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Know your Clients
Ever had someone say ‘I pay your wages! You should do what I want,’? I hope you've not had anyone mistreat you in that way but it’s something some of us will hear during our careers. Although in reality, that's not the case, it is true that without any clients, we wouldn't have a business. So in this episode, we're going to look at things that you can do to nurture that client relationship to do your best for them and have them do their best for you.
What the big boys do
We're in a unique position as business owners and owners of small businesses, we can make it personal. Let me tell you a story. Last year, me and my partner Matthew bought our first home together. Nationwide building society is our mortgage provider. About a week after we got our keys, we got this box delivered. Now, we inherited a fish pond in the back garden and I was very excited because there were Koi in it, suddenly I became a fish parent. I was very excited to learn everything that I could about our fish, and what I could do to make life better for them.
Then we ended up getting this box. Neither of us could remember ordering it, obviously, we were ordering lots of things for the new house. Neither of us really knew where it came from. It had both of our names on and my other half said, ‘I can see fish on the side of this box. Have you ordered something for the pond?’ I was like, ‘No, I don't think I have’ but as we opened this box, it looked like an aquarium. It was so strange and when we opened up the inside of it, there was a dishcloth in there, popcorn, vouchers, a full bottle of the flora lavender, there was a home magazine, biscuits and there was a big black bin bag. It was from nationwide, they had sent us all of this stuff as a ‘Welcome to your new home’ gift.
And in case you didn't have any furniture or anything pretty to look at, you could put the box on the on a shelf, and you could pretend that you had an aquarium. It was a lovely surprise and a great example of how big companies do it. The thing is, it wasn't personal. It's the same box all new homeowners would have gotten and that's where we can make the difference. We get to know our clients on a more intimate level. If you don't make notes on these things, I urge you to start, dog's/cats name, birthdays, favourite flowers, etc. Make notes of these after you have your meetings with your clients, because they can really, really help you down the line.
What are your experiences as a Client?
What is an example of great customer service that you've received? Why did it stand out to you? How did it make you feel? What can you take from that into your own business? What about a bad customer service experience? I'm sure those springs to mind really easily. What's been your worst experience? How did it make you feel? What could they have done differently in that situation, to have created a better experience for you?
Your client care process
Now take a look at your own Client Care process? Do you have a process in place? If not, you need to look at creating one having a process makes it much easier for you to follow through when you've got 1,000,001 things to do. What will you do going forward? How can you pleasantly surprise your clients?
Having a process doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing at the same time in their journey with you, though it could. It means that you have set times when you do things and those things can be personalized to the clients in question. For example, after a consultation sent a thank you email, leaving it open for them to ask questions. After a booking, send them a handwritten thank-you note. Two months out from their wedding date, send them a Starbucks card enough for two coffees and tell them that you thought things might be a bit crazy and they might enjoy a quiet coffee break just the two of them or another voucher if you know they prefer something different.
This also reminds them that you haven't forgotten about them, which is often a fear that couples have when they book their vendors so far in advance after the wedding date. Post a wedding card to arrive at their home letting them know how much you've enjoyed working with them and you hope that the day was everything they wanted. Remember their anniversary and birthdays. These are things that don't have to cost the earth and of course, you factor all of your business costs into your margins but they make all the difference between satisfied clients and advocating clients who will rave about you.
Above all, do what you say you're going to do, there is a phrase under-promise and over-deliver. Now, this shouldn't mean that you tell them that you're going to do the bare minimum of things, and then you do a little bit more. This should mean that you provide them with your standard client care and you go above and beyond. Give the service that you would want to receive treat your clients well and they will be your best source of leads.
There is a downloadable guide that goes with this episode that will walk you through the questions click here to download.
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