Today’s marketplace is so noisy and crowded and it’s so hard to stand out. And as my career is in social media and marketing, I know this to be a fact, as there’s probably one of us for every street corner in Australia!
So, standing out comes down to 3 elements – know, like and trust, with trust being critical in this.
It can be hard to get a new client or new customer, even harder to have them be a repeat customer or client – and EVEN HARDER AGAIN for them to become an advocate for your business (you know the clients who tell others how awesome you are!).
So today I thought I’d touch on five ways we can love our clients well, because success is no accident!
As you read through this blog, I want you to be thinking about the last time you had a fantastic experience with someone you are either going to purchase from or have already. And then perhaps think about the complete opposite scenario – a business who you’d never shop or engage with again because of X (chances are it’s how they made you feel, right?).
So, here are the five ways you can really make sure your clients or customers will be connected with your business:
Understand their needs and desires, and then create touch points that meet them right where they are!
Building the most heartfelt client experience starts with knowing your clients.
And I’m not just talking about knowing their names and what they do for a living, but delving deeper into knowing things like:
What do they value?
What matters most to them?
What are their personal goals and dreams?
If you know these things it then enables you to actively create a series of client experience touch points that meet them right where they are in their journey.
Plus, if we can create experiences that speak to their pain points (whatever is standing in their way of achieving greatness) then we can show them we are trustworthy people who are here to help them reach their dreams, be that through a flawless wedding, an intentional branding project, or a top notch shopping experience.
So, let’s go deeper …
Who are your ideal clients?
What do they value?
Where are they currently struggling?
Bonus point if you can answer these questions::
How can your product or service help them alleviate that struggle or overcome that hurdle?
So you need to determine what are the touch points you can weave throughout your client experience that meets them right where they are.
Maybe that’s through a thoughtful gift; a kind, educational way of guiding them through your process; or the messaging you use on your website and social channels.
Think back to the last incredible, worth telling all your friends and family kind of experience you had with a brand.
How did that make you feel?
Chances are, some of your most memorable experiences with other brands centres around a strong sense of belonging or feeling valued – and other positive emotions.
As business owners ourselves, we want to harness that opportunity to inspire our clients and customers (both potential and current) to feel something whenever they come across our brand online or in person.
Authentic emotional responses help us lay the foundation for relationships that last. We want to make our customers raving fans!
So, let’s go deeper:
How do you want your potential clients and current clients to feel whenever they come across you or your brand?
Why do you want to make them feel those specific emotions?
What is it about those emotions that will help them have a deeper appreciation for your work, encourage them to invest in your services, or put them in the proper mindset to receive the full experience you’ve prepared for them?
Pro tip: Steer clear of gimmicky emotions that don’t stand for something deeper. Have your clients have an authentic emotional response – one that will help build better connections with both your brand and your product or service.
The foundation of every client experience that leads to deeper client relationships and brand loyalty centres on one thing – trust.
In my experience, one of the most actionable ways to build trust with your client base is to be consistent. From your messaging to your imagery to your workflow, from your website to your social accounts, to offline to actually meeting you – it should all be consistent.
So, let’s go deeper again:
Where are you consistent at the moment?
Where are you inconsistent at the moment?
If I look at your Instagram feed and your website – will I see consistency of brand and brand voice? Of you?
Do you onboard new clients the same way each time?
Do you greet customers in your shop in a consistent manner?
Which leads to the big question: How can you incorporate more consistency throughout these potential touch points you listed above?
Pro tip: To build trust you need to know who you are trusting. So, if I went onto any of your online sites, social or web – will I see you? Actually you? Do I know who the person or people are behind the brand? If no, or if you haven’t shown up as your brand for a while now – it’s time. It’s really time!
Put them first!
We need to make it really clear to our customers, how much we value them.
At the end of the day, we are building relationships with people, not just going through the motions of another transaction. So, let’s focus our energy on making sure your clients know that you see them as so much more than another dollar in the bank!
A huge part of building relationships with our clients begins by simply paying attention to their problems, being flexible and learning to adjust to meet their needs as they arise and asking quality questions.
Again, let’s dig deeper:
When was the last time you did an audit on yourself and your business?
When was the last time you went through your business as a customer? See what they see, do what they do?
How can things be more fun, more memorable, or easier to understand?
If we’re going to put them first, then we need to see what they see! Either put yourself in the customers shoes or reach out to an industry friend you trust or a friend or family member who will give you honest feedback! Ask them to audit your client experience workflow from start to finish.
As they walk through the process as a pretend potential client, they’ll be able to see through fresh eyes what it’s like to be a potential client, then as an active client, and then finally a former client. The point of this exercise is to get their input on how you can improve your existing touch points.
Take their feedback and utilize any valid comments to help you improve your existing client experience workflow!
You don’t have to break the bank.
Giving clients or customers a memorable experience isn’t just about giving them gifts – in fact that might just break the bank if that’s all you are doing to turn customers into raving fans! I’m not against giving gifts – it’s just one touch point.
Going above and beyond on a timeline to deliver the finished product ahead of schedule is a great way to utilize your time and expertise to blow your client’s expectations out of the water.
Remembering their birthday and sending a handwritten note, a recommendation on LinkedIn or a rating or review on their Google Business page or Facebook page or maybe a coffee card in the mail doesn’t cost much, but it communicates effectively how much you value them as a person.
Your clients may not remember the custom monogrammed wine glasses you sent them after their wedding, but I promise you they’ll remember how you served them, how you made them feel, and how you intentionally exceeded every expectation at every turn.
One of my favourite sayings (and used to be on my wall inside my retail shop) was: People will forget what you did, forget what you said, but they will never forget the way you made them feel!
So for the last time, let’s dig deeper:
Brainstorm five ways you can serve your clients through your client experience touch points that don’t cost you a cent!
Think of ideas like delivering an extra feature in that design project they weren’t expecting (but they’ll love!)
Being flexible or extending grace in a tough situation.
Send them a joyful, welcoming email immediately after they sign your client contract or pay your retainer.
After you’ve written down the five ways you have just brainstormed, start taking action!
They are actionable steps after all! How can you put these steps into your business, into your client experience with you?
As a social media and marketing strategist, my mission is to help you make marketing a priority, take 100% responsibility for your actions but also be a giver – because the more you help others, the more rewards you’ll enjoy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you give your clients or customers an experience when purchasing or working with you? Drop a comment below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast