I recently had to deal with my primary medical care provider to obtain information that another doctor needed. It was time consuming and frustrating! One person didn’t know what the other was doing, and after numerous emails, time on “hold”, I finally spoke with a person who said, “Oh yeah, no problem, I’ll take care of that”. Why did it take a week to get resolution? After breathing a sigh of relief and uttering a few choice words under my breath, my next thought was that I don’t ever want any of my clients to go through that (or think those #!*# things about me or my business).
The value of providing clear and prompt responses to a client is invaluable and starts with one’s approach to office management. Does someone answer the phone and/or check voice messages regularly? Is there a standard for when an email should be responded to – same day, one business day? I recently lost a sale as I returned a call fifteen minutes after the person left a message, but in that fifteen minutes, the person moved on to someone else. Now that would seem an impossible task to return every message in such a short time span, but it sure sends the message home.
Here are a few tips that may help you avoid losing clients or frustrating them with delays or incomplete information:
- Develop a staffing procedure, with a backup person(s) and plan on standards for answering and returning calls and emails in a reasonable and timely manner. Implement it consistently.
- Respond to the question or need promptly and correctly. There is no harm in saying ‘I’m not sure, let me get you an answer”, as long as you do so. Being prompt and correct are not mutually exclusive.
- Cross train your team so any person can help the client. Try to avoid putting people on hold or bouncing them to different team members.
- Be courteous and patient. Just because you are the smartest agent or broker ever doesn’t mean the person at the other end of the conversation understands or can keep up with your terminology, acronyms or information.
- The best client is an informed client. A client who understands and agrees with your plans and actions will be one who trusts you and will stay a client.
Getting and keeping clients is hard. While we may think we can all sell ice cubes at the North Pole, if our clients can’t reach us, don’t understand us or don’t get resolution to their concerns, we will all have an abundance of ice cubes, but very few clients. Wishing you health, prosperity and an abundance of happy clients!
Vice President of Marketing & Sales
The Landy Insurance Agency
781.292.5417 | firstname.lastname@example.org