Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Who has time to chat regularly when there is WORK TO BE DONE?!
Most people are naturally trusting until a person breaks their trust. From that point on, depending on the damage done, a person may become jaded, antsy, and distrustful. Being the good-natured, non-shady, hardworking business person that you are, you may not find it necessary to do customer service check-ins after you initially make the sale.
Most people are fine with this.
Some people immediately begin to panic after contact with you has stopped.
In your defense, it is not customary for some industries to check in with clients; a mechanic, for example, does not usually constantly call the client about what is being done on the car; the mechanic usually quotes a price and prospective timeline, the client agrees and pays, and the mechanic disappears for days or weeks and does the work.
DM Web Services actually has an entire service DEDICATED to clients who have been ripped off by other web designers. On our YouTube channel, we have a playlist called Before v. After where we list what the customer got from the other guys and how we fixed the situation. You can check it out here:
The name of our service for this is WEB DESIGN RESET.
Now, let's say you are a film editor and it usually takes you 6 weeks to work on your freelance projects. If you notice that some clients get antsy halfway through the contract period and begin calling and texting you repeatedly and they seem to get nervous about whether or not you have skipped town never to be heard from again after paying $25,000, you may need to offer customer service.
Yes, it can be a daunting task to call 17 clients a week with updates for each when you are spending 8 hours a day editing a film project. After all, you got into the film editing business not to offer full time or even part time customer service, but to employ yourself as a FILM EDITOR.
Film editing is all you want to do.
However, customer service is necessary.
Some people have been hurt and taken advantage of.
The client wants to hear from your company.
You cannot disappear into the bat cave as the rockstar, creative, entrepreneur that you are and emerge later without checking in.
The people need to know you're alive and that you're not a scam artist.
When a client pays $15,000 on a project, they want to make sure it's in good hands - especially if you are a new company or if they simply don't know you.
You don't want frantic phone calls from clients; you want clients to remain updated and assured.
You can contract this task out to an independent contractor on a commission rate of perhaps 3% per client (which could really add up in their favor), you can pay a flat rate per task, or you can simply make a full-fledge position out of it.
We recommend that you pay a flat rate or a commission if you are a new company. Commission rewards workers for their work on a percentage basis. If the client is contributing $2,500 to the company, then 3% would be $75 for the customer service rep to do three to five 5-minute phone calls over a 6-week period. $75 for 25-minutes of talking and note-taking is not bad. That's nearly $150 an hour and the customer service representative can still keep his or her full-time job AND work from home. The downfall of this scenario is that every client is not a $2,500 client. Some times a client may be a $500 client. $500 clients are still worthy of wonderful customer service. However, you would want the customer service representative to still give the same phenomenal quality for $15 (3%). THIS IS UNFAIR MORALLY. It punishes the representative for having to work with a lower paying customer simply because you dropped your price to a very low amount. You could offer a base pay that would guarantee a certain amount to the customer service rep, but if you take a client for $500, after you pay local taxes, state faxes, federal taxes, software fees, your sales rep and staff, you may not be left with much. You want to solve problems, provide for others, and provide for yourself. Your business must be PROFITABLE.
Therefore, it would make more sense if you instead paid a flat rate for customer service and simply do not let your prices drop below a certain threshold so that you can still properly support your staff.
The rate for the representative should be FAIR, CONSIDERATE, and CONSISTENT.
Your instructions for the rep should be CONCISE.
Your output from your representative should be MEASURABLE.
Human resources are the most important component of your business. When you take care of people, they will take care of you.
Yes, you are awesome.
No, you cannot do it all.
Pay for the NECESSARY tasks that you don't have time to do.
Your business depends on it.