(The following excerpt is from an internal memo stating the mission of the Client Relations Department written by the Client Relations Manager to the President of NEAR- September 1997)
What does it take to make it work?
Client, by definition is "one for whom professional services are rendered, a customer" and relations, by definition is "mutual dealings or connections, as among persons, groups or nations; therefore the meaning of "Client Relations" is professional services rendered to a customer, group or nation. These customers are the key elements to making NEAR succeed. It is in the best interest of NEAR to support the client base by providing consistent contact, developing marketing strategies and setting and achieving company revenue goals. NEAR's values should remain squarely on a commitment to create and maintain top quality service and strong client relationships. We believe in keeping the lines of communication open at all times with our clients.
Each client is assigned a Client Relations Representative (CRR). The responsibility of the CRR is to respond directly and promptly to client requests and become a valued client resource. This can be achieved through fast, accurate solutions to the clients needs and wants as well as minimizing the clients administrative burdens in relations to collections. The CRR should hold an understanding of what service is; focusing on ensuring that their clients are confident and content with NEAR's progress. It is with great importance that client telephone calls and e-mails are returned in a timely manner and clients are promptly informed of any new developments within NEAR.
The CRR will be made available for a variety of tasks to ease our clients' workload. This would include services such as; "pulling records" at the client location, customizing reports in various formats and advising on individual accounts.
The CRR will attend regular training on-site programs to ensure that they have been updated on new policy and procedures. This is done on a consistent basis in order to assure our clients that their matters are handled efficiently. NEAR has established Client Courtesy Calls; designed to keep in contact with the client to validate that they are satisfied with the services they are receiving. The CRR will be responsible for meeting a quota on how many courtesy calls they have completed in a given amount of time.
Policy and procedures have been set up in order to create a knowledgeable and professional staff that services our clients. It is important that any employee who is dealing directly with a client understands that they are representing NEAR.
A CRR must exert positive energy and enthusiasm at all times. It is important to practice excellent verbal and written communication skills. A CRR must maintain an organized area and understand that follow-up to any client related matters; including courtesy calls and client requests is the key to client retention. NEAR's monthly outcome begins and ends with the Client Relations Department; that is why a Client Relations Representative position at NEAR is held with great importance.