C is for Client Care.

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Customer Care, Client Service, Service Delivery, call it what you want, it’s about looking after those who pay you, and in South Africa, and I fear the rest of Africa too, it’s sadly lacking for the most part.

In my book Working From Home as a Transcriptionist in South Africa, I’ve dedicated an entire section to obtaining and keeping customers. As a small business owner, you’ve probably put a lot of work into obtaining your customers. If you haven’t, you should be, but that’s a whole other topic. But many people seem to think that once they’ve got the customer, they can stop putting work into retaining them. That’s where many small businesses fall down and it contributes to the reason why many such businesses fail.

Once you’ve got the customer, you need to work on keeping them. For the purposes of this post I’m going to focus on the virtual industry, as opposed to retail or anything like that. So you’ve got your customer, and they decide they’re going to use your services.

There are a few basics a virtual service provider should keep in mind in order to keep that customer they’ve worked so hard for.

– Be professional and polite in all dealings. Ensure that the tone of correspondence is polite and professional at all times. Check and double check emails before they go out.
– Meet deadlines. If you say you’re going to be finished by a certain time, then be finished by that time.
– Keep the lines of communication open. If answering the telephone makes things difficult for you then ask the customer to communicate with you via email, Whatsapp or whichever other means is available, but keep that line of communication open. Don’t disappear.
– If you are subcontracting to another service provider, then remember that service provider is your customer. Treat them as such. Don’t be flippant, rude, or mess them around. They may need to use you again.
– Check your work and ensure that you provide a good quality service.
– Ensure that you have all the equipment you need – internet, computer, etc. Don’t moan to the customer how big their file is, etc etc – you’ve offered the service and this includes the tools to be able to provide the service.

This post is part of a blogging challenge I am participating in. For the preceding and following post, please click through to Pop Speaking, which is the other blog I am using to complete this A – Z challenge.