Analyzing your Current Client Experience
In order to get the most accurate picture of how your client’s are feeling about and interacting with your brand, it’s important to take a look at the journey your business takes them on from start to finish.
From the first interaction they have with your business all the way to finishing up their project and receiving payment.
Mapping out the journey you take customers on is really powerful because you can see the places where you have control over how they perceive your business. Defining these points where the customer is interacting with your brand is essential in order to pinpoint the exact spots where you have control over their experience.
Below is an example of a CONSUMER JOURNEY MAP for a custom website design client who hires Trio. For the sake of brevity, I’m outlining the customer’s first interaction with Trio until I book them as a client. To be even more specific, I’d suggest detailing the process you walk client’s through after they’ve hired you as well.
Scrolling through Instagram and see Trio tagged in a post
Click on the post and land on Trio’s Instagram feed
Scroll through recent pictures, read bio, get a general understanding of Trio
Follow Trio’s account because it’s relevant to their small business
Engage with posts all week by liking, saving, and commenting
Click the link in Trio’s IG bio to book a free strategy session
We hop on a 45 minute strategy call where we discuss all things business, branding, and increasing your bottom line
Client receives follow up email thanking them for their time, summarizing pricing and key takeaways from call
Reads over email, checks banking info, and sends an email back confirming
Receive contract and invoice which they read over and sign.
NEW CLIENT BOOKED! YAY!
After writing and reviewing this list it’s clear that the free strategy session and follow up email are two key areas where I have the most control over the client experience. Making sure I show up on these free strategy calls in a way that is aligned with Trio’s vision of helping small businesses thrive online with an investment that will come back their way hundred-fold.
Grab a piece of paper and map out the journey your customer’s go on to discover, learn about, and ultimately book you. This will give you tons of insight as to how you can improve client experience.
Aligning your Client Journey with your Brand
Trio is all about branding so an article about client experience would never be complete without talking about leveraging your branding to create a killer client experience. What things are unique to you and your business that can be used to surprise and delight your customer?
Are you a dog-walker who is known for being obsessed with the color yellow? Perhaps custom yellow dog leashes would be the perfect holiday gift to surprise your client and tie into your yellow branding.
Or maybe you’re a photographer who is obsessed with Christmas. Perhaps every Christmas you mail out holiday cards and chocolate to your past clients to show them that you care and reinforce your love of the holiday season and taking portraits in the snow.
Take the elements that are relevant to your branding. Whether it be your color palette, your obsession with a certain place, your favorite hobby, and get creative finding ways that you can infuse it throughout consumer touchpoints to improve the way they perceive your brand.
Remember, caring for and lovin’ on your current clients is the most effective form of advertising.
People talk. So give your customers something amazing to talk about. They’ll tell their friends about your amazingness and attention to detail and the business will continue flowing your way.
Tools & Tips for Impressing Clients and Improving your Reputation
Wanna know an awesome way to improve client experience? ASK!
Sending out a survey or a questionnaire can be an effective tool to gauge the experience you are offering clients and see where you can improve.
Crafting a killer client experience is an ongoing process that will change not only depending on the individual client, but also on the season you are in within your business.
TypeForm and Google Forms both have free capabilities that allow you to create client questionnaires and surveys to gather information from your audience. This can be helpful for gauging your performance and seeing areas where you can improve.
Gathering testimonials is another great way to see what areas you are killin’ it and where you have room for improvement. Keep in mind though, testimonials are generally positive so in order to get the most accurate view of how you can improve, surveys with neutrally-phrased questions tend to work better.
The Most Important Trait for Creating a One-of-a-kind Experience
I truly believe that the most important trait for creating a super memorable experience for your clients that just can’t seem to help but tell people about….is thoughtfulness.
Listen to your clients when they speak. Learn about their specific interests, the things that they are struggling with, and what makes their hearts soar. Then give them a client gift, respond to emails, and encourage them in a way that is aligned with the heart of who they are.
Cookie cutter experiences are boring. And boring doesn’t get 5 star reviews and loyal referrals.
My Best Ideas for Improving Client Experience
Know that you want to offer your clients a one-of-a-kind unforgettable experience but aren’t sure where to start? Try these!
Who doesn’t love a nice, thoughtful gift? Thanking your clients for doing business with you is an absolute must, a non-negotiable in the world of Trio. And the same should be true of you and your business. A handwritten note that acknowledges your client, their awesomeness, and the work you’ve done together will surely do the trick. Add a thoughtful gift about something relevant they’ve mentioned or create a small “self care” basket with goodies like candles, chocolate, and journals. Being thought of and cared for are essential ingredients in good business. Don’t skimp on this.
Throughout your customer’s journey with your business, provide them with a guide that walks them through next steps so they can know what to expect in a succinct, organized way. On-brand guides that walk your clients through a specific process helps position you as an expert who has the answer to their prayers.
Show your clients that you are dedicated to getting them the results they are after by sending out a pre-project survey asking them for their preference and specific project goals. This is awesome for setting a solid foundation for your relationship, as it positions you as caring and organized and ensures you and your client are on the same page.
Gauge your performance and improve client experience going forward by sending out a post-project survey asking your clients for specific feedback. This is an awesome resource for getting quick feedback that you can use to inform your experience going forward.
Perhaps this one goes without saying, but make sure you are accessible to your paying clients, especially if you are a service based business owner. Take them out for coffee or carve out an extra hour for a Zoom call. Do what it is you need to do to foster a personal relationship with your clients that proves you care beyond the paycheck. I really can’t emphasize this enough.
(And if you’re thinking “well I don’t care beyond the paycheck”....friend, it is time to find some more alignment in your work!)
Creating a stellar client experience is a sure way to create an impressive network of referrals for your business. Humans talk. Give them something memorable and extraordinary to talk about. Caring for your clients is the key to good business. Period. Don’t skimp on the experience. That will only make your referrals skimp on you.