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What is Client Servicing?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Companies with a high customer retention rate know the value of client servicing. Essentially, this is the process of creating and maintaining a strong working rapport with each customer. Often referred to as customer care, it is about understanding the needs and desires of the customer, and moving to meet those needs in a proactive manner.

While there are a number of client service programs on the market today, there are a few elements that form the basis for any type that is effective. One of the most important keys is providing the client with people who know the account well and are able to be of assistance whenever needed. This means looking beyond the data that is gathered during the sale cycle. Client servicing dictates that the vendor develop a working knowledge of the goals of the customer, the conditions that the client works within, and what expectations must be met in order to keep the client.

Many companies make the mistake of securing a new customer, then never allow the sales contact to introduce other support personnel to the new client. Often referred to as a handoff, this allows the customer to be incrementally migrated from relying on the sales contact and begin to develop a relationship with customer care professionals. The idea is to help the new client understand that he or she has a support team that is in place for the long haul.

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Quality efforts in client servicing involve maintaining regular contact with the customer. Often, vendors choose to schedule these contacts to suit their own goals, rather than consider the needs of the customer. Simply put, it does not matter if the vendor likes to speak with each customer once a week — if a client finds this approach to be invasive and inconvenient, he or she will shortly look for a new vendor. Smart companies understand the service part of the relationship, and structure regular contacts with the customer that work well with the customer’s culture. Often, the contacts may be phone calls, site visits, or emails, depending on the desires of the customer.

Ideally, this process is all about listening to the customer, getting to know the client, and genuinely seeking to be there for the customer in every possible manner. Generally, this approach builds a strong relationship that withstands provocative offers from competitors, creates opportunities for upselling, and also leads to excellent word of mouth for the vendor.

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Bakersdozen
Post 3

@Windchime - When I worked in a similar field to your sister we had access to an online client service system, so I know it is possible.

It is a bit of an investment, but it can double up as a fundraising aid. That's a really important part of working for a charity, and was my primary responsibility.

It's easy to lose track of people who support your work, or to pester them by mistake. Neither of which is going to make your line manager very happy!

Windchime
Post 2

This sounds like a great system for a business, but I wonder if it has any wider uses. Is it possible that client service software could be used by people working in non profit fields?

I'm asking because my sister works with young adults who have special needs. She's always complaining about how much time the paperwork takes up. As a case worker she needs to track aid, apply for grants, schedule meetings and much more. This sounds like a great way to help with all of that.

Potterspop
Post 1

Someone told me I'd be good at this kind of work so I've been searching for a client services job description. This article makes the expectations on both sides really clear, and I can see it would be a position which makes the most of my people skills. Thanks for the information and tips.

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