Let’s be honest here. I think we can all want to be treated like VIPs if we’re dropping some serious change with any nice brand. If we walked into a Mercedes dealership, the interactions really matter. If we step into a Louis Vuitton store, the experience is key!
We want to feel special. We don’t want to be just another invoice number, and we want to know that we matter! Well, guys … your clients feel the exact same way.
Loyalty, client retention, and referrals – that’s the trifecta of a successful client experience! To create a remarkable, scalable, and sustainable brand, we NEED a client’s journey to result in those three things … but how?
Connect. Connect. Connect.
Connection is the foundation of trust. The more we connect with our clients, the deeper the trust that’s built – and the more likely they will either come to you again or refer you to their friends. That vital feeling of “connection” comes from a client knowing that you’re aware of their needs and wants, and that you care.
When a potential client initially sees your website and reaches out to you, they are anticipating a prompt response. They’re excited – and they hope that the feeling is mutual. Unfortunately, many times, prospective clients don’t hear back in a timely manner. What a missed opportunity.
Our primary job is to maintain that feeling of excitement and anticipation throughout the entire client journey. If you can do that and deliver on your initial promises, you will have created a trumpet-blowing client for life!
Meanwhile, the fastest way to kill your momentum is to fail to connect often. If your clients go a couple weeks without hearing from you, their anxiety goes through the roof … and nothing good ever comes from that.
Set expectations and follow through.
We all love to know what’s coming next when we’re working with a service-driven business. It gives us peace of mind.
Always set expectations, starting with your response to leads, and continuing through your sales meetings.
For example, when I respond to an initial lead, I send a questionnaire with an email that lets them know what’s coming next: “Our next step is to jump on a quick phone call so that I can better serve your needs.”
Embrace the idea of specifying “next steps” – it’s crucial to setting expectations and maintaining momentum. Not only does it keep you accountable for the client’s overall experience, but it ensures that you lead in the client journey.
When we set expectations, we create an open loop and a sense of anticipation. In a successful client experience, these open loops need to be closed. We need to deliver. Let me say it again … we NEED to deliver.
If we don’t deliver on our promises, that sense of anticipation turns into tension. That tension turns to frustration. And once frustration rears its ugly head, it’s very difficult to regain your client’s trust. That spells doom for your client experience.
Map the client journey
A remarkable client experience doesn’t happen by accident. You have to craft it. It has to be strategic and intentional. But, it doesn’t have to be difficult!
Let’s keep this simple by starting with these easy questions when creating your client journey map.
There are four phases of a client’s journey:
- Leads: vetting a client
- Booking: paying for a service or signing a contract
- Onboarding: teaching and educating
- Fulfillment: delivering on your promise
For each phase, ask yourself:
• What action would I like my client to take next?
• What emotion would I like my client to feel?
With the answers to these two questions in hand, you can now map out the strategic steps you have to take within each phase of the client journey in order to get the desired actions and responses.
These steps can usually be prompted using the following modes of communication: emails, phone calls, video conferencing, personalized videos, in-person meetings, questionnaires, and/or digital guides/pdfs. Choose one of these means of communication, and plug it into your client journey.
Cut yourself a break and automate
We can all agree: Life gets hectic, especially these days. Now, on top of the complexity of running a business, many of us are sharing our home office with telecommuting spouses and virtual-schooling kids.
It’s no wonder that we’ve all dropped the ball at some point or another. So let’s cut ourselves a break, and focus on the single best thing we can do for our sanity and our businesses: AUTOMATE!
At 17hats, we understand that chaos abounds, and sometimes we have to attend business meetings from home in our pajama bottoms. The good news? With the easy and effective automation tools provided by 17hats, we can help you control the chaos, and emerge more confident. Better still, your clients will be incredibly well taken care of!
Of course, automation and workflows won’t ever fully replace human interaction. But automation does enhance the experience by providing consistency and efficiency throughout the client journey.
In fact, I often create videos of myself speaking to my clients instead of humdrum emails that can seem like a chore after a while. Whether these are videos that can be sent to all your clients or personalized ones meant for certain individuals, just plug them into your workflow and you’ll CONNECT like a business rock star!
Feedback is growth
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done, and how you could be doing it better.”Elon Musk
Lastly, ask for – and act on – feedback. Yes, feedback can be quite scary. What if I did something wrong? What if my clients aren’t happy?
Feedback promotes transparency and clarity. Clients love to know that their voice matters, and that you are continually trying to be better. Not only will it strengthen the relationship with your current clients, but it will allow you to analyze and reassess your client journey.
“When one human being speaks to another, he or she needs to experience two very fundamental things – they need to know that they have been understood, and they need to feel that what they said had some form of value.”Bob Dignen
Being valued and feeling understood can be a game-changer in your client experience. In order to accomplish this, feedback is key!
OBSESS over the client journey
In sum …
Always connect, set expectations, follow through on your promises, automate as much of the experience as possible, and ask for feedback.
Do these things, and you will craft a rock star client experience. You’ll build incredible client loyalty, and get more referrals than you can handle!