Achieving high levels of satisfaction from our clients often times rely on the input from our service providers. Yes, we form a PR strategy, implement and execute the deliverables, communicate with internal and external stakeholders and spend a lot of time positioning our clients. But think of our press releases and articles - we create an angle and edit the final content but the actual writing is done by a pool of experienced and committed writers. What about reports? Yes I put them together and go through the data with a fine comb - but the data comes from our media monitoring service provider. The same goes for our relationships with the media; we create, build and maintain relationships but we have a service provider that gives us a list of publications and media contacts to start with.
This is why we ensure that our service providers become more than just people we deal with. We spend a lot of time building relationships with these people and making them part of the team. We've found that putting time and effort into finding the right service provider for our business, leads to an improved service offering for our clients and higher levels of client satisfaction. So, when you need to choose a service provider for your business, make sure that they are willing and able to be be a part of your team and put the time and effort into getting to know your business - and being passionate about your business.
Here are tips on how to make your service provider part of your team
We all have busy lives and staying in touch with everyone sometimes feel impossible. But can you remember how special you feel when someone takes just five minutes to find out how you are doing? Not just the occasional retweet, post like or pin, but a genuine pick-up-the-phone-and-how-are-you. If they have children, make an effort to remember their names. Better yet, add these tiny details to your phone under their contact information. If they mention a special interest in a topic, bring it up on the next occasion. If you make them feel important and special, they will make an effort to look after you and your business.
Let’s face it, no service or product is ever 100% the way you would want it to be. But instead of complaining about the gaps rather give feedback about your experience. We’ve given feedback to both our monitoring service provider and our data base provider on areas we thought could do with some changes to make it more user friendly. In both instances they not only took it to heart, but implemented our suggestions into their system to improve their product in its entirety.
On the occasion that they weren’t able to implement our suggestion, they were however to provide alternative options to ease the way we used the system.
As I mentioned earlier, having the right type of service provider as a partner, we not only improve our service offering but also increase our client satisfaction. We place a special emphasis on these relationships and therefor take comfort in the fact that they have our back.