Client experience is one of the most important elements in creating a reputable business. The quality of the experience you provide for your client directly impacts your overall success as a company. However, it is easy for this aspect of your business to be deprioritized when the demands of running a business paired with the demands of living a life leave little margin for personal client investment.
Over the years we have found that by investing in our clients and focusing on providing an amazing customer experience, the return on investment is reflected in our bookings. Our relationship with our clients is so much more than just providing a service on their wedding day. Instead, we strive to create an experience throughout their entire engagement. The more we can connect with our clients through this experience, the more likely they will refer us to their friends and family. For those of you affiliated with industries other than the wedding industry, the concept of client experience may relate to your business in how you manage customer satisfaction. Providing the opportunity for clients to offer feedback or rate a product or service allows business owners to gauge customer satisfaction.
The progression of business is often cyclical. At the start of your business, your clientele likely generates from friends and family. From there you may progress to selling to friends of friends and within the next few years that circle will expand outside of your sphere of influence. Therefore, your client experience is the one thing that can keep you at the forefront of a client’s mind regardless of how clients stumble upon you. We have found that these five keys have not only increased our ability to connect with potential clients but has also increased our booking rate. Whether clients find us in a Google search or connect with us through a past client, we are able to provide every client a unique experience that is worth talking about.
Provide Connection Points
People buy from people. More importantly, people buy from people they can connect with. Providing a “virtual” place for potential clients to connect with you, before they even sign a contract or purchase a product, opens the door for relationships to develop. You are earning their trust just by putting yourself out there. This “virtual” place could take the form of a blog, Instagram account or email newsletter. No matter what platform you choose, you are showing that you have something to offer. You are putting a face to your name. You are building a relationship with that potential client so that when they are ready to buy, you are the first name that comes to their mind.
We are a culture that enjoys talking about ourselves. Our self-centered disposition can often alienate potential clients from engaging with our business. But, perhaps there’s a different way. A client-centered approach to business puts the client at the forefront of everything that you do. From how you communicate, what you sell, and how you engage with your potential audience. Self-serving businesses often fail because they operate within a scope of how to serve him or herself. A client-centered business that engages with their audience is set up for successes because they work with their client in mind. They engage with their pain points and work to alleviate them.
Operate like a business
If you are communicating that you are a business, you have to operate like one. Set defined operating hours. Do not respond to emails at midnight. Take the weekends off, if that fits within your business model. Do not let the pressure of running a business become your sole focus in life. For most people, you did not quit your 9 to 5 to work 24/7. Maintain a level of professionalism by communicating your businesses core values and principles with clients and operate within those. Your ideal client will respect you, appreciate you, and value you even more!
Set Clear Expectations
Setting proper expectations from the forefront of any relationship will help ensure that everyone is on the same page. It’s always a good idea to under promise when it comes to timelines, and then overdeliver on your promises. If you plan to finish a project in 2 weeks, don’t tell the client it will be done in 2 weeks. If you do deliver in that time frame, at the very best all you’ve done is met their expectations. But if you run into any sort of snag in production and end up taking 3 weeks to deliver, now you’re leaving the client with a negative experience as their last interaction with you. You want to make sure you leave your client on a high note. If you tell them it’ll be 4 weeks, and you deliver in 2, you’ve just exceeded their expectations.
The goal in providing a great client experience is to position your name at the forefront of your client’s mind. So that when their time with you is over, you are the first person that comes to mind when their friends or family members are looking to hire a photographer, or a videographer, or someone to make custom stationery for them, etc. They have built a relationship with you centered around trust and value and if you treated them well, you will reap the return on that investment.
Want to hear more from The Herrintons? Join them for their FREE webinar “Unlocking the 3 Essential Phases of Successful Wedding Filmmaking”. They will be sharing their entire process from the initial inquiry from a client to the final delivery of a wedding film. They will cover everything you need to know to make wedding films you can be proud of!