5 Pillars of Client Experience
Imagine you were given $10,000 and 3 kid-free hours to wander aimlessly around Target and shop to your heart’s content. You go get your fancy coffee from Starbucks and start your stroll through the aisles waiting for the Target gods to tell you what you need in your life – which of course includes 80% of the Magnolia line. I don’t know about you, but I would not hate that scenario! I’m just imagining how relaxed I would feel afterward.
Now imagine you were given the same amount of time and money, BUT you had to spend it all in Walmart. Honestly, it just wouldn’t be the same experience. Between trying to find a buggy (*shopping cart for those who aren’t blessed enough to live in the south*) that doesn’t have a mind of its own, figuring out where in the store you need to go for different items, and trying to find an open register that isn’t PACKED – I know I would NOT feel relaxed after this experience. In fact, I would need to go home and hide out under a weighted blanket for 48 hours. Having to spend that much time at Walmart would definitely induce a full-on panic attack.
So, what is the big difference between these two scenarios? It’s their customer experience. From the time you park and pick out your buggy, to the time you check out and return to your car – the customer experience is what determines how you feel while you’re there. And let’s be honest, we don’t like to go to places that don’t make us FEEL good, even if, in the case of Walmart, prices are overall cheaper!
The same goes for your business. People are more willing to pay higher prices for the same product or service if the overall experience is more pleasant. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping business owners leverage their systems to build out the BEST client experience. Your client experience is what will turn your clients into raving fans! And more raving fans means more referrals, which will ultimately lead you to charge more for your services, make more money, and create the life you want for your family!
I’ve come up with 5 pillars to build out THE BEST client experience. BUT – before you can start to build out the best experience for your clients, you first have to KNOW the clients you’re wanting to attract and what is important to them. This requires you to really become an expert on your ideal client. You need to know what their pain points are, what drives them, and what they crave. Are you attracting luxury high-end clients? Or are your clients people who are just starting on their business journey? Before you can begin to uplevel your client experience, you have to know what it is that is important to them!
After you know your client and what is most important to them, you can begin to break out each and every piece of your client experience and figure out how to take it to the next level. Does your website and messaging need to be more clear? Does your onboarding process need to be quicker? If your client is extremely busy, they likely don’t have time to fill out long questionnaires or read drawn out emails! But if your client is just getting started, they may want more hand-holding and a warmer touch. Maybe your welcome email needs to feel more personalized.
Make things EASY on your client. It should not be hard to work with you. From getting in touch with you to scheduling a meeting with you, to signing up to work with you – everything should be done in a way that makes it easy for your client. Fortunately, there are programs out there (*cough* Dubsado *cough*) that make it easy on you as well.
When it comes to your systems, don’t let bells and whistles distract you! Yes, a fancy client portal is really awesome. But, will YOUR ideal client use it? Or will they find it confusing? In theory, it’s nice to have all of your clients use Slack to get in touch with you – but is that what’s easiest for them? Are they already using that in their business? Yes, you want to streamline how you communicate with your clients, but make those decisions based on who your ideal client is and what they’re already using! Keep it simple for you, and keep it simple for your clients. And yes, there is a way to do both 😉
Don’t make your client wait around for things like a welcome email or onboarding questionnaire. When they sign your contract and pay your invoice, you want to get them started on things IMMEDIATELY! They are most excited (and likely nervous!) after they sign on the dotted line. Take advantage of that and give them something to do/read/focus on before your first meeting! They are likely making a big investment in you and your services – they want to feel taken care of!
This is what will help you stand out from the masses. Anticipate their needs, what questions they’ll have, their pain points, problems they may not see. When you come to your client with the answer to a question they didn’t have to ask you, they will KNOW that you genuinely care about their business.
I’d also add here that you need to know what questions to ask. This goes back to really KNOWING your client and their pain points. If you are so familiar with who your clients are, you’ll know what questions you need to ask to help them think through things they may never have thought about before. One of my favorite questions to ask in my onboarding questionnaire is ‘what is the biggest pain point in your day-to-day operations?’ This is a simple question that relates to the services I provide, but it really helps your clients think through those annoying things that happen throughout their day that they didn’t even realize could be better! That’s what you’re about to help with!
This is a big one. Chances are if your client has hired someone before, they’ve been ghosted by someone they hired. DO NOT give them a reason to believe you are doing that! There’s nothing worse than paying someone and feeling like they just took your money and ran. If you want to land high-end clients, you need to build up trust with them so that they know you’re doing what they hired you for! This trust is built up when you keep them in the loop about what you’re doing. Send them updates. Even if it’s to say, ‘I’m still working on this piece of your project!’ Trust me, you’d rather over-communicate than under-communicate. Even if your client has told you that they want to be hands-off and let you run with a project, they still want to know that you’re doing what you said you were going to do! That leads me to my last point:
This is what creates the WOW factor. This can look different for everyone and doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. And I’m not saying that you should work for free or let your client scope-creep. But providing a gift during your onboarding process, sending a thank you card after you offboard them, giving a bonus session or extra time to take care of something for them – these things are what will wow your client. Going above and beyond in how you serve them will always make them take notice! This is what will make them sing your praises to their friends.
Ultimately, your client experience is what will keep you top of mind when your clients are giving recommendations to their friends. Want to learn more about leveraging systems to help you build out the best client experience so that you can attract higher-end clients? Click here to schedule a free chat with me!