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The Art of Meaningful Personal Connections

Is Your Customer Service Wow-Worthy?

Lessons to learn from Ruby's Customer Happiness Team.

By Markie Johansen

Even in this high-tech age, focusing on the human element of your law practice can be your most valuable tool in impressing clients and potential clients.

In fact, a report by information consulting firm Walker forecast that by 2020, customer service will replace price as the key brand differentiator.

Surprised? Consider this: Word-of-mouth continues to be the most effective form of marketing in the business toolkit, and it is virtually free.

So, how do you also create experiences worthy of your clients’ loyalty? Here are tactics used by Ruby Receptionists.

Enter the Service Pyramid

Inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Ruby’s Service Pyramid starts with basic business fundamentals and works up to the finer elements of our service.

Ruby Service Pyramid

We could break down the entire pyramid, but let’s skip straight to the heart of the matter.

Meaningful Connections Are the Apex of Customer Service

Ruby has built its business on this idea. But, would meaningful connections matter to clients if we weren’t able to pick up their calls? Probably not.

Would it even be possible to connect with our clients if we didn’t deliver on the promise of our service? Nope.

Investing in the proper infrastructure (technology, staffing, systems) and monitoring appropriate metrics is essential in reaching a point where you can truly wow your customers.

The Next Steps?

There are a few steps between the bottom (infrastructure) and the top of our service pyramid (meaningful connections), but assuming you’ve gotten the hang of fostering a little happiness, anticipating clients’ needs and doing what you say you’ll do, you’re ready to …

Reach Out and Go the Extra Mile: The Art of Personal Connection

One fateful morning in Ruby history, a member of our Customer Happiness team was wrapping up a call with a customer:

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Well, we are pretty hungry. Lunch would be great!”

After a shared laugh, the call ended and the Ruby team member began to wonder … can I just send them a pizza?

Voila. Just like that, our WOW program was born. We’ve been sending coffee cups with tea for a pick-me-up, sick packs, onesies and more ever since.

But the WOW program it isn’t just about the gifts. It’s about being human and engaging with our customers in a way that matters.

So, when the time comes, how do you determine what to send a client? When to send something? How do you even make these connections in the first place?

Here’s how we coach around the art of personal connections:

  1. Friendliness is key. Minding your p’s and q’s goes a long way in building rapport between you and your client.
  2. Ask open-ended questions to spark connections.
  3. Listen. Genuinely listen to your clients and you will offer something rare and invaluable in today’s world of business. Did a customer mention how excited they are about the Lakers game tonight? Are they sniffling through a cold?
  4. Follow up. Sometimes a handwritten notecard is all it takes to make someone’s day.
  5. If you’re sending a gift, make sure it makes sense. Keep it:
    • Personalized — a Lakers hat for the fan excited for the Lakers game.
    • Appropriate — the items you send represent your firm.
    • Practical — the recipient should be able to use it.
    • Timely — send your gift along quickly to ensure relevance.

In taking the time to foster a connection, you’re elevating the experience of your client and that of your employees.

It’s All About Engagement (Oh, and Referrals)

Referrals are the cherry on top of creating meaningful connections.

Since launching our WOW program, customers have made it a point to share their enthusiasm for these gifts. From Instagram and Facebook posts to giving us a shoutout in a blog about the ROI of personalized customer service, our customers have let us (and their friends) know that this way of doing business means something to them.

And, as a company that strives to perpetuate meaningful connections in an increasingly technology-focused, virtual world, that’s all we could hope for.

How Will You Deliver Wow-Worthy Service?

Here are four points to remember in your quest to provide wow-worthy customer service:

  • Deliver a quality service or product.
  • Get to know your clients.
  • Connect and WOW.
  • Earn referrals.

Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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Markie Johansen

Markie Johansen is the Content Marketing Specialist at Ruby Receptionists. She is an avid reader, chocolate-eater, and lifelong logophile fueled more by curiosity than actual skill.

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