Blog by Dubsado Certified Specialist, Fran Rescigno.
You’ve probably heard the term client experience thrown around here and there during your time as a business owner. You probably know that the goal is to provide a positive client experience, not a negative one. But do you actually know what impacts your client experience and why it’s crucial for building not only a successful business, but a sustainable one? Lucky for you – that’s exactly what I’m here to tell you.
Here’s what we’ll talk about today:
What is your Client Experience?
What things impact your Client Experience?
What is the most important part of your Client Experience?
How can you improve your Client Experience?
How your Client Experience impacts your business’ success
The term, client experience refers to a client’s perception of your business/brand based on the interactions they’ve had with it. Your client experience is impacted by your client journey, or, all of the actions involved, both by the client and yourself, from inquiry to off-boarding.
When it comes to what makes up your client experience, I like to break it down into three categories: external, internal & deliverables.
Each of these categories plays a role in your client experience and, ultimately, how satisfied (or dissatisfied) a client is with working together.
The deliverables are, obviously, an extremely important aspect of your client experience because regardless of how amazing the internal & external aspects are, if the client is not satisfied with the deliverables; they won’t be satisfied with the experience.
The external aspects are wonderful for drawing potential clients in and getting them to that first step of inquiring; this is the majority of what influences someone to convert from an audience member to a lead.
Lastly, the internal aspects which, although may seem less important, are actually key to not only converting a lead to a client, but also in converting a client to a loyal client.
The first few interactions that someone has with you post-inquiry can actually make or break whether someone chooses to work with you or not.
Things like response time, amount of back & forth emails, ease of booking calls, clarity of materials provided (like pricing guide, proposal, etc.) are incredibly important. When these things aren’t prioritized & streamlined, it often leads to potential clients feeling unvalued and more like just a $ rather than a person – which is what we want to avoid!
When someone is wow-ed by how quickly you responded to them, how easy it was to book a call with you or how simple the process was for selecting their package and booking your services, you’re starting off on a high note already because they feel valued and they appreciate how little work they had to do during the process.
Which brings me to my next point:
Why? Think of your client experience like eating your favorite fruit, let’s say an apple. The external aspects of the experience are how the apple looks and the internal aspects of are how it tastes / feels after taking a bite. You have this absolutely beautiful apple, fresh-picked, the perfect bright red color, and when you take a bite, you’re horrified to find out that there’s a worm inside.
I think it’s safe to assume that you would be very upset, right? You’d probably feel misled too, that you were prepared for an amazing, sweet, crunchy apple, only to find a worm inside.
When you focus on optimizing the external aspects of your client experience before the internal ones - your clients experience the wormy apple. They have this perception of your business/brand based on your beautiful branding, exquisite website and copy that spoke right to them but then your back-end processes are a mess, you’re using 6 different platforms to accept inquiries and book clients, you’re not utilizing automations, you take weeks to respond to emails…And your clients are left feeling confused and undervalued.
Because they thought they were going to get this amazing, VIP experience based on how your business/brand was presented, externally, but the internal experience didn’t match.
For this, I have 3 rules: consolidate, communicate & automate:
1. Consolidate: Creating a great client experience starts with making things as easy as possible for your clients every step of the way. Consolidating multiple steps into one is a great way to do that!
Send your contract & invoice in one email instead of two, send your intake questionnaire in your welcome email instead of separately, add a link to leave a review on google to the bottom of your feedback form instead of in an additional email
2. Communicate: Your client should never be in a situation where they a) don’t know what they need to do next or b) don’t know if they need to do something next. Make sure to outline next steps, always, and make it abundantly clear what their expectations are and what their involvement will be in the process.
Don’t forget: Just because you know how to do something, doesn’t mean your client does. Navigating a Dubsado client portal may be second-nature to you, but it could be extremely intimidating to your client; it’s always better to over explain!
3.Automate: The more you can make your system(s) work for you, the better! This improves your efficiency, and increases your communication without adding additional things to your plate or relying on yourself to remember all the things you have to do.
This is super helpful for anyone, like me, who is neurodivergent! If things aren’t on my to-do list they definitely won’t get done. Having automations set up helps me make sure I’m not dropping the ball on my client experience just because my brain simply will not remember anything that’s not written down.
If you want a quick & easy way to get started with automated workflows in Dubsado, you can steal my free dubsado inquiry workflow! It includes a customizable workflow, 3 editable email templates and a demo video to show you the ropes.
There are two main effects you’re going to see from prioritizing your client experience: more referrals & more client retention (aka clients that work with you more than once) which results in less work for you to book clients!
Referrals increase because not only are you providing high-quality services/deliverables, but you’re also providing an experience that makes your clients feel valued, prioritized and like they matter to you! That magic combination is going to make them want to tell all their friends about how amazing you are and how much they should work with you, leading to more referrals because 81% of consumers trust the advice of family & friends over businesses. Meaning, someone is more likely to book you if someone they trust recommends them to do so rather than if they’re just reading your content.
Client retention will increase because when people love working with you, for more than just the quality of your services/deliverables, they want to keep working with you, specifically. And will seek out opportunities to do so because of how much they enjoyed it!
(Side note: If you’re a service-based business, I highly recommend having some “off the menu” services that are only available to and specifically created for past clients to continue working with you or work with you in the future.)
Something to keep in mind is making improvements to your client experience often don’t yield any visible results for a few months. It takes time for new clients to go through your improved process and receive their service/deliverables before they can decide they want to work with you again or tell all their friends to work with you.
This is often why people make the mistake of working on the external aspects of their client experience before the internal ones, because those often yield results faster such as more inquiries, more clients booked, etc. And while we obviously want those results as well, it’s not worth your time & money to invest in the external aspects of your client experience before the internal ones (remember my apple metaphor!)
Don’t get discouraged if you make some improvements and don’t start to see a steady increase in referrals or client retention for 3+ months. If it goes on longer than that and you still see no improvement, it’s probably a good time to make sure you’re checking in with clients and getting feedback from them to see how you can continue to improve or having an expert take a look and make recommendations for improvement.
If you’re sitting here thinking –Yes, that’s what I need! Someone to take a look at my client experience and tell me how to improve it– hop on a Client Experience Audit Session with me! I’ll do a live audit of your process, from inquiry to off-boarding, and give you feedback and recommendations on how to improve from a back-end perspective and a client perspective!
Or if you’re ready to dive a bit deeper, take a peek at my website or head over to my Instagram to learn more about how I help creative entrepreneurs automate their processes in a way that works for them & supports their clients. And don’t forget to save 30% off your first month or year of Dubsado with my code: TPC30.
Hey there – I’m Fran! Dubsado Specialist, cat mom, sitcom-lover, podcaster, Harry Potter nerd, and a bunch of other adjectives thanks to my various ADHD hyperfixations (iykyk).
My business, The Passions Collective, exists to help creative–and creative adjacent!–entrepreneurs elevate their client experience, increase their profits and take back their time, through the help of Dubsado of course!