The client experience, the client journey, what is this and where do I get one?!
Whether you know it or not, you have a client journey when you work with your clients. But how much thought have you actually put into it?
And I bet you it’s not part of your marketing plan, is it?
Well, now is the time to get out your calendar, block off some time, and really focus on how you can streamline and elevate your client experience because the benefits of doing this are amazing…
Hello more time. Hello happy clients. Hello more income.
They all sound good, but a tad fluffy, right? So, what would more time mean to you? Could you take on more clients to increase your income? Could you up your prices because of your new fancy client experience? Could you take some time off to spend with your family or friends and not be checking your emails every other second? Or actually buy those roller skates you’ve been heart eye emoji’ing for ages and learn how to skate?
Everyone’s why’s will be different. But one thing I can guarantee is that you didn’t start your business to be working 14 hour days and surgically attached to your laptop. Am I right?!
SO, how can your client experience help you achieve more time, happy clients and more income?
01 | More Time
Think about your client experience / journey right now. Are you:
Not too sure what is going on with each client you work with, where they are in their project, what happens next.
Do you forget to send things out to clients, or forget to do a certain step in the process?
Doing everything manually, creating everything from scratch
By sitting down and mapping out your client journey, really taking the time to THINK about it and how you can improve it, you will basically be creating a checklist of items that you can follow with each client you work with. No more guessing what happens next. No more forgetting things. No more constant confusion of what’s happening each day. All you need to do is follow the checklist for each client you work with.
Have you heard of decision fatigue? It’s an actual thing! Think of how many decisions you need to make each day. By having a list you can work from you are cutting out that decision fatigue every day, which is going to save you time.
Also, by doing everything manually, you are making life harder for yourself. What items in your client journey can you automate? If you’re using a tool like Dubsado (a client relationship management tool) you can automate almost all of your client journey. If you’re using other tools then look into what can be automated within those tools. Calendly is great for organising appointments, this in its self if a massive time saver, but also adding in appointment reminder emails is going to eliminate some of the no-shows you might have for your appointments. These email reminders can be automated.
Did I mention the magic of templates?! If you find yourself writing out the same email over and over then create a template for it. It may only save you 5 minutes, but if it’s something you send regularly, those 5 minutes stack up. So get as much as you possibly can into a template you can just amend for each client. Consistency is key, you’ll give each client the same type of service, which means you can evaluate what is working and what is not.
02 | Happy Clients
A confused client is not a happy client. We never want confused or unhappy clients.
So how can we look at our client journey and eliminate all the confusion and unhappiness?
Think about the places where you usually have bottlenecks. What can you do to help here? Are you finding your clients are all asking the same questions at the same point? Are your clients just not completing that form you REALLY need them to? Can you add in some reminders to help nudge them along, can you set a deadline for the form to be completed?
All these little touches make a difference.
But the biggest difference I see when it comes to happy clients is to make sure they always know what’s going on, at every stage of the project.
They don’t need to know the full timeline before they’ve even signed up from you. Give them little snippets along the way. “What happens next” is something you’ll find in a lot of my emails.
So, they’ve booked their discovery call, let them know what to expect on the call and then what happens after it.
If a client is ever confused about what’s going on, they start to lose faith in you. And that’s not good!
Another key point to happy clients is thinking about the ‘whole’ experience.
Not that I’m ever advocating you have an average deliverable..but the analogy I like to use is…have you ever been to a restaurant where the mood was just right, the lights were dimmed, the music not too loud and the waiters just the right level of attentive, greeting you by name and hanging up your jacket as you arrive…not to mention the bathrooms were sparkling clean and smell AMAZING (yes, I judge everywhere on their bathrooms!), but the reason you go to that restaurant (the food) is just…ok? You return to that restaurant time and time again for that average food, because you just LOVE the whole experience.
I’m sure you can think of your own analogy where the whole experience outweighs the end product. But the key to this is remembering that whole experience. And your experience of working with clients should be exactly the same. Well, apart from having an average end product!
If you just concentrate on one stage (usually the delivery) then you’re missing out on making yourself stand out from the crowd. I can’t even count the amount of people I work with who do not have an off-boarding stage to their process. Even if you added this one stage into your client experience you would be setting yourself apart from pretty much every client I’ve ever worked with (well, that was before they worked with me, because you bet I made them add that in when we worked together!).
You’d be amazed at how many people actually comment on how easy it is to book a call with me. Something so simple can be so impressive to people that they go out of their way to email me about it. It’s these simple things that make all the difference, and make you stand above your competitors.
03 | More Income
Yes, I like to make sure my client is having the best possible experience with me when we work together, mostly because I’m a massive people pleaser! I want to make sure that the end product I have created for them is the best it can be, and that the process of working with me is as simple as possible. I spend a lot of time making sure my complicated, overwhelming project is less complicated and overwhelming to my clients.
But in my need to make my clients happy, there is a lovely side effect that happens. Happy clients tell their business friends. Which puts me front of mind for anyone who needs help with what I offer. This brings new leads to my door. Which means more income. Which equals a happy business.
It’s a win win for everyone! You’re creating an amazing little circle of love that just keeps bringing new clients to you.
Oh, and did I mention that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over other sources (sources: Nielsen)
Here’s some other interesting stats about word of mouth marketing…
People are 4 times more likely to buy a product or work with a business when referred by friends. (Source: Impact)
According to the word of mouth advertising statistics, 85% of small businesses are discovered by customers due to word of mouth recommendations. (Source: Writer’s Block Live)
Customers acquired through word of mouth promotion spend 200% more than the average customer. (Source: Referral Candy)
According to word of mouth marketing statistics, 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain to the company about a bad experience; however, they share their bad experience with about 9-15 people. (Source: Reputation Refinery)
About 13% of unhappy customers share their bad experience with 20 people. (Source: Reputation Refinery)
A happy customer, on the other hand, only tells 3 people about it. (Source: Reputation Refinery)
A whopping 91% of unhappy customers will not buy from a company they’ve had a bad experience with again. (Source: Reputation Refinery)
It takes about 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage done by 1 negative review. (Source: Reputation Refinery)
If those stats haven’t convinced you to take a look at your client experience, I don’t know what will!
So, how do you get started making a referral-worthy client experience?
Hopefully that has jarred you into thinking about your client experience and maybe paying more attention to it…
Think of the people you’ve hired, what did you like, what did you hate, what made you weak in the knees? You know, it doesn’t even have to be people you’ve worked with…think about any time you’ve had amazing customer experience when buying something - what made it amazing? Is this something you can incorporate somehow into your client experience?
Next you need to get down to the strategy and planning. Understanding the stages of the client experience and what the purpose of each stage is. If you need some help with working out what your client journey is, come and take a look at my Strategy VIP day. We’ll jump on a call for 2 hours and fully map out your services and at the end you’ll be able to walk away with a Client Experience Roadmap you can either implement yourself, or I can help you set this up within Dubsado.
P.S. If you’re in mood for a book recommendation, I highly recommend you read Talk Triggers by Jay Baer & Daniel Lemin. https://www.talktriggers.com/