What the customer needs is the bottom line in e-commerce, for both small businesses and multinationals like Amazon. As coaches, we're always on the front line, dealing directly with our clients and attending to their needs.
But our client or customer service interactions primarily happen outside of sessions. It revolves around our clients’ experience with our business rather than the services themselves.
The ease with which new and current clients navigate our coaching services, communicate with us, and schedule or reschedule appointments affects whether a session will actually happen. Great customer service builds the trust needed to form relationships with clients and have successful sessions.
The purpose of customer service
Good customer service is all about helping your clients enjoy their experience and making their lives easier. It feels good to know we've made a client's day easier and can then have more productive sessions. Here are five reasons excellent customer service can help a coaching practice:
1. Customer retention
Losing a client can be devastating. Not only can it affect your income, but coaching is an ongoing process, meaning your old client needs to completely restart their journey somewhere else. You’ll also need to find a new client. But when clients get a taste of excellent service, they rarely give it up. A 2017 Global customer service report found that 96% of respondents cited good customer service as a critical factor for their brand loyalty. Investing in customer loyalty is ultimately cheaper and less effort than the alternative.
2. Employee retention
Positive customer experiences also result in a healthier company culture if you have the privilege of working with a team. Customer service representatives are more likely to be happy doing their jobs and stick around if they know they're engaging with satisfied clients. Similarly, investing in reps and letting them know they're appreciated will yield better service.
3. Brand image
Reputation is everything, and bad customer service doesn't help. Since so much of e-commerce — even coaching — happens online and through apps, having a clean, easy-to-use interface helps your brand image as a coach. It even makes you seem more credible and reliable. Having a cohesive brand message across any apps, websites, emails, and documents you provide will help your clients know you’re detail-oriented — which is important for a coach.
Satisfied customers will tell others how much they enjoyed their service through word-of-mouth or online reviews. In a 2015 study, 72% of customers surveyed stated they shared favorable experiences with six or more people. Conversely, the same survey found that 13% told 15 or more people about their poor experiences. Good or bad, customer service substantially impacts a coach's reputation and business.
5. Customer lifetime value
Happy clients are more likely to be loyal, spend more on additional services, and attract new clients. Building a client’s customer lifetime value (CLV) is more than worthwhile. CLV multiplies the average rate customers purchase services, the average value, and the client's lifespan to give insight into customers’ relationships with companies. This data allows business owners to project long-term growth regarding estimated profits and clients’ spending. Conversely, as life coaches, we often support our clients for the long haul, so leveraging excellent customer service is a great way to grow a practice.
Types of customer service initiatives
Every client has a preferred way of interacting with customer support. Running a coaching practice with an online presence entails multiple touch points to engage with clients. Having a robust strategy that incorporates the following channels could provide numerous opportunities to serve clients better:
Social media apps
Since many potential clients find coaching services and inquire about them through social media, checking direct messages and quickly responding to them is a good idea. Though it's not necessary to be on every app, having a presence where we know we'll find potential clients, like LinkedIn, is very useful.
As AI improves, it's not unheard of for an automated customer service representative to provide excellent service. Client relationship management software helps keep records to make dealing with ongoing administrative issues more efficient.
Clients feel great helping themselves and even have a boost of confidence as long as they know what they want and how to navigate the site. This said, we should always be prepared to offer impeccable customer support in case of any bugs.
When clients are on the go, having a high-quality mobile interface to send queries or even change appointments makes all the difference.
While technology helps create a comprehensive experience for clients, sometimes it's good to take the opportunity to meet in person. It’s reassuring for some clients to talk face-to-face. That's why we could benefit from taking time to practice our communications skills to ensure we make the best impression possible.
Good customer service: It makes the difference
Serving clients has immediate benefits for a life coaching practice and exponential value. And there are opportunities where providing excellent service can supercharge a career. Here are some additional benefits demonstrating the importance of customer service in sales:
Referrals are always great and are significant for customer acquisition. When someone with a substantial social media following broadcasts their customer satisfaction, it takes word-of-mouth advertising to the next level. There's no way to know who’ll become the next superstar, so treating everyone with the same level of courtesy and integrity goes a long way.
Quality customer service makes a huge difference when potential clients consider using our services. They're even willing to pay more for it. According to a PwC study, 73% of those surveyed say experience significantly impacts their purchasing decisions. When we promise to meet and exceed customer expectations, we put ourselves ahead of our competitors.
The bottom line
There are so many reasons why the customer is important. We learn how to work well for our clients and from our clients. Working with more clients due to the quality of our service allows more feedback, which we can leverage to improve quality even more.
The top 3 qualities of good customer service
Good service and what we tell our clients to practice to create their own success often overlap. Here are three traits we should teach our clients and adopt to be more professional and courteous:
- Prompt: By being proactive and ensuring we're responsive to our client's needs, we're sure to impress new and loyal customers.
- Positive: Customer satisfaction and self-satisfaction go hand in hand. By taking pleasure in a job well done (which includes empowering our support team), we can solve any client's issue with greater ease.
- Perseverant: We haven't finished our job until we have happy customers. That may not always be possible, but positive endings are something we should all aspire for.
Much more than a kind smile to customers
The importance of customer service in business ties directly to growing the customer base and retaining existing customers. We know our clients intimately, making customer care more meaningful. Quality tools to aid in our coaching process are critical to ensure our clients are satisfied and successful.
Practice knows the importance of customer service management and will help provide the tools a coach needs to provide excellent care for unlimited clients. Sign up for Practice to take your coaching to the next level.