Lately I’ve been talking a lot about setting boundaries with clients to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. It’s an important aspect of business, but it really is a two way street. I think that customer service is an important value you can add to your business. It’s what makes some clients return again and again to work with writers with average skills let alone writers who know how to get results.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t always work on improving your skills as a writer. If you don’t provide value and results you won’t have very many clients anyway. But being a pleasure to work with is important too. My mother always said having a good attitude can open a lot of doors.
Now don’t confuse providing your clients excellent customer service with being a rug to be walked on. I’m talking about common sense gestures - the same ones we appreciate when paying for a service:
1) Be reliable. When I’m paying good money for something I expect reliability. If something goes wrong, I expect some empathy and an offer to make things right when possible. Do what you say you will when you say you will.
2) Be positive. Even if you only communicate with clients by email, you can still present a positive persona. Nothing irks me more than having to deal with a negative attitude when I’ve been nothing but nice. If you’re dealing with a crabby client, being friendly might help turn things around. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true: a positive attitude is contagious.
3) Anticipate your client’s needs. Many times the clients seeking our services are confused. They may be unable to clearly communicate what they need, or you may be able to help them achieve better results by offering additional services. This is not only good customer service, it also make you indispensable.