Making Time to Serve Your Customers
This post is Day 18 in the 31 Days to a Super-Purposeful Schedule series.
Yesterday I shared a quick overview of how putting Systems in place can help us be more purposeful with our time and the tasks we're able to accomplish. Specifically today we'll be talking about our "People" Systems. This includes relationships with our clients and subscribers.
If you don't have good "people" systems in place you'll find yourself dealing with the following...
- A lot of miscommunication. You feel like you're explaining things well, but they seem confused or seem to want you to do work beyond what you signed up for.
- Dreading your inbox because it's always overflowing with problems for you to solve or questions that take too much time to answer.
- A feeling of disconnect with your customers/subscribers. You might have Abandoned List Syndrome - you've let space grow between you and your peeps for so long that it feels like too little too late to go back and take care of them now.
Systems won't make all the problems go away, but they do give you tools to make life a little easier on you and your customers. They can come in the form of a knowledgebase to access when questions come up. Or scheduled routines that help you follow up with your fans and close the distance gap. Gathered feedback and discussion so you won't always be wondering how you're really doing. Templates and shortcuts to keep you from writing those same emails over and over. A manual to help you delegate tasks when you're ready to hire out. All of these examples are ways that you can use Systems to help you run and upkeep the business you started.
Easy Steps for Getting Started With Customer Systems
1 | Weekly maintenance checklist
One morning a week I spend the first block of the day on a checklist that focuses solely on these customer systems. On Mondays, I quickly run through the list to make sure I'm answering comments, checking feedback, tallying requests for future products, etc. I might directly talk to my inner circle of customers to ask their opinion of an upcoming product or find out how they liked something I just launched. Create a list to help you maintain the relationship with your customers instead of just losing track of them once they buy.
2 | Find one way weekly to Add value or a better experience
After running through the checklist, I try to work on one thing each week that offers value to my client experience. I want to get better at surprising and delighting them. Value can come in the form of an unexpected freebie, the inside scoop on tools I've found, an encouraging word about their newest project, featuring their work on social media, etc. Taking a little time to think about what might brighten their day in some small way is the goal. Find a way to help you think outside yourself and step into their shoes.
3 | Know who they are
You really can't do too much for your people without knowing who they are. So you can always use a CRM software like Insightly or Zendesk to help you remember who your clients are, what they purchased, which questions they've asked you. Luckily Etsy and Facebook does the majority of this work for me so I haven't really needed to use those just yet. They're worth checking out though and also integrate well with Quickbooks and Mailchimp.
4 | Create Resource Manuals
In order for my business to improve and be of service to customers, I need to be recording their preferences, requests, feedback and conflicts so that I can come up with the best solutions. I personally do this in the form of a Customer Handbook. I track details in Evernote digitally and keep a 3-ring binder that holds all of the printed information I need. Then I put the FAQs, support answers into email templates and a knowledgebase I can reference.
Creating these little resources help me prioritize my time and help with what customers seem to need first. As an added bonus, once they're pretty developed I'll be able to pass them off to a hired helper and save myself a lot of explaining.
They seem like small things time-wise, but I noticed my attitude start to change toward my customers as soon as I started implementing them. Taking the time to understand them better and care about what makes their lives easier, really will make a difference in the work we create as well. We'll want to do a better job, not just for our own credit or income. But because we'll know it's helping these people who have given us their trust.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links were used within this post and I may earn a commission for sharing. I do wholeheartedly recommend the products and services I share and all opinions are my own.
Today's Action Step:
Decide what customer systems you need to put into place to help you run your business. You can use the space in your workbook to create your own weekly checklist, sketch out plans or research your client's biggest needs. (*Note: if you're already subscribed and are having trouble accessing this page, email me for a refresher on the password. xo)