Without clients you don't get paid! It is important as a professional investigator to practice good customer service to keep clients happy, increase referrals and build repeat business.
Communication is a critical element of customer service. Throughout the investigation keep your client up-to-date on the progress of your investigation. Follow these steps to keep client's informed:
1. Set a schedule with the client to let them know when they can expect to receive updates. Provide daily or weekly updates depending on the type of investigation. Agree to a method that you will use to update your client such as email, a telephone call or in-person meetings.
2. Provide general highlights of the investigation. Let them know the basic activities you have completed. Do not get to detailed, that is what your report is for. For example; "This week we have conducted several interviews and gathered additional documentation."
3. Stick to your schedule. Once you establish an expectation with your client about scheduled updates make sure you strictly follow it. Meeting your customer's expectations is critical to good customer relations. If you have nothing to report, tell them there is nothing to report.
Customer service is the best way to build your professional private investigator business.
Ever think you have completed an investigation only to find there was one more interview to complete, another document that you need to collect, or a piece of evidence you forgot to look for? Ever had a difficult time explaining the linkages among interviews and evidence to a client?
How do you ensure you are completing all the tasks associated with your investigation? Creating a task list is one way, but sometimes it might lack the ability for you to visualize important information you need to seek out.
Using a mind-map is another technique that might be useful to you in completing an investigation. A mind-map is simple hand drawn chart, like one in the graphic, allows you to visualize your investigation, look for links and create checklists.
Take a few minutes to scratch out a simple mind map to see how useful it can be on a current or upcoming investigation. There are free programs online you can use to create and print a mind map as well.
Report writing is easy with the word processors. Using grammar and spell check helps us proof-read a report. Unfortunately, capitalization is still tricky at best when writing a report with all the tools we have available.
Proper rules for capitalization are in the English language, (or is that english), are very tricky.
Listen to this podcast by Grammar Girl to learn more about when or when not to capitalize proper nouns. You can get a transcript or look for more grammar techniques by visiting Grammar Girl.
Pro PI staff
Experienced professionals and trainers.