Putting systems in place that involve client intake will provide a smooth transition from a lead to a client. Client intake starts at the beginning with the initial contact. Give them your undivided attention. They want to know you are concerned about their pain points and issues. Getting vital information on the front end will save time and frustration for you and the client. Making a good first impression with the lead involves getting involved and asking the right questions first.
Green Industry Client Intake: Initial Contact
Do you make it easy for your client to contact you? Do you give them several options to contact you? Give people several ways to contact you. Some like to pick the phone up and talk to a live person. Others prefer to fill out a contact form online. Some don’t like leaving a message on a machine and will inevitably hang up. Giving people options to contact you on the website easily is helpful to pull in leads to your business. How do you like to make an initial inquiry? By phone or form? Think about the process you have in place. Is it tidy and easy to use? Is it easy to find your phone and contact information on your website? Look at it fresh from your client’s perspective. Get feedback from colleagues and associates to ensure you give your clients an A+ experience.
Client Intake: Listening
Use a set of qualifying questions to ask the customer. Once you determine they are a good match, intake begins. What information will you need to gather for the proposal process to begin? Write it down and produce a form you can use each time. Putting a system of questions/forms in place will ensure you don’t forget something and have to go back later for clarification. Make informative notes for yourself, the estimator, or the salesperson to take up where you leave off to informatively help the lead to the next step.
Be responsive and listen for hesitations. Their tone of voice, attitudes, and voice inflections will give information if you’re in tune. Giving the lead room to talk and express their needs while steering them in directions and on a topic that will give you a better understanding. It takes sales skills and an understanding of personalities to flush out vital information that can make or break that initial introduction.
Client Intake: CRM Phases
Is there a consistent process that ensures the lead isn’t lost in the paperwork or shuffled? Put the client’s information in a CRM system. Assign that lead to a salesperson and set up a calendar appointment to ensure the lead isn’t forgotten. Share calendars amongst teams within the CRM system. The CRM system will keep the lead front and center for the team. Decide what is appropriate for the client to experience amongst the sales team as they move through the sales funnel and implement it into the process. See my blog on my favorite CRM system for lead intake and phases.
Client Intake: Expectations
Explain the process and what to expect next. Whether sending a confirmation email with a calendar appointment set or a reiteration of the discussion, it’s nice to reach out again to the lead/client for the record. Keeping that email in the CRM system will also help keep track of communications. An initial email to the client as a follow-up will give them another way and point person to contact for a follow-up discussion.
Creating systems to instill excellent customer service will give clients confidence that you can do the job well from start to finish. These techniques will empower your business to fulfill the goals intended. Call me to discuss any of these options to make your customer service ‘rock star’ worthy.