Having spent a few years in the call center proved to be the best training ground for me prior to my entry to the freelance world. I was immersed in a customer service oriented line of business (LOB), honed to provide consultative selling when my brain tells me i'm not a sales guy, and tested my character in dealing with difficult people when my mind keeps on yelling to stop being a saint. And I must say it was a total transformation of who I really am. That's how good my training was 🙂 Thanks should surely be accorded to the trainers who've handled our class, whom I can say, brought out the best in me. [blockquote align=”right”]You don't really need to do much advertising yourself. You just have to do the best to give out that WOW experience and the clients you work with will be your own salespeople.[/blockquote]
For all those years in an environment where I talked to people with different attitude and character, I never realized that it will actually be the same way that I'd be dealing with my clients, just in a different perspective. And one thing i've learned and continue to apply is the fact that a “WOW” experience is the kind of customer service that draws new business. You don't really need to do much advertising yourself. You just have to do the best to give out that WOW experience and the clients you work with will be your own salespeople. A few thoughts:
Customer service is about relationships. I couldn't forget how Celest (not the real name) would constantly pound us with reminders to build rapport, create a connection. As I look back in my 3 years of being a freelancer, that also proved to be one effective way of establishing long term work relationship. Most of the client I worked with are either in Australia, US and the UK but the cultural difference never became a hindrance but a bridge for me to learn more about them and showcase what our beautiful country offers (Like, it's more fun in the Philippines). Relationship is about trust and honesty. If you are honest, you build trust. And if you build trust, it works like a magnet that pulls to you new opportunities.
Customer service has to be persistent. I've received a lot of complaint calls, countless of them. But one thing never stops, and that is for me to provide great customer service. There are those who showed rudeness, indifference, racism, but if you insist on giving a wonderful customer experience, they would realized in the end how they've been rude to you, indifferent to you, or racist but end the call with kind words and appreciation. That's how important persistent customer service is.
Customer service is not about you or your company, it's about the customer (obviously). That's exactly why it's “customer” service. And one vital component that this teaches is the importance of listening. There's no real customer service without someone listening. You simply cannot provide real, authentic, unadulterated customer centric service if you are not willing to listen.
Customer service must start from you. Put yourself in the other person's shoe and you'll know what customer service is all about. If you work with a client, think about the output you're going to submit if it's something you'll accept if you were in his case. This is probably the strongest point why we should keep customer service in our priorities, after all, if we are not satisfied with our own work, who would?
What's your client service strategy for your freelance work?
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