I am OBSESSED with happy customers! Sometimes my need to please clouds my judgeship w/pricing as in taking on a lot for very little. But when you get to the bottom of it all, what's a business without fantastic customer service? It's a business that is going to go out of business fast due to it's reputation. How hard is it to find the time when someone trusts you enough to pay in advance for your design skills, to return the favor with swift answers and samples? In my opinion not hard and part of the job. But these past 2 weeks I've heard some outrageous designer faux pas that resulted in them losing their sales and their clients coming to me for reworks or completely new graphics. So let's repeat Customer Service 101 for those that don't know it, which I'm sure most of you do;)
Awesome Customer Service Includes;
1. Keeping In Reasonable Contact With Your Customers
This means answering messages in a timely manner and responding to questions as fast as possible. The lines of communication are so important when working with a client.
2. Be Up Front With Pricing
Hidden costs are a definite no no if you want return business. Who wants to pay up front for something and then be held hostage for more money? Quote as much as possible before money exchanges hands and let your customers know the limits of their purchase.
Okay, this can go either way and I completely respect those that are strong enough to stand up for what's right and have a limit. On the other hand, if you send your client 3 samples and they HATE them all, why should they be stuck w/something because you have a limit? In this case I think it's sometimes better to part ways and give a partial refund. It's okay to admit you don't have the right style or can't work together. There is a tactful way do it and I'm sure most of you have done it before.
Please listen to what your client wants even if you think it's ridiculous. Not everyone is going to have the same thoughts on what makes up a good design. Example, if someone asks you to give them a bird don't give them a cow instead!! lol
5. I Appreciate You
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Everyone wants to feel like they are your only client, so why not? Say thank you and leave feedback right away.
6. Don't Bit Off More Than You Can Chew
There are 2 parts to this.. One, if someone asks you for something you KNOW you cannot do, be upfront and either recommend someone else for the job or politely refuse. The second part is don't take on too much work at one time or both you and the client will suffer. I am extremely guilty of this and although I think it's come out okay so far, I do spend my whole life working. Too much at once = slow production = angry clients.
I'm sure there's a lot more and if I can think of them I'll add to the list. Please post your comments too.