There is more to being a freelance writer than just being able to type. If you want to have any measure of success, you need to practice superior customer service. Since the market on the Internet is so high for freelancers, you need to make sure you stand out among the competition. Otherwise, a client who could have sent you an endless supply of work will move on to someone else.
How to Boost Customer Service
Customer service is more than just greeting people with a smile. Everything from your actions to your appearance will play a role in the satisfaction of clients. Here are some of the ways I’ve found that have been greatly beneficial for myself as a freelance writer.
Always Focus On What the Client Wants
The client is the one paying to help you keep the lights on and food on your table. Even if the writing style seems asinine or grammatically incorrect, that is how he or she wants the order completed. At times, it may be difficult to set your professional views aside in order to give the person what he or she is paying for. Just remember that if you’re a ghostwriter, your name isn’t tied to the piece. Always provide the client with exactly what he or she wants.
Quick Response Time
The best way to keep a client is to make sure work is done in a timely manner and you quickly respond to messages. This is one of the biggest reasons why I get so much work on sites like Textbroker and Fiverr. I am fast, efficient and respond to messages within the hour – in most cases. The client’s time is money, and these individuals shouldn’t have to wait for you to complete a project or message back. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of other freelance writers on the Internet. You are very replaceable. You want to make sure that your clients stay with your services.
Another good customer service practice that often gets overlooked by new freelancers is the follow-up message. Try to thank the client after the job is completed and make sure he or she knows you are available for future work. After a week or two, it may not hurt to send a second follow-up making sure the order you completed is working perfectly for the client’s needs. These kinds of messages work better than you might think. In fact, I have accumulated a bit of extra work from this practice. In one instance, the client wound up using my writing every day for almost eight months – until they changed business platforms.
Always Be Respectful
Being respectful can be one of the major driving forces for clients to keep coming back. Even an employer can have a bad day. It’s important to keep your cool even if the messages begin to sound rude. The last thing you want to get into is a shouting match via messages and lose someone who could have sent you a lot of extra work later on. Treat all clients with the highest form of respect possible. It can be a great way to stick out in the person’s mind the next time he or she needs some writing done.
One of the things I offer regular clients is a list of ideas for their projects. For instance, I have one client who is building a WordPress “How-To” website. I offer this client lists of article ideas periodically. Even though the client only uses perhaps 15% of my ideas, it still gives me extra work throughout the week. Don’t be afraid to share some thoughts and ideas with someone you’re working for. The person may just keep coming back to you because you supply ideas that work for their needs.
Dressing the Part
I know that most online employers aren’t going to see what you actually look like. However, I can’t stress enough about how looking the part helps you feel the part. There have been times when I worked in my pajamas. It’s the days that I actually dress up that I feel more professional. Who knows, I might incorporate the webcam for client conversations. Dressing the part inspires professionalism, which could easily play a role in providing excellent customer service. In the last four years, I’ve noticed a profound difference between PJs and office attire when it comes to my mindset.
Stick to a Schedule
Most people like the idea of working from home because they can work any schedule they want. This is both true and false. Keep in mind that most businesses want writing completed before the end of a business day – 9am to 5pm. While you’ll come across some that are OK with late-night submissions, you may find there is far more work available if you set a logical schedule. Make sure you follow this schedule as closely as possible. Clients also like the idea of knowing when they can get a hold of you. They don’t want to wait until the next day for a response to a message.
It’s all about bringing clarity to clients from the circus that is the Internet. I know a lot of freelancers who refused to “brown-nose” employers. Don’t think of it as kissing a client’s backside but more of job security. Making the client happy may keep you in work longer. This is all done through practicing superior customer service. The happier they are, the more money you’ll make.