We all know that when you are pulled into meetings, phone calls, dozens (even hundreds) of emails per week, and walk-ins in throughout your work day it disrupts the flow of work, pushes timelines, and makes for an inefficient operation for employees and clients alike.
Organizations know they need someone in a role that communicates with clients, they know it will improve customer satisfaction, but never want to invest (e.g. it eats into their profits) in such a role. Often an organization will allocate a small part of a person’s (or multiple employees) time to it. This causes a system that actually can be even more inefficient. This is why as an organization we added Lorissa to our team with just one job duty of communicating with our clients. This dedicated position will make certain customer communication happens. We even have set parameters that we will add another person in this position when we reach certain thresholds so that we don’t run into a situation where our coordinator is overworked and create failure in communication. Our project coordinator position, which we call the Time Keeper, has the sole responsibility to communicate with the customer, put in tasks for the team, double-check the tasks that the team did, and get back with the client that the changes are done. This role has no other functions and how it will stay.
We previously emailed clients every month but often never heard from them or “all is okay”. Not super helpful when our goal is to help them grow. Some clients asked for meetings, we met with them, and they are growing. Over time they have grown and we now meet with members of the team rather than the owners (as they are running their business). When we did talk with clients we found that many didn’t know all that they had available to them (for no additional cost) or they said they wanted to meet and it fell off the teams radar due to others just walking in and things getting lost. Lorissa is our “agent of change” when it comes to this improved communication with fixes for everything we’ve previously seen. She will be doing the following with every client
- Communicate via their preferred communication
- Communicate at the frequency that works for them
- Push for meetings to help our clients better take advantage of the services available to them that don’t cost any more money!
It’s never a good thing to have X, Y, and Z available to you, and paying for it, when you only take advantage of X and Y. Z may be the growth catalyst you need to take your business to an entirely new level.
Since starting last Thursday she has already been in several meetings and going through every client’s tasks in the system. She has been meeting with the primary and secondary person on their accounts and prioritizing who to talk to first. Key items she’ll be going over with everyone is:
- What services you have and don’t have
- Your preferred communication method and how often
- Where have we made mistakes for you and how can we fix it
- Work on your marketing plan if that is one of the items you have
- How we can help you grow (as that’s what all of this is about)
Lorissa is always available via our support email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s an easy to remember email and one that will get items done faster than any other. Lorissa will be the key person handling all meetings. A single point of contact so there is no guessing on who does content writing, graphic design, web design, programming, videography, SEO, or social media.
The workflow we are working towards is as follows and I truly think is as efficient as one can get with double-checks and a high level of client communication happening.
- Email received (email@example.com)
- Entered in as a Task in the system
- Assigned to one or more individuals
- Notifications set to those not directly working on the task but want to be aware of any changes.
- Estimate the amount of time to be done
- Enter in as much detail
- Reply back to the client with Task #
- We can come up with a standard copy/paste message that keeps it simple while also letting them know they can check the status with a portal account
- Follow-up with who assigned to
- Daily alerts sent of all open tasks assigned to the team member
- Validate everything meets the criteria
- Contact client back via their preferred method once the requested items are done
- If can’t be reached another method
- If items are over an extended period of time (not quick changes) communicate with the client throughout the entire process