We just wanted to give you a sneak peek at what we’ve been working on lately here at Coles Marketing. We love providing our clients with creative designs and seeing how they transform into things like this beautiful Corporate Overview Brochure for D-A Lubricant Company!
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It’s a fact: service-committed organizations are more profitable, have lower marketing costs, suffer fewer client complaints and enjoy more repeat business than those with little or no commitment to client satisfaction.
Whether in the smallest town or the largest city, you are your practice, firm or company. Everything you say and do impacts your image positively or negatively. Therefore, everything about you – from your personal appearance, to the way you deal with your employees and clients – is a billboard advertising your firm. Here are some client-satisfaction tips to help you attain or polish a positive image and retain valued clients:
Knowledge of the Client
Go straight to the source. Ask your clients, what do you need and expect from our firm? Do the supporting divisions (clerical staff, billing, etc.) of our firm work seamlessly and equally as hard to serve you? Which details have the most positive or negative impact on your satisfaction?
Once you have asked these questions, you’ll find that clients will generally evaluate your service quality on the following factors:
• Reliability: The ability to provide as promised, dependably and accurately.
• Responsiveness: Helping clients eagerly and in a timely manner.
• Assurance: The competence, trustworthiness and courtesy that is shown.
• Follow-through: Paying attention to often-ignored details.
Good client service does not mean doing the impossible. The tendency is to promise the client “the moon” in order to cut-off the competition. There’s one problem with this approach: it’s impossible to deliver “the moon” on a regular basis. And, once you have managed the impossible once, you have created an unrealistic expectation. Attempting to achieve the impossible too often may create a high level of turnover and ultimately results in a service failure. This may result in a client who doesn’t return or, worse yet, in one who tells others about their unhappy experience.
Conversely, being reliable puts you in a position to shape your clients’ expectations to match what you can provide. It’s in your firm’s best interest to educate your clients regarding your work requirements, timetables and processes. There will be occasions when circumstances will not allow you to meet a client’s needs. If you have dealt reliably with that client in the past and explain your situation, along with your unwillingness to disappoint them, then your client will know that you have been honest and concerned about his or her satisfaction.
Timely response has always been important in business. Be sure to ask your client some background about his or her project and its urgency so that you can gauge what he or she really needs before setting a deadline. If your deadline doesn’t work for the client, partner with them by working within reasonable bounds to get them as much of what they need as you can within the time constraints. If it simply can’t be done, brainstorm alternatives.
Dissatisfaction is usually a byproduct of uncertainty. Educate your client on matters where you think he or she may be confused or uninformed. This will help to put your client at ease, and instill them with trust in you to keep them informed.
There’s no substitute for competence. Good service is built on attention to detail and client needs. Good service is also built on knowledge, confidence and know-how. Good reputations are built on assurance, the substance that makes your clients believe you will deliver:
• Client knowledge
• Legal knowledge
• Company knowledge
• Listening skills
• Problem-solving skills
Send a service evaluation form to your clients. The information you get from it will help you gauge your success, and it will leave the client feeling as if his or her future satisfaction is truly your goal. Similarly, a sincere and timely note of thanks to clients can create a positive impression, boosting your image and bringing repeat business.
In a world long on hype and short on quality, most people are willing, even eager, to share their discovery of good service. Maintaining good service is maintaining your good reputation – the most effective (and least costly) form of advertising available.Edit this post
Pinnacle Worldwide, a global network of independent public relations agencies with more than 50 offices worldwide, including Coles Marketing Communications in Indianapolis, has formed a strategic alliance with 27&More, an international public relations network covering 44 countries.
Established in September 2007 in Frankfurt, 27&More began as a partnership of prominent European PR agencies which all had one main focus — to provide strategic communication services with flexibility, effectiveness and an integrated approach to worldwide clients. Individual members of both Pinnacle Worldwide and 27&More have long-standing business relationships. Coles Marketing Communications is the Pinnacle Worldwide representative in Indiana.
“This alliance between Pinnacle Worldwide and 27&More gives firms like Coles Marketing Communications the opportunity to reach an even wider landscape of global coverage for their clients,” said Coles Marketing Communications Vice President Brian Coles. “It will help firms within the partnership continue to thrive and establish high-quality practices, concepts and relationships in an ever-changing business landscape.”
Ruud Bijl, President of Bijl partners in public relations in the Netherlands, and President and Co-founder of 27&More said, “The strength of our new alliance lies in the fact that we have hand-picked the best consultancies in each country rather than relying on ‘outposts’ of a big brand to deliver. That means quality consulting delivered by experts wherever the need, and for brands seeking sound strategic support and quality delivery regardless of location. That’s a very strong offer indeed.”
“With our combined strength providing access to highly-respected offices around the world, this partnership expands the reach for our clients and members alike,” said Donna Vandiver, President and CEO of The Vandiver Group, Inc., in St. Louis, Mo., and President of Pinnacle Worldwide.Edit this post