I was sitting at a local restaurant recently, catching up with my college classmates, when our waitress approached our table. She came up to us then pleasantly and earnestly asked, “Are you going to keep talking or do you intend to order something?” It’s troubling how ill-suited many individuals are to be a part of the service industry. But it is a relief that, in my view, every service provider who wants to succeed can easily learn what it takes to excel in his or her chosen service field. Courtesy, responsiveness, effort, promptness, honesty and results are a few of the characteristics necessary. Are you proactive to a client’s or customer’s needs or are you only reactive? Are you struggling to keep up and keep several plates in the air at once or have you created an environment where each client feels that he/she has your attention? Whether you are a waiter, a sales professional, a CPA or a lawyer, focusing on being more proactive and on the basic traits above will help you keep your client/customer and lay a foundation for getting new business, as well.
Strive to earn a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10 and empower your staff to aspire to the same goals. Good service is not only evaluated by the end result but by every interaction. Do you respond to phone calls or letters/communications daily? Do you bill fairly and in a manner that adds value to the case? Do you hold the client’s hand when necessary? Do you keep clients updated on the status of their case and promptly tell them of any recent developments? Do you offer the client an opportunity to provide input or feedback? Do you ever provide information or engage with your client for free? How about remembering a client’s birthday, or his/her spouse’s/partner’s and children’s names? None of these are difficult to implement but each of these points increases the measure of a service provider’s worth. As a waiter, these qualities help increase your returning and satisfied customers and ultimately lead to more and bigger tips. In every other service industry, these simple steps, coupled with superior results, will lead to client satisfaction, referrals and an enhanced reputation.
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