It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have: Giving a great client experience is a top priority for any business owner. But as small business owners, we deeply feel the importance of this experience.
Every review is a boost to our confidence–or cuts us like a knife–because of the intimate relationship we build with everyone we work with. This is especially true of service-based business owners, but makers feel it too.
Sometimes it paralyzes us and keeps us from moving forward. We want to have all the pieces in place before we launch or get that first big client, and we’ll wait until it’s perfect.
But it’s never perfect. So we’re at a standstill.
I know you can relate, and if you can’t you should probably look deep within yourself (because I bet you really can).
I’ll tell you the truth. The only process you need when you start your business is your client onboarding process. You need to know how you’ll bring them on, in the most drool-worthy way, and automate it as much as possible.The only process you NEED when you start your biz is your client onboarding. You don’t need bells and whistles.Click To Tweet
All those other bells and whistles and shiny objects? You don’t need them to make money.
Instead, focus on what the client sees and experiences at the beginning of working together. How are you communicating? How many emails are you sending? How quickly do you respond? What happens as soon as that first deposit is paid? These are the things that will set the tone for your business relationship and they’re what the client will remember moving forward.
Not sure what your clients need or how to move forward? Let me help you with that!
Customer Experience Best Practices
Know the Customer Journey
Be aware of the road or funnel you’re sending prospects down when they hear about you from word of mouth or land on your website from an ad. Touchpoints should be in place to trigger communication from you.
Surprise and Delight Your Clients With Thank You Gifts
Send a thank you gift to new clients–especially those purchasing the high-end packages. You can either put this on autopilot through a gift box service or choose something personal. (If you have a large volume, I recommend autopilot. For your sanity. You’re welcome.)Put on autopilot what you can when onboarding new clients. Your sanity will thank you.Click To Tweet
Map Out the Client Process
Identify the process you envision your clients going through and map it out. Then revisit these processes every six months to make sure they’re still working and serving the people you work with.
Know in Advance the Most Appropriate Service Length
If it takes time to develop a relationship with your clients, make sure you’re working with them for an appropriate period of time. For example, I start my chief of staff contracts at 6 months because it takes time to get everything in place and establish a rapport. But I check in after 30 days to make sure that things are going well and everything is on track.
Welcome Client Feedback
Don’t underestimate the power of feedback. In that 30-day check-in, I survey my clients to gauge their satisfaction level. This helps me determine how effective my onboarding process is. I also ask for feedback and a testimonial at the 4 or 5 month mark. If it’s difficult for you to read these, I recommend asking an assistant to filter these for you. Again, you’re welcome.
Your clients (and prospects) come to you looking for solutions. When you have a clear, concise and easy process for them to walk through as they begin working with you, they feel better about their investment. And that makes them feel better about their experience with you.
It’s a matter of setting these introductory processes up in advance–not having your whole business and website in perfection condition from Day One. Get those onboarding pieces in place and get started today!
Ready to Take Action?
A great place to get started is by defining your mission, vision and values so you know where your priorities lie when working with clients.