Six Ways to Enhance your Client Experience
How can you enhance your client experience today?
We have six suggestions to help you, whether you are a service provider or product seller.
When it comes to your client experience, this is such an incredible way to change things for the people who purchase from you or spend time with you as you are designing something for them. Whether you are a product seller or a service provider you can make such a tremendous difference in the way that an experience can be created from working with you. Client Experience is all about surprising and delighting your customers and clients all along the way, and below we have a few suggestions to help you get started in improving this for your business.
I often think of this moment with Cara from One Swell Studio from one of our 2016 Conference Breakouts. If you had a choice to receive a pair of Tieks in a Tieks box or the same exact item tossed into a plastic bag when it was handed to you as a gift, which would you be more excited to open? Which would make your heart a little happier?
As another example, think about the classic Tiffany box, how it’s wrapped beautifully with the white satin bow. Before you even know what’s inside, you probably are going to get excited, right? It’s because they have trained you through their consistent branding not only to become recognizable with the emotions attached to their items, but also because you know that whatever is inside of that box, you know it’ll probably be pretty amazing.
So today, we’re going to cover six ways to enhance your client experience as a product seller or service provider. If, after this, you want to learn even more, sign up for the Creative Hub Conference on October 24th where you can hear Kristin go into even more detail on this specific topic.
When it comes to Client Experience, think of it as an emotional trigger, where you can genuinely connect with the person you are working with. What kind of an experience do you want your clients or customers to have? When they talk about the experience with you when you’re not in the room, what do you want them to say? Giving them an amazing experience from the beginning is a great way to enhance their experience with you from the beginning.
If you are a service provider, here are three suggestions of how to create a great client experience.
If your clients will be filling out questionnaires or you’ll be sending quotes, invoices, and contracts, the best thing is to have those all in one place not only to make it easier on you, but easier on your clients as well. This is one way to let them know that from the beginning, they’ll be in great hands, and also they only have to learn one system to keep everything in because everything is organized. It makes it a lot easier to be able to communicate with everything in one place, and it makes it a lot easier on your clients as well since this is something new for them. In addition, some of these have automatic “triggers”, so that for example, if they accept a quote, they automatically can receive a contract and invoice, and sign them all without you needing to send them individually, which saves time on your end as well. Also - who wants to wait to send and receive a paper contract in the mail before finalizing a booking? Think about the ease of use with implementing an online program, and if you can have it all in one place, that's a win for everyone.
2. If they are a potential client and you’ll be having a consultation meeting with them, send a questionnaire beforehand include asking for their address so that you can send them a thank you card after meeting with them, before they even hire you.
This will help you to know if they are local or out-of-town clients, AND it also gives you their address to send them a thank you card when you first meet with them. If, after meeting with them, you know that they’re your ideal client and you would like to work with them, sending them a note in the mail the same day as your meeting (especially if they can receive it the day after if they’re local) will not only will keep them excited about meeting with you, they won’t be expecting it, and they may just take a picture of it and post it on social media - which means free advertising for you.
As a wedding invitation designer, this is something that Kristin from Grace and Serendipity does with every one of her clients. Before their meeting, she sends a questionnaire requesting their details, and asks for their address. The day of the meeting, she brings the note with her, fully addressed, stamped, and ready to go so that if the meeting goes well and she knows they are her ideal client, all she has to do after their meeting is write a short note thanking them, touching on a few personal points from their meeting, and drop it into the mailbox that same day. It’s fully branded to her business as well, and her potential brides love seeing their name addressed beautifully on the envelope just a day after meeting with her in person.
3. If you are doing something where you will be working together for a long time, find out when their birthday is.
Sometimes, you can hop on over to Facebook and find it there, but you may need to do some sleuthing here to subtly find out when their birthday is (or just come right out and ask!). There is something so sweet about receiving a birthday card or gift in the mail, especially when it’s from someone they’re not expecting. Bonus points? Add it to a perpetual calendar and send them one even after you’re done working together. It’ll bring you back to mind and perhaps they will even reach out to you to work together on another project. This also again works for weddings - if you’re working with them for their wedding invitations, send them a card the week before their wedding, and on their one year anniversary a year later.
I love using services like Greetabl to deliver something happy and unexpected, personalizing it with photos or quotes that they can tear off in addition to the note inside. An alternative, more personalized option is working with someone for beautifully created artisan gifting services, like those provided by Alicia of The Welcoming District, where she works with you to create curated, personalized gifts for your clients. This will make a tremendous difference in their experience with you because it is a fun way to surprise and delight your clients (and, who doesn't like to receive gifts?).
Three Suggestions for Product Sellers
1. If you are shipping something in the mail, add to the outside of the package that personalizes it to your business.
Perhaps it’s a teal blue or polka dotted bubble mailer to go with your branding like these from the Polka Dot Paper Company or happy stickers that say “pretty please do not bend” or "made with love in NC", or even custom "YAY" packaging tape like these from All She Wrote Notes with your logo and in your branding colors - not only will your customers automatically begin to recognize packaging from you and get excited before even opening it in the mail, but it’ll add a bit more personality in as well.
When you're thinking of ways to add items like these, it is imperative to also build it into your pricing so that you don't have all of these added bonuses included but are losing money from them. Take the time to compare pricing from different companies to determine what the costs of ordering items like this are and build it into your bottom line to determine your price that you need to sell them at before selling your products. You want to make sure that you have at least a 70% profit margin each time, so build your pricing accordingly.
2. Add something into a package other than just their order.
If they order an 8x10 print, it’s easy to just drop it into the mail and not add anything else. However, enhance the unboxing a little more. Wrap their item with tissue paper or tie it together with a beautiful ribbon. Add a handwritten note inside thanking them for their order, perhaps on the back of a 5x7 print that they can hang in their home. If it doubles as a thank you note and your business or social media details are on the back of it, they’ll know where it came from and remember it again in the future, or perhaps even tag you in the print when they share it online.
I also think the idea to give them something that they can gift to someone else is such a good move, for example adding a postcard (with a stamp already on the back) that they can mail to a friend. The friend of theirs gets excited because they received something other than a bill in the mail, and it's a new potential customer for you if they follow the links included on that card to find you on social media or your website.
3. Follow up with your customers after they have received their item(s).
This may seem like a more basic one, but when you order something online, how often do you hear from the store after? This can be something as simple as sending an email a week or so later checking in and asking how they liked the product, and inviting them to leave a review. If you follow up with your customers after they purchase, they’ll feel like they weren’t just a number. This can even be an automated email where you personalize their first name and product they received a certain amount of days after it was shipped, once tracking has shown that it was delivered. Either way, for you to follow up with them after and give them an opportunity to personally connect with you it’ll enhance their client experience even more, and make them even more excited to purchase from you again.
So! What are you going to do to enhance your client experience? These are only a few suggestions, but hopefully they will help you to enhance your client experience or think about different ways that you can change the relationship with your customers and clients to one that is built on more of a personalized basis. I hope that this inspired you to think of a few different ways that you can surprise and delight your customers, and that it'll begin to get the wheels turning on how to inspire your customers and clients!
Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, however each of these services are ones that we use personally. We only recommend services and products we love.