If there’s one thing businesses have in common, no matter the industry: it’s the importance of client experience!
This means not only finding new clients and signing them on, but making their whole experience enjoyable so they come back for more at a later stage AND recommend you to their fellow business owners (hello referrals!).
Take a second to think about it: How much of your time goes to taking care of your clients (especially as a service-based entrepreneur)? If your answer was A LOT, then you already know the importance of making this experience enjoyable for them!
So, how exactly do you do this?
1. Map out your workflow
Running a business requires a lot of moving parts! If you’re not organised in your own processes and functions, you won’t be able to offer the best client experience possible! This is why focusing on your brand and business is a major step for client relationships.
Think about all the parts involved in your client experience: attracting clients, onboarding them, working with them, finishing the work, the aftermath. How do you deal with all these processes? Do you know what they all entail? Are you managing them efficiently?
Once you’ve mapped out your workflow – your overall experience will be far less stressful and your client will feel like they’re well taken care of. That’s definitely a win-win situation.
2. Upfront expectations
Be real with yourself – when you sign a contract, and all of a sudden there are “hidden costs” or “conditions”, you get annoyed, right? This is why laying it all on the table from the get go is so important in your client relationship and experience!
Make sure you always set expectations so you and your clients are always on the same page. What does this mean? Well, since the completion of a project or job is a two-way street, it’s important that you set expectations that cover both sides! Lay out what your clients can expect from you and what you expect from them in return to make sure you can deliver your best work in the allocated time period.
If you don’t know how to begin, remember that communication truly is key – it helps increase both confidence and rapport and will make the entire work relationship more enjoyable for both sides.
3. Welcome packs!
In addition to laying out all expectations, welcome packs are a great way to give your clients information they will require throughout the process of working with you. Customised welcome packs with your branding make it easy for you to maintain a level of consistency and make your client feel really special – that’s a definite plus to increasing your client experience!
To take it a step further, you can add a goodbye pack, so your client has all the information needed once they finish working with you. If they feel that they were treated well throughout the WHOLE process (even the goodbye), they’re more likely to return for your services in future. This also allows you to provide helpful information they will need and how to get support going forward.
People buy into relationships and having welcome (and goodbye) packs makes it pretty easy for you to maintain great relationships whilst not doing an enormous amount of work (once you’ve set these up of course).
4. Remember that feedback is not the enemy.
Just because you like something or think it’s great, doesn’t mean your client will (I know, this can be frustrating). This is why feedback is such an important part of your client experience – let your clients in on your process (as much as possible of course) and ask them for feedback on work sent over. Ask them what they think works or doesn’t work, ask them what they think could be done better, ask them if there’s any way you can increase their experience in working with you. It will do wonders for your client relationship too.
Ultimately, this will not only allow you to get accurate information about where your clients are at – but it will let them know that their voice is important and you’re there for them, which is basically what your clients want!
5. Send your client FAQs
Your clients have hired YOU for a reason. You’re offering something that they need and they think you’re best suited for the job (how exciting!). Since it’s not their area of expertise, they may not understand the in’s and out’s of everything and might be confused about some terminology – which is understandable. There’s one of two ways this is most likely to end up going: either they are going to suffer in silence (no!) because they don’t want to seem “silly” or “annoying”; or they’re going to ask you exactly what they’re confused about, in which case you’ll probably be answering the question you’ve answered a few times before!
To avoid this uncomfortable situation and increase your client experience – send them FAQs that you’ve received with your answers. It will make your clients feel truly understood, and will take away that awkwardness of not wanting to ask but also wanting to know! Plus, it’s a great way for you to not have to answer the same questions over and over.
So there you have it – 5 ways to make your client experience amazing – in other words, 5 ways to increase your clients happiness and ultimately make you a happier business owner! Don’t ever underestimate the importance of experience in your business interactions, just as branding is not just about a logo, running a business is definitely not just about money.