A great client relationship is an essential factor of your business, and your business depends on it. In my own business, it is the way I like to stand out. While you want ideal dream clients, remember it is up to you to build a great relationship with that client. One so they can give back to you with testimonials, repeat business, and referrals.
Here are my 7 favorite ways to create an outstanding client experience
It all starts with that first call and sharing with the client the value of your service.
What do you have to offer them?
I hear so often Interior Designers and Creatives say that their client shopped them and now want to purchase the products independently. Why? They missed the value in what you will do for them. This is where you want to explain what will happen if they opt not to buy from you, how they have to handle the product delivery and the challenges that can come up.
It is crucial to selling your service and what the mark-up covers before you even get started. This also lets you see if you are a good fit together because if they are looking just to get your discount, they are not valuing what you can offer them.
Having a good welcome packet is a way to start the project off right. You want one that gives them steps to work together throughout their project and what you need from them to get the project going. Make sure it is in well-branded documents that are simple and easy to read; just the bullet points are needed at this point. You don't want to overwhelm. It sets the expectations of how it will work and how important it is to have a successful outcome. Your clients really value it. Also, having software that sets them up in a client portal is a great bonus. The client now feels they have their own space to connect with you and find all the details about their project.
Find out how and how often they want to hear from you. I actually ask right away in the questionnaire I send to my clients with the welcome packet.
How do you wish to communicate about your project with Karen?
Then put in your welcome packet...
Your Office Hours - (here is how I have mine written)
I schedule all appointments, respond to emails and calls during business hours Monday – Friday from 9 am – 5 pm. Text messaging is only used for emergency purposes. It is important we use easy to refer documents for conversations pertaining to your design.
Now you and your client know how and when to communicate with each other.
Instincts need to be used here. Not all clients will be happy all the time and tend not to say when they are unhappy. If you feel that may be the case, just ask them and follow-up to see how they feel about the delay or change. If you present something to them and you aren’t getting a happy smile, ask them, “What is it you don’t like here? We can change it. I just need to understand what you want to be changed.”
Respond asap when there is a problem and let them know you will handle it immediately. If you have a problem on your side with a delayed delivery or challenge providing them what they wanted, you need to find a solution first. Then once you have the answers, present them with the problem and give them the solution. Your client doesn’t want to hear all of the issues that are occurring in real-time. They hired you to handle it, that is good customer service.
This isn’t about buying an expensive gift, and not all clients value that. It is about walking through making sure each detail in their project has been completed. Share with them the before and after, and it is always great to show how happy you are with the outcome and celebrate with them. If you haven’t provided them that type of service, do a final email or call with them to share the excitement of what you offered them and see if they need anything else.
Always ask for a testimonial at this time and let them know when you have shared their project on social media, with the press, and on your website. They want to see how proud you are of their project. It makes them feel special.
With a client experience, I love to use my own reversed experience with others that have worked for me.. Really think about what was missing and what you would have wanted and then apply that to your own business.
Happy customers are repeat customers and referrers. With technology, there has been such a lack of customer service people are craving it more now than ever. By you providing an outstanding experience to your clients, you will stand out from the crowd, and your business will thrive.