Friend, can I tell you something that you likely don’t want to hear? The quality of the client experience that you offer matters far more than the quality of your products or services.
I don’t know about you, but as a photographer, I love what I do, and I take a lot of pride in my work. I want my images to speak for themselves, and I want people to book with me because they love my photos.
But, here’s the thing. The average person doesn’t know what makes a great photo. The average person doesn’t look at a photo and think, “Whoa. I bet that harsh light was hard to shoot in. Victoria killed it!” Or, “I so appreciate how Victoria used lead lines and framed the couple in these images. She has to be our wedding photographer!”
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t master your craft or offer anything less than great work, but with this in mind, there comes a point where the key to being able to successfully sell your products or services at a luxury or just a higher price point that allows you to make ends meet is the client experience you offer.
With this in mind, the next few solo episodes of Priority Pursuit are going to focus on strategic ways you can elevate your client experience. We’ll be talking about ways you can surprise your clients, how to create the perfect welcome box, and more. And, today, we’re going to start by simply thinking about and mapping out what you’d like your client experience to look like touchpoint by touchpoint with your ideal customer in mind.
Before we get to mapping out what you’d like your customer service experience to look like, I think it’s important to note that the golden rule of customer service is to under promise and over deliver.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of under promising and over delivering, this is a customer service strategy where you give your clients more than you initially promised to delight them and make them feel valued and well served.
Now, this by no means means that you should give your time, work, or resources away for free. It simply means that you need to budget time and money to exceed your clients’ expectations by doing things like delivering ahead of schedule, finding ways to surprise your clients, and responding to emails and messages in a timely manner.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of under promising and under delivering, I want to encourage you to pause right here and go back and listen to “Episode 014: 4 Easy Ways You Can Under Promise & Over Deliver to Your Customers” before continuing onto the next part of this episode. Because, the golden rule of customer service needs to be kept in mind for every step of your customer’s journey with you!
Now, we’ve talked about this in the past, but in order for (1) your marketing efforts to pay off and (2) for your business to thrive, your ideal customer needs to be at the center of essentially all of your business decisions.
If you haven’t taken the time to identify your ideal customer, you need to. In case this helps, DigitalMarketer offers a great resource here!
In regards to your client experience, it’s important to know who your ideal customer is so that you can determine what’s most important to your ideal client in regards to your products or services.
For example, my ideal bride is detail oriented and a little type A. As a result, I know the more information I can give her and the more promptly I respond, the better!
My friend Nate of New Adventure Productions’ ideal bride, though, loves to travel and wants to elope. So, Nate’s client experience includes lots of information and tips for travel to alleviate stress for his couples.
Regardless of what product or services you offer, think about what’s most important to your client. Maybe it’s quick delivery, frequent communication with project updates, or something more specific to your brand—like Nate’s travel hacks. Basically, make a list of what matters most to your ideal client so you can refer to this list as you map out your client experience.
If you haven’t read The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, I highly recommend it. This book covers a lot, but I love that it breaks down how you can intentionally make any moment a positive memory for your customers.
According to Heath and Heath, “defining moments” can be created through “elevation, insight, pride, and connection,” and “transitions and milestones” are the most powerful times to create these defining moments and positive memories.
With this in mind, it’s important to map out every moment of your customer journey, including what your customer will receive, how you’ll serve them, and how you want them to feel.
Everybody’s customer experience will look different, but in case this helps, I’m sharing what mine looks like from beginning to end in this episode.
In all honesty, it’d take a while to read, and you’d be scrolling for a long time, but if you tune into the episode by hitting play at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts, you can hear a complete breakdown at the 6:20 mark.
There are a lot of details in the episode, but basically at every point of my clients’ experience with me, I’m thinking about how I can best serve them, surprise them, and exceed their expectations. And, I want to encourage you to do the same!
After you’ve read or listened to this episode, sit down and map out what you want your client experience to look like. You may not be able to implement everything all at once, but if you tackle one touchpoint at a time, you’ll get there!
Now, friend, as creatives who love what we do, I know it’s easy to be more wrapped up in our art or craft than systems and nitty gritty details.
But, as a friendly reminder, client experience matters. And, if you want your business to thrive, you need to remember that offering a great client experience is key to being able to charge prices that will give you a sustainable living, the reason your clients will refer to you and come back to you again and again, and the only way your small business will be successful long term.
So, get to mapping out your client experience! And, when you get it down on paper or in a Google Doc, I’d love to see! DM me a photo of your mapped out experience or simply a photo of you working on it on Instagram at @victorialrayburn!
Did you enjoy this episode? If so, pin it to save it for later! Follow me on Pinterest for more marketing, business, branding, and boundary-setting strategies!