Whether you business offers products or services, your client experience is pivotal in growing your business. How so?
- If you ever want to raise your prices, client/customer experience must be elevated FIRST.
- If you want to get some amazing product reviews and client testimonials, a note-worthy experience is key.
- If you want to increase word of mouth traffic and referrals, guess what? You gotta elevate your client experience.
If you’ve ever had a negative experience with a business, then you know that having a smooth process and thorough communication is huge. But what else can help you elevate your client experience?
HOW TO ELEVATE THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE
Put the user FIRST
When I was first starting my business, I had NO clue how to talk to my customers, how to write copy for my website or what to include in my pricing sheet. With time and experience, I began noticing trends in the questions landing in my inbox. Everything about your business should be about putting the user first. Your website copy should reflect their needs and their questions. Your pricing sheet or FAQ section should be very thorough about your process and eliminate any hesitation or underlying questions a potential client could have about your and your brand.
And when you sign on a new customer, putting them first should be the main priority. Keep reading to learn how to do just that.
I’ve had my fair share of upset clients. I remember that sense of unease waking up in the middle of the night, bracing myself and expecting a complaint from a customer about their order. I was designing custom wedding stationery at the time and had NO clue how to run a successful client experience. Surviving and just getting the job done were my biggest goals. I had NO clue how to properly set expectations and communicate with a client in a way that would make my job easier and their life stress-free.
If you provide a clear timeline and expectations, you answer the many questions your customer may have along the way. It can make your job less time-consuming and your customer more trusting of your expertise. Think about it:
Let’s say you provide custom wedding stationery. What questions come up with every job? “When can we expect to see the first proof?” “How much will postage cost?” “When will the invitations be done printing?”
Answer the questions before they even ask them! Lay out the timeline and provide updates on the job before they even begin wondering. This will also help you minimize any negative client experiences or headaches!
Create a Project Template
If you provide a similar type of service to a client every time, then streamline the process as much as possible. This will help you save time, so you can provide that extra thorough communication we just talked about!
We use Asana as our project management tool. I have similar projects within my business, so it’s easy to just duplicate a project and tweak deadlines, assignees, etc.! Let’s continue with the wedding stationery design example. I’m sure each job is relatively similar in terms of sending proofs, the time you provide for approvals, sending to print and more. Having a project management tool will reduce the back-and-forth emails about due dates (tell them to check Asana!). It can also remind clients to provide feedback on proofs! Along with this, when you have a new job/project to create, no need to build it from scratch!
Note: Other popular client management systems to check out for service-based businesses are Dubsado and Honeybook! Taking the time now to research this can save you time in the long run! Find one that best fits your needs.
I’m all about time saving hacks, and this is a BIG one!
Because you have all of this time freed up with a streamlined process, you can now be EXTRA thorough and surprise your client with unexpected touch points. Maybe give sneak peeks of the project or provide progress updates. All of these little moments really add up and make the client feel at ease. They know that their job is front-of-mind with you!
Under Promise, Over Deliver
Obviously we’re not offering our clients anything less than the best, but surprising them with little extras here and there is what really takes the client experience from good to AMAZING. This could be getting the project done sooner than expected, or being able to help them save money, or adding in an extra design element. There are so many ways to do this!
At the end of the day, your clients are the ones helping pay your bills and pursue your dreams. Treat them like GOLD and this will help grow your business.
If you’re a stationery designer and want to learn all about the ins and outs of client experience and growing a stationery business, check out my course Pen to Press! We’re opening the doors very soon!