Client service is a high priority for all Bostrom staff as we serve our clients and their members. Bostrom is dedicated to providing superior service through strong leadership and a partnership of volunteers and professional staff. The experience of clients, their members, potential members, customers and the public encompasses all interactions with Bostrom. This includes phone, in-person and written (mail or email) correspondence, data maintenance, event registration, event attendance, member application, payment procedures, website interaction, publications and other marketing materials, meeting experiences and more. These opportunities allow Bostrom to exemplify behavior that builds a strong first and lasting impression and cultivate loyal relationships.
All Bostrom employees are expected to take personal responsibility to ensure that all members, potential members, clients and staff receive a timely, efficient and professional response to their needs. Bostrom staff strives to follow these guidelines for delivering superior client service.
1. Guidelines for Telephone Client Service
1.1 Answer each call with a welcome greeting that reflects a smile and appreciation for our clients and their members.
1.2 Listen with a goal of understanding the caller’s need prior to responding or transferring the call. Listen carefully; ask questions.
1.3 When transferring the call, commit to properly directing the call, and when appropriate, announce the call to the person to whom it is transferred, and give a brief description of the caller’s need.
1.4 When transferring calls to voicemail, notify the caller that the staff person is unavailable and that s/he is being transferred into a voicemail box of a staff person who will respond soon. Seek to transfer to an available staff person instead of one who is out of the office for an extended length of time.
1.5 Return calls and voicemails in a timely manner within one business day. If research or acquiring additional information is required to address the caller’s need, contact the caller and notify him/her that additional time will be needed to fulfill the request.
1.6 When out of the office for more than one day, a temporary voicemail greeting should be recorded and activated indicating the dates you will be out and who to contact for urgent matters or immediate assistance.
1.7 Account executives should update support staff monthly on client’s products, services, educational offerings, or any other priorities in order to better answer questions or triage calls from the client’s members and potential members to the appropriate staff person.
2. Guidelines for Email and Written Communication Client Service
2.1 Include a proper salutation and standard Bostrom or client organization signature. Address the recipient by his/her first or last name (as appropriate and taking the lead from the client on the use of addressing by last name).
2.2 When possible, always respond according to how the client or member addressed you or according to how they signed the initial email.
2.3 Respond to email inquiries within one business day, notifying the client or member if additional time is needed to resolve the issue or answer the question and provide a reasonable time for a resolution.
2.4 If out of office for more than one day, turn on an auto-responder message to inform person emailing you when you will return to the office or respond to messages and whom to contact for urgent matters or immediate assistance.
2.5 When attaching files, list the attachments within the email message.
2.6 Include the recipient’s initial correspondence.
2.7 Request staff’s permission before attaching an internal communication to an external email. Be cognizant of email history/trails before forwarding internally or externally.
2.8 Before closing, add a line thanking the client or member for his/her business and inviting them to contact you if they require additional assistance or information.
2.9 When directing the client to another staff member, copy the staff member on the email.
2.10 Proof emails prior to sending. Use, but do not solely rely on, spell and grammar check tools.
2.11 Respond to the client or member’s need, not just what s/he requests. Be succinct but thorough in your reply/solution in order to provide the best service according to his/her need.
3. Guidelines for In-Person Client Service
3.1 Make your greeting a positive, welcoming experience.
3.2 Make eye contact and greet with a smile.
3.3 Listen and be attentive to the client or member’s needs.
3.4 Offer additional assistance.
3.5 Recognize ‘personal space’ when communicating with others in-person.
4. Guidelines for Inter-Office Client Service
4.1 Greet your coworkers.
4.2 Communicate. Ask when in doubt and learn about your coworker’s areas of expertise. Consult with them and enlist their help in supporting a client or member’s need.
4.3 Respond to or acknowledge a coworker’s request within one business day and notify them if additional time is needed to fulfill the request.
4.4 Communicate challenges with a suggested solution. Seek to resolve a challenge as opposed to just reporting problems.
4.5 Treat your coworkers as you would a client or member, with care, respect, courtesy and consideration.
4.6 Be considerate of time when responding to requests, scheduling appointments and interrupting work flow.
4.7 Seek to be a help. Offer to assist your coworkers.
4.8 Take ownership of clients and their members. Identify the need prior to transferring clients or members and follow-up with your coworker to ensure that the issues were addressed and no additional support is required.
4.9 Announce calls when transferring to a coworker and give a brief update of the caller’s need.
4.10 Become familiar with the client association’s strategic priorities in order to better support your coworkers in achieving the organization’s overall mission and goals.
4.11 Obtain a general knowledge of the association’s services and be able to reference common information on the website.
4.12 Track client encounters with a goal of enhancing services.
4.13 Annual Bostrom Consulting client service survey to track service performance and enhancement opportunities.