Blog content by Joleena Henson, from live webinar: How to Give Your Customers a 5-Star Experience
One of the only things we can be truly in control of at all times in our business is service. External factors can always threaten our sales or give us a boost, but the one thing we have no excuse to drop the ball in is how we treat others. Don't let service be something you have to question as a possible weakness of your business!
Because it’s not just about feeling good that you provided your client with a good experience. Positive client experiences lead to referrals, testimonials, return customers, and build up your brand equity. Time you spend improving your client experience and strengthening your relationships is an investment in your business.
Ready to get started? Let’s go over my top 3 tips I’ve learned in my more than 5 years as a customer care expert, and how you can use Dubsado’s powerful suite of business tools to put these tips into practice. Remember, your main goal here is to make every client feel like they're your only client.
By eliminating uncertainty in your client journey, clients will feel more secure, trust you more, and have a clear understanding of how the project will progress.
The easiest way to do this is to put yourself in your client’s shoes. What would you want to know as a client paying for your services, and when would you like to be communicated with? If you haven't already, map out your full business process from client booking through final off-boarding, and note when and how you should communicate with your client.
Let’s take the example of a wedding photographer. A huge moment like a wedding can already be overwhelming for your client, so providing a concise breakdown of what they can expect from you and when they can expect it can help ease any uncertainty. For the client, seeing that you are organized will also help build their trust in you, and ensure you're both on the same page.
Some other ways to make sure clients know what to expect during their journey include:
• Clearly lay out all service details and pricing for prospective clients in your proposals. You don’t want a client to be surprised with a hidden fee or complication for a service after they’ve already booked.
• After you’ve booked a client, walk them through next steps and timelines. You can do this right in Dubsado with canned emails and smart fields, which allow you to easily send individualized project information without rewriting the same email over and over.
• Make sure clients have access to all documents, appointment dates, and payment information laid out for them so there’s no confusion. If you haven't already, you can use Dubsado client portals to do this!
In today's fast-paced world, convenience is more important than ever. Customers are busy and don't want to deal with long waiting periods, added stress in their client journey, or any ambiguity about what they're paying for.
Here are some practical applications to make your business more convenient for your clients:
• Streamline the appointment and payment process as much as possible. Use Dubsado’s scheduler to allow clients to easily select a date/time that works best for their appointments, without you lifting a finger. You can also use Dubsado autopay feature so clients can submit payments on time without any extra steps.
• Manage expectations around your availability. If there are times you won’t be reachable, for example if you stop answering emails at a certain time, will be on vacation, etc. make sure you clearly communicate that to your clients.
• Keep paperwork as painless as possible. Consider bundling your contracts, invoices, and/or proposals one or together so the client can fill everything out at once. With Dubsado, you can also send multiple forms within one email if needed.
Going above and beyond for your clients doesn't have to be a ton of extra work! Simple acts that show you're paying attention and care about your client's experience can make a world of difference.
• Get to know your clients on a personal level. It doesn’t take much extra time to ask a few questions to get an idea of their personality, likes and dislikes, important dates like birthdays, preferred form of communication, etc. This can help you improve you client's experience and avoid any potential issues down the line. With Dubsado, you can use lead capture forms and questionnaires to gather this data and map the information to each client's profile.
• Schedule periodic check-ins to give clients the opportunity to voice questions/concerns. Clients may also forget to update you about important changes, so this is a chance to get ahead of any last-minute surprises
• If your projects have an end date, send a simple thank you card or check-in after a certain amount of time. This is a great way to solidify the positive experience the client had and even an opportunity to encourage them to leave a testimonial or review. Dubsado makes this easy with its built-in workflow capabilities, which are the most customizable in the game.
Sometimes even when you do everything right, you can still hit bumps in the road of your client experience. Don't worry! Follow these 6 steps to get things back on track with your client relationship stronger than ever.
When clients are unhappy, they first want to feel heard and empathized with. Make sure your client knows you understand their specific frustrations, are sorry they feel this way, and will work to make things right. Most importantly, when responding to negative feedback, you should avoid getting defensive. Instead, focus on making your client feel like you are on their team, not against them.
Sometimes, when dealing with clients, it's important to read between the lines. While you should always address the current issue, taking a step back to see if there's an underlying problem can be helpful.
For instance, if a client suddenly complains about prices they previously agreed to, it may be due to unexpected financial issues or pressure from a third party who is paying the bill.
Every situation is different, but taking the time to identify the root cause of the conflict can save you time, get things back on track, and potentially strengthen your relationship with the client.
Once you know how the client feels and why they feel that way, work together to a resolution. See how you can work to address all or most of the clients concerns, remembering the big picture.
By presenting the client with different resolution options, you demonstrate that you are committed to making them happy and are willing to work beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. The presentation of choices also helps the client regain a sense of control, which can be important to fully resolving the issue.
If you find yourself getting frustrated or short on patience, it's ok to take a breather to collect yourself. Sometimes when tensions are high, this is the best way to prevent escalation.
Not everyone is skilled at or comfortable with conflict resolution. Let the client know you appreciate them voicing their concerns so you have the opportunity to make things right.
While conflict can be uncomfortable in the moment, it also presents us with opportunities to improve our business. Take time to analyze the situation later on to see what you can learn from it, both from a personal and business perspective.
Ready to put these tips into practice? Log in to your Dubsado account now.