The scariest things for independent business owners are unhappy clients and unsuccessful projects. Instead of focusing on your fears, here are six sweet treats you can give your clients to ensure a better client experience and efficient clientflow.
While the kids in your neighborhood are out getting candy, this month is a great opportunity to focus on the sweet treats you can provide for your clients.
No, we’re not talking about sending over Halloween gift baskets (although that could be a nice touch). Instead, we’re talking about the delightful moments throughout your clientflow that you can work on making even better.
This season, focus on these six sweet treats for your clients!
- Prompt responses to inquiries and emails
- A seamless booking process
- Secure online payments
- Clear expectations
- Organized project management
- Appealing loyalty programs
1. Prompt responses to inquiries and emails
There’s nothing more delightful to a client than a responsive business owner. It shows that they can trust you to provide what they’re paying for. Let them know you value their time and business with prompt responses. When you prioritize your responses to inquiries as well, you can ensure you aren’t leaving new opportunities and revenue on the table.
Take some of the pressure off of yourself by setting up automated emails. You can still incorporate your brand voice and tone to make it personable, but you’ll save hours without typing out every single message.
Set up email templates to send as soon as your inquiries fill out your contact form. You can thank them for inquiring and let them know when you’ll get back to them, or send them directly to your scheduling link.
On the client side, you can also automate confirmations for booking, scheduling, meetings, and more. Any time you find yourself doing a repetitive task, consider if you can automate it. By doing so, you can save time while still delighting your clients.
2. A seamless booking process
Halloween is all about instant gratification. As a kid, you could knock on any door and expect delicious candy right away. As a service provider, your booking process should be just as seamless. When your client comes knocking, give them the treat of instant booking!
As a kid, you could knock on any door and expect candy right away. As a service provider, your booking process should be the same. When your client comes knocking, give them the treat of instant booking!
Once clients are ready to pay, there’s no need for the ongoing back-and-forth. You’ve either hashed it all out during the sales process, or your clients already know what they want. All you need to do is get a contract signed, send an invoice, and accept their payment.
Why not combine it all in one step? With static files or other types of template builders, you have to send everything individually. Now with HoneyBook smart files, you can combine as many steps as you need to create an all-in-one booking file.
What’s even better is that the files sync with each other. Say you want to send a pricing guide with your services that lets clients choose the best options. On the next pages, you can include an invoice that populates with their choices and a contract that pulls in their information as well.
With faster booking, you can count on a better client experience and greater business growth.
3. Secure online payments
We want to give our clients sweets, not scares. A big part of that is removing any stress or fear that comes with paying. One of the best things you can do is offer online payments to create the best experience for your clients.
We want to give our clients sweets, not scares. A big part of that is removing any stress or fear that comes with paying.
Accepting credit cards and ACH transfers means your clients don’t have to worry about sending a check and wondering when it’ll get cashed. They can make their payment and receive confirmation within minutes, knowing that the project is ready to move forward.
With HoneyBook smart files, you can customize the experience in your payment process. One best practice is to include a thank you message on the next page after your clients have paid. This lets them know that you’ve received their payment, and you can also provide details about the next steps.
4. Clear expectations
As you begin projects, you should have a solid understanding of what your client expects. They might have communicated their needs in a background questionnaire or during a consultation call. Either way, you know what they want and which services to provide.
But does your client also know what you expect from them? Setting your expectations is a treat for clients because it builds trust and makes them feel comfortable and confident. They don’t have to worry about the mask coming off later on–you’re showing them that they’re working with a trusted professional.
Your clients shouldn’t worry about the mask coming off later on–you’re showing them that they’re working with a trusted professional.
The best way to set your project expectations is with a clear contract. That’s where you can include your policies on cancelations, refunds, timelines, communication, and more. But you can also set expectations at each step in your clientflow.
Take your booking process, for example, do clients know how to use your booking file? Do they know when payment is due, and which payment options you offer? You can create an intro page for all your files to set these expectations. Or, better yet, embed a video in your HoneyBook template to offer guidance in a more personalized way.
Pro Tip: HoneyBook smart files offer the best way to educate your clients through video. They’re more personal than an email, but take much less of your time than a 1:1 call. See how easy it is to embed videos into your onboarding documents, booking files, and much more.
5. Organized project management
Don’t let your project fade away once it’s booked. Your clients want to know they’re getting what they paid for and the project is going according to plan. Instead, keep your client in the loop with ongoing client communication and organized project management.
Schedule emails to send at specific milestones to give them ongoing updates without taking too much time on your end. Inside HoneyBook, you can create as many email templates as you need to reuse. You can also use a client portal where your clients can easily view all their project files, communications, and statuses.
When you use HoneyBook smart files, it also helps you shed more light on your projects than if you were using traditional files. Every file you send generates a summary section in your project where you can see which pages your clients have viewed, which actions they’ve taken, and how they’ve responded to specific questions.
6. Appealing loyalty programs
Once the project is over, it doesn’t mean you have to stop providing sweet surprises. By focusing on client retention and loyalty, you can bring in new and recurring clients.
Explore discount options for project renewals or for clients who bring in referrals. Depending on your business model, you can also offer freebies like templates, additional consultations, 1:1 sessions, and more.
Client loyalty doesn’t have to be built around a program, though. You can still create long-term benefits by asking for feedback during project closure and directing clients to your review sites. Each time you improve based on feedback, you’re setting your business up for greater success.
Treat your clients with a seamless clientflow
All of these treats align with different stages of the clientflow, which is the entire process of selling and delivering your services. When you have a seamless clientflow, you have happy clients to help build your brand reputation.
Insecure payments, confusing projects, and endless back-and-forth will make you and your client feel like you’re stuck in the Twilight Zone. Instead, use HoneyBook to ensure everything in your business is under control. As the standard for independent businesses to manage their clientflow, it offers everything you need.