What Is Client Experience?
Often when I say “client experience,” I am returned with bored faces who assume I am talking about customer experience and customer satisfaction. We all have flashbacks to receive idle-faces handing us a receipt and robotically saying, “if you go online, you can fill out a survey and tell us how we did today. If you do, we will give you 10% off your next purchase.” I get it. Customer experience hasn’t always gotten the best or most exciting rep. I plan to change that.
You want to know what makes someone a one-time client vs someone who signs on for a recurring retainer? Experience. You want to know what makes your client acquisition cost dramatically decrease so you can stretch your marketing dollars and increase profit? Experience. Do you want to know what turns customers into advocates and refers you to their friends? Experience.
People really care how they’re treated especially after they’ve opened their wallet. They should! I sure do! When you can ace a client experience by going above an beyond, ensuring your client feels heard and supported, reducing friction along their journey, you set your business up for scalable success. The alternative is to burden your client with clicking around different platforms to correspond with you (email, DM, your booking software, your work review platform, and on and on) and leaving them feeling scattered.
Picture this: we want all our clients to feel like they came into our restaurant hungry (that’s their problem) and we’re not only going to feed them, we’re going to give them the best meal of their lives.
That restaurant probably doesn’t have to rely on inner-city ads for people to know who they are. Why? Because the people talk about “that great new place on the corner with the delicious food” FOR. FREE. You want your experience to be so strong that your clients are in their communities talking about how you served them with others. In fact, I bet if you were to open one of the communities you regularly use, you won’t have to scroll far before you see people recommending a service provider or brand that they loved working with.
Now I know someone is hearing this and thinking.. uh wait. I don’t want to spend all my time going above and beyond and they’re still not happy or pushing into my margins. I get it. Experience doesn’t mean it has to be at a cost to you. Client experience is about your consideration for your client, not how much you spend on them over the course of the project.
How to improve your client experience today
I’m going to share with you 3 ways that you can improve your client experience starting today by leveraging your current work systems and alleviating common friction points.
- Streamline communication – I know from your perspective, we often want to have our clients on all platforms so that we can grow our following an increase our chances of being seen by them. This is a great strategy for reach. But for communication when there is a prospective or open project should be streamlined so the customer never has to guess where to reach you. If you want feedback to be given via email, keep your communications via email. Schedule your conferences with that email address. Send your review files to that email address. That relieves your customer of guessing where you will be next. This creates a sense of ease and reliability that reflects well on your brand.
- Offer 5-10% more than is expected – This one radically changed my design business. When I would design for clients, I would tell them I will give you 5 custom design pages and they were happy with that. At the end of the project, upon delivery, I would say “Oh I threw in an extra landing page since I know you’re working on your sales funnel this year.” Another one I commonly included was, “I included a few recommendations for you to consider in the future when you’re ready.” This built immense trust and immediately took me from a place of meeting expectation to exceeding expectation with only an extra hour or two of work. This shouldn’t be overdone and it should never be you offering another one of your services for free to make that 5-10% happen. This should be unexpected and not offered anywhere else in your service packaging.
- Don’t make your customer wait for a call empty handed – this is one I see quite often. We so badly want to secure that first call that we leave our client empty handed during that time. If your prospect has a challenge that they’ve come to you for, you don’t want to leave that in their mouth 2 days while they try to catch you on your schedule. Here’s what to do instead: secure the call and get them scheduled. Provide value in the mean time in the form of blog posts related to their problem, moldboards for inspiration, a request for their feedback (to give them something to chew on), or your pricing and investment/value proposition. Use the time that they’re waiting to speak with you directly to move them away from their problem so they feel like you’re already solving it for them before you guys next talk. This provides them with the feeling of instant relief.
This should help you get started with flipping the lens and seeing how you can position yourself as highly convenient and valuable for your client to improve their experience. As always, if you have a quick question, you can DM me on Instagram @nigermany.