When you’re running a business, we often want to share our message and our content/products on as many platforms as possible to maximize how many people we are reaching. A business may have 6-8 different platforms running simultaneously.
What this means when it comes to customer service is that people have endless ways they can communicate with us and the more platforms we have, the more overwhelming it becomes. And as you grow your business, it’s only going to get more overwhelming. It’s so important, when it comes to communication pathways or any other aspect of your business, to have the right systems and processes in place.
I always encourage entrepreneurs to have these systems set up even very early in their business, when they feel like they might not be necessary because if you do the work then, when things are simpler, you won’t be scrambling later. I want you to think about and write down all of the different ways that people can contact you. What feelings come up for you when you look at your list? Is it too much? Overwhelming? Not enough?
How are you extending back that communication towards your audience? How are you responding to the questions and messages and comments? Do you have a system and a process in place for this? What is coming up for you that would be something you might need to shift so that this process is more sustainable in the long-term? Because here’s the thing – you’re in control.
What boundaries might need to be set? Are you at the whim of every comment and message, and you’ll stop what you are doing to reply to each one immediately? Perhaps that is working for you now, but as your business grows, this might not be a sustainable approach.
What fears do you have? Do you have fear that if you don’t respond right away, you’ll lose that customer/sale/person/etc.? You need to drop that because when you operate from a place of fear, you’re not operating from a place of control. Trust that if the time is right for that person, they will stay. And if it’s not, that’s okay too!
Here are some tips for streamlining this process:
Schedule Yourself. Instead of dropping whatever you’re doing to reply to each message when it comes in, maybe you need to carve out certain times during the day where you engage with your audience. Set yourself a time block when you respond to people and stick to it. When the time is up, it’s done unless you INTENTIONALLY add in more. The process should not take over your life.
Manage People’s Expectations. Set up auto-responders on your messages or your website, “Thank you so much for reaching out! I will get back to you within 24 hours” for example. Give people a touch point so they know what to expect from you. Just make sure that whatever you say, you honor it and stick to it.
Set up the Right Systems and Processes. If you’re in a position to do so, maybe you delegate and hire out an admin assistant to help with answering the “administrative” type requests and emails. If you spend a lot of your time communicating with people with regards to scheduling appointments, set up an online scheduler where people can see your availability and book their appointment online.
Drop your Expectations. Shift your mindset around the purpose of communicating with your audience and your clients. Drop the expectation that if you connect with them, then they “have to” buy your product or service or whatever it is you’re selling. Maybe you don’t think that you have expectations, but you might feel disappointment when you put a significant amount of time into nurturing a relationship and they say no. Shift your mindset here; first of all, if you’ve acted with integrity and respect, then it’s not personal. They are on their own path and your job is to communicate clearly and honor where they are at. Trust that if they’re the right person, they will come back.
Your needs, your health and your well-being need to be balanced with your client’s needs. Nurture those relationships and make your customer service a top priority; but you can do it without completely losing yourself in the process. Lead by example and show people how you can operate a business with boundaries, respect and trust.
What will be your legacy when it comes to your customer service? What do you want to be known and remembered for?
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