As the market becomes increasingly saturated, it’s critical to set your company apart from the competition — and top-tier customer service is one of the best ways to do so. The special events industry is service-driven and, in that, personalized customer service is truly what keeps a client coming back for more.
Events are a personal investment for our clients. Most fuel their visions with emotions and details drawn from their backgrounds, so they value the companies that make them feel like a priority. They want their celebrations to feel handcrafted, not manufactured.
Quality customer service is the key to reaching today’s client on their level and converting them to lifelong clients — as well as winning over their friends and family members. Here are a few tips to elevate the customer service in your company.
In the age of smartphones and same-day deliveries, people value instant gratification more than ever before. Clients want their questions answered now, and they need to be able to reach you. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have business hours — boundaries are still important. However, there should be some way for them to get in contact with a representative at any given time.
During our business hours, we can be reached by email or phone. But once we’re “closed,” we still have a 24/7 on-call phone system that will ping one of our team members to call back. At no point will a client be left unanswered — there will always be a live person to reach. We’ve noticed that today’s clients prefer digital communication, so we stay on top of our email/unread messages and offer online chat to provide immediate answers as best as possible.
Even if your clients aren’t reaching out on their own accord, your team should still be providing regular updates to keep them in the loop. From the time the salesperson takes their order to the actual event, they should always know where your team is in the planning process.
Our sales team is checking in with clients regularly to finalize numbers, confirm details, and manage changes — this shows the client that we are on top of their event and makes them feel like they’re our only client. Communication is essential, so make it a top priority in your team.
Train for consistency
Consistent customer experience is the key to a successful business that will last in the industry for years. Each client should be provided with the same quality service, no matter who they are working with for their event. Review your training procedures to identify gaps and encourage continued education for your whole team. We all need a refresher from time to time.
In our company, we do role-playing activities and record phone calls so each staff member can evaluate their progress and learn where they need to improve. We also provide our team with training tools and resources like webinars, sales podcasts, and books for constant growth.
Clients simply want to be heard. Listen to them and do what needs to be done to make them happy. If there’s an issue, find a way to fix it. Always be proactive and take responsibility — never blame a client. If you can find solutions and treat your customers with respect, there’s a good chance they’ll forget any issues that arise and sing your praises to their network.
As long as you make a client feel important and perform your role from front-end to back-end, the quality service will be what brings them back. Form a partnership with a client, and you will have a customer for life.
Heather Rouffe is the Director of Sales and Partner of Atlas Event Rental, a full-service event rental company serving the Southern Florida market for over 30 years. Recently named one of the top 30 rental companies in the US by Special Events Magazine, Atlas provides top quality products and unparalleled customer service to each and every customer.