Providing a great experience after the purchase is hands-down, one of the best ways to differentiate and elevate your brand. Here are five ways to upgrade your brand’s client experience so that you can build an even stronger connection with your customers.
There’s an unlikely or often-overlooked hero when it comes to differentiating your brand from others in your space, industry, category or market and it’s called client experience.
If this is the first time that you’re hearing the phrase, or if you’ve heard about it but haven’t given it much thought, welcome – I’m so glad you’re here.
What I hope you realize right away: client experience is a powerful force in creating brand connection, trust and loyalty.
But it can also be an unnerving idea because it’s a bit alienating – i.e., a positive client experience is a catalyst for building raving fans… but a negative experience can have an equal downside.
So, how do you lean more towards the positive end?
That’s exactly what we’re chatting about today – we’re sharing five of our favorite ways to improve your client experience. Let’s dive in!
IN THIS ARTICLE
→ What is client experience?
→ Why does client experience matter?
→ Understand what your want the experience to look like
→ Have clarity around what is and is not included in your offers
→ Understand that everyone on team is part of client experience
→ Create a simple onboarding process
→ Understand common sticking points and work in ways to overcome them
What is client experience?
Client experience is a holistic perception of the experience with your brand and is created from every interaction the client has with your business.
From booking a consultation call on your website to the onboarding process to completing the services, every touch point contributes to the overall experience and resulting perception of your brand.
What does client experience matter?
It may be seem obvious but let’s get right to it: a positive and successful client experience will improve the overall perception of your brand. People like to be treated well and taken care of, and when you intentionally build a positive client experience, those outcomes naturally start to occur.
When you’re intentional and strategic about creating a client experience that wows, it’s a wonderful catalyst for differentiating your brand from others in your space, for building stronger connections with your audience and for strengthening the overall perception of your brand.
Think about your own behaviors – when you have a positive experience with a brand, are you more or less likely to recommend them when someone else in your network is asking for ideas?
5 ways to improve your client’s experience
Because positive client experiences don’t just happen with a wish and prayer, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite ideas that you can implement in your own business.
Understand what your want the experience to look like
As with all things brand-related, creating a positive client experience starts with strategy. This means defining what your desired client experience looks like in the first place.
It’s worth repeating: Positive client experiences don’t just happen. They are crafted with intention. More often than not, over the lifespan of your business.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few questions to get you brainstorming:
- What do you want your client to think and feel when they work with your business?
- What are the steps that your client goes through after they decide to work with you?
- What’s the number one result that your brand promises to deliver to clients?
The goal here is to get a high level plan or summary that defines what your desired experience looks like. This can be as detailed (or not) as you want – whatever is needed to give you and your team guidance on what the overall plan is for creating a positive client experience.
For even more information on client experience, I highly recommend reading Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman.
Clearly define what is and is not included in your offers
Ambiguity (on either side) is one of the biggest killers of a positive client experience.
If a client doesn’t understand what the expectations are or what is all included, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation, boundary stepping and scope creep. All of which are likely to lead to frustration, negativity or silence.
The idea is to set the expectations from the start. Define what the scope of the project will look like. Articulate the services and be clear about what is included and what is not included in your work together. Put up the boundaries so everyone is on the same page.
You’d be surprised how much the overall demeanor of the project can improve when everyone knows what is happening, when it’s happening and by whom.
Make sure your team knows and understands the client experience expectations
As the leader who has been the primary person interfacing with clients since the beginning of your business, it can be challenging to hand some (or all) of that over to team.
However, it’s so important to remember that every single person on your team plays a part in the client experience and has a responsibility to understand what you’re trying to create for the client.
Because client experience is an iterative, evolving process. Getting your team involved allows you to bring a fresh perspective to what you’re building and, more often than not, they will see things that you might be missing, solely because you’re too close to the work.
At the very least, everyone on your team should know:
- What you desired client experience is
- The steps that a client goes through when they do business with you
- The number one result that you’re delivering when a client signs on with you
Create a simple onboarding process
When a client signs on with you, they’re likely excited and nervous all at the same time. They can’t wait to get started but might also have some natural reservations about the work, the investment, the time, etc.
Your onboarding process is a great opportunity to alleviate those reservations and further reiterate that they made a good decision.
If the process is overwhelming or way too detail-oriented, it can lead to negativity, buyer’s remorse or silence.
Here are a few ideas to make the onboarding process as easy as possible:
- If there are a lot of elements or details that you need from the client, can you break them into manageable bits?
- Is the an opportunity to meet 1:1 with the client before they begin onboarding to provide a higher level of support while they get integrated in your system?
- Are there clear steps or items they can check off a to-do list to make the process more linear and give them some quick gratification for checking something off a list?
- Are there common questions that you can answer right away to help mitigate confusion?
An example from the WCO studio: We used to add a new client to our project management tool, Clickup, right after sending their kickoff email. The problem was that they’d then receive a TON of notifications from the platform about the tasks they were assigned. The due dates may have been a month or two away but the notification came right then. After receiving feedback that it was really overwhelming, we reworked our process and now invite them into the tool while we’re on a call with them, so we can walk through the process together and alert them that they will receive an influx of emails.
Understand common sticking points and work in ways to overcome them
For us at the studio, gathering website content is a tried-and-true sticking point – with every new client project, we’re always thinking about how we can make it easier and less overwhelming.
For my bookkeeper, I imagine gathering all the necessary passwords and login information is a pain. If you’re a strategic planner, perhaps it’s getting the basic information on the organization that’s a haul.
Whatever it is, I’m willing to bet that within the confines of your service/offering, there is a common sticking point that most (if not all) clients experience. Which means there’s also an opportunity to make it better.
It all comes back to communication – how can you make it more clear what is needed or expected? Do you need to increase the communication or decrease it?
After every project, reflect on what didn’t go well and see if there are any patterns from the previous projects – these could be your common sticking points. Ask your team if they notice any patterns and then create a new system or process for the next project and see if it improves.
Again, remember client experience is ever-evolving and its on you to make those tweaks/updates to see what adds more value and positivity for the client.
All my best,
Additional brand resources
Brand experience increases trust with your audience and community – read more about it in this post.
In this post, we chat all about creating a cohesive brand experience when you have a team
Wondering about brand consistency? This post walks through the basics of what it is and why it matters for your business.
Read about the top five most common brand myths and misconceptions that may be holding you back from reaching your next level in business.
Pin for later!