Eight ways to uplevel your client experience
You hear a lot of talk about finding your ideal client in the online biz world
In fact, my last post was all about why you should even have an ideal client profile. And just the other day I waxed poetic about your ideal client and how it relates to your special sauce.
So at this point, you’re probably good in that arena, yes?
Or it’s at least on your radar, and you’re working on identifying these glorious bastions of like minded consumerism.
Good. Cause today I want to talk about what happens after you find them.
Once you’ve attracted all those great clients, how do you turn them into raving fans?
Because here’s the thing… some of the best marketing you can get is word of mouth referrals.
When a happy client or customer tells someone else about you, a couple of things are going on.
First, the person doing the referring has already worked with you. They know, at least on some level, the type of person you work well with, so they’re well equipped to recommend it to someone who fits that bill. Also, if they are an ideal client they more than likely know others that are too.
Second, holy social proof Batman. It’s like having the author of a great Yelp review come read it directly to you, and just happen to be someone you know. The trust factor skyrockets when the referral comes from someone already in your circle.
In fact, a large majority of my branding clients come from a previous client’s referral.
Referrals are best when given sincerely and excitedly though, which means you can only go so far to guarantee you’ll get business that way. So what can you do to turn clients into fans that *want* to connect you with other great clients?
You give them a kick ass client experience from start to finish.
Yep. Sorry. There’s not really a magic bullet.
If you want to create fans, you need to create something worthy of being talked about.
This means offering a great product or service, and it also means making sure your client feels taken care of throughout the process.
Whether it’s a five minute Etsy sale or a six month coaching package, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you come out looking like a pro and your client walks away wanting to talk about it.
Here’s eight easy ways to uplevel your client experience starting now:
Remember your client’s experience begins when they’re introduced to your brand.
First off, make sure your brand is representing well wherever you’re showing up.
Your social media posts should feel cohesive and intentional, as should your branding, and people should be able to easily navigate your website.
Communicate often and clearly.
People feel much more comfortable when they understand what’s expected of them and what they can expect. I have a series of emails I use for onboarding clients that gives them info on my availability and where to find my FAQ page, which answers other questions. Things like weekly project updates and bi-weekly check-in calls also help keep the lines of communication open.
Start creating processes around things you do often.
This will help you as much as it will your clients. If you don’t already have processes documented for some of the things you do regularly, start setting those up. It doesn’t have to be intimidating - I keep mine in a folder in Google Drive, and they mostly consist of really simple bulleted lists outlining things like what I do when a potential client reaches out to me. You can start with one small process and build from there.
Having even the simple processes written down helps you to provide the same consistent experience every time, without having to reinvent the wheel or potentially forget a step. It will also be really helpful if you decide to bring on an assistant or team member, or if someone needs to handle things for you temporarily.
Then copy and save emails you write frequently in a template file.
This is the least sexy list ever isn’t it?
But I bet when you mapped out your processes there were probably at least a couple of emails you write over and over again. Maybe a response to a client inquiry, or a follow up, or a sales pitch.
Now’s the time to save those, so you don’t have to rewrite them every single time. This has the same benefit as outlining your processes. Sweet, smooth, consistency.
You can do this however you want - I have mine in one Google Doc, but that’s mostly because I’ve never actually researched how to save them as templates in my email program. That would be a great option too though.
Utilize technology to automate parts of the process. Automation + Consistency = Winning.
Whether you’re selling products or services, finding ways to automate parts of your process gives you the opportunity to really perfect those parts and make them feel like a great experience for your client.
One way to do this would be for a service provider to create a series of emails onboarding a new client, walking them through pre-session tasks, or even providing automated check-ins at certain intervals. You can write your emails in a way that feels conversational and friendly, not like canned spam, and no one has to know you’ve automated anything.
You can do this for products as well, and you could even build out a longer email sequence to acquaint a buyer with a new product or automate big chunks of the sales process.
Think about a client management software like 17Hats or Dubsado.
If you’re in the service industry and work with clients over any period of time a client management software might be life changing for you. They can help you track and manage everything from the onboarding process to invoicing and following up six months later.
Use apps for professional document signing, invoicing, and time tracking.
I personally don’t use a client management software (right now), but I do rely heavily on apps to keep my processes flowing. There’s a whole post about that right here if you want more suggestions. I would definitely recommend looking into apps like Asana for project management, HelloSign for digital contract signing, Wave for bookkeeping and invoicing, and Toggl for time tracking.
Think about the details.
You know how they give you a warm cookie at some hotels, and even if you don’t really want a cookie it just feels nice to be thought about?
As you start to pay attention to your client process, look for places you can add a little something extra. It doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t even have to cost money. It can be popping up with a motivational email at just the point where people in your coaching program tend to start getting discouraged, or sending a handwritten thank you note to new clients.
Small, intentional acts can stand out and take your client experience from whatevs to brag-worthy.
One bonus tip on all this… don’t get overwhelmed! You don’t have to implement every one of these things today, or even this year if you don’t want.
Your client experience, just like the rest of your business, is a constantly evolving thing. Start to tweak it here and there, start to notice it and think about how you can make it better, and it will start to grow into something that feels good to you AND your clients. There’s no need to rush.
As usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Do you have anything to add? How are you elevating your client experience this year?