, we’ve found that it pays off quite nicely! Here are a few core values to keep in mind when it comes to providing excellent customer service:
- Communication. It may be a question, concern, or even an off-the-wall suggestion, but acknowledging a client’s communicative efforts is key. While we all face the daily struggle of juggling multiple projects, deadlines, and demands, this should be no excuse for allowing your clients to feel as though their requests are going unnoticed – after all, they are the people that drive business! Rather than letting what seems like a petty email sit in your inbox for days on end, take a quick moment to acknowledge the communication. This is a simple way to assure your clients that they truly are a priority amongst all of your other duties.
- Gratitude. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: A small “thank you” can go a long, long way. Sure, if you work in PR, it’s likely that you are the one working your tail off to meet client demands. However, thanking clients for their business and trust will make your relationship – and your company’s reputation – that much stronger. Send out a small token of your gratitude during the holidays – and really stand out by doing so for a unique, typically overlooked holiday – or reach out after a big event and let your client know that you truly enjoyed being a part of it. Oftentimes it’s these small, but noteworthy efforts that leave a lasting impression.
- Consistency. In addition to providing quality work, the ability to build personal, humble relationships is undoubtedly one of many small business ‘perks.’ However, as small businesses grow larger and even more successful, maintaining genuine relationships and an unparalleled work ethic can prove to be more of a challenge. In order to ensure that customer service remains a top priority, continued consistency in both of these areas is crucial. As your client list expands, so should your efforts to maintain your “small-business” mindset. Remaining reliable in these areas will only lead to increased success, and, not to mention, a reputation for remarkable customer service.
Do you have anything to add to the list? If so, let us know. We’re all ears! For more customer service advice, read Lori Prosio’s Sacramento Business Journal article: http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/print-edition/2014/03/14/job-1-keep-customers-happy.html