Last week I got vulnerable and shared 3 ways I’m failing right now. Specifically things that I feel our industry tells us we need to do in order to succeed… however my experience has gone differently.
Instead of posting daily on instagram, blogging nonstop and having a specific industry niche for my services… I’ve found 3 ways that I can 100% contribute to booking clients continuously and providing a full-time income.
- Consistent marketing
- Red-carpet client experience
- Streamlined client process
Today we’ll dive into creating a red-carpet client experience.
WHY THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE MATTERS
Simply put — the experience your clients have when hiring your services reflects the quality of your work. Though you may have stellar design chops, if you don’t meet your client’s expectations you’re doing your business a huge disservice. I’ve experienced this on the receiving end when hiring services for my business, and it is disheartening. No matter how great the end product is (photography, copywriting, social media, graphic design, etc.), if the business owner missed deadlines or communication was poor… my experience was tainted.
And you know what?
I moved along. Rather than booking that service again, it left a poor impression. So off to find another brand to partner with and fingers crossed they’ll have a better experience. Luckily I've found some of the best in the industry to partner with — all thanks to their attention to the client experience!
The sad thing is that in our design industry it’s all too common for designers to miss deadlines and have a flaky process. I don’t blame us entirely — we weren’t taught this stuff in design school — but it’s something I think can be fixed really easily! I know this because potential clients left and right mention their previous designer experience and the unprofessionalism they know our industry by. Ouch.
Our client experience is not only an indicator of the quality of our work, it also is such a great opportunity to serve our clients well. With the mindset of “how can I serve my clients/customers”, you’ll go far and get noticed. Clients can’t help but rave about their experience and even send their friends your direction. Win/win!
Below I’ve included a few companies that continuously serve their customers (me) well. Case and point — I’m already raving about them and spreading the news :).
TOP 3 CUSTOMER SERVICE EXAMPLES:
- Teachery (online course software): I’ve used Teachery* for years to house my online course, and it’s the customer service that keeps me thrilled about using their product. During one of my recent launches of Share-worthy Design, Jason Zook, the founder, followed along with my emails and replied to them encouraging me along the way (much appreciated during a stressful inbox week!). He also personally responds to each support question and goes out of his way to be generous. How’s that for unexpected stellar customer experience?! It hasn’t been beat in my opinion.
- ConvertKit (now “Seva,” email marketing software): Once you complete the setup process for your account, ConvertKit* will send you a nicely lettered, quality t-shirt that reflects their values as well as yours as a creator — “Create every day.” I love that an email marketing company focuses on the tangible experience, though their product is digital and intangible. They also hosted one heck of a conference I attended a couple weeks ago. To say they went above and beyond for the attendee experience is an understatement. They had this pregnant lady at chicken and waffles for breakfast. Well done Nathan Barry. Well done.
- Best Self Co. (e-commerce): I’m excited to give the Best Self Journal a try starting in a couple weeks! (Have you tried it?! Hit reply and let me know how you enjoyed it!) Okay okay… the packaging alone was enough to put this journal into the “winning customer service” category. Aside from the beauty that this journal is, they went above and beyond with resources to help you achieve your goals and make the most use of the journal. I personally appreciated the specific examples of how others have filled out the pages to achieve goals. Even beyond that, they have video resources to dive into as well. Top-notch!
With each of these examples, I can’t help but think of how we can take note and implement within our own client experience. Maybe we can’t send chicken and waffles, but could you go above and beyond through providing tutorials/resources for your clients on how to make the most of your completed design work? This could take the form of website tech tutorials, template walkthroughs, an overview of the files your provided, or even a short video on ordering prints from your recommended vendor. Or maybe you could send a tangible gift to celebrate their new design.
There are countless ways to enhance your client experience. The most impactful is simply this — show up. Do what you said you would, in the timeframe you promised and provide top notch-work. Do these things and you’ll already stand above your competition. The rest is just icing on the cake!
So, here’s your 5-minute homework for this week: What is one specific way you can enhance your client experience? Tip: This does not have to be complicated, involve a client gift or require a lot of work on your end!
Next week I’m closing out this series with a bang — the client process. Along with your client experience, your process is what keeps clients coming back and referring you. It’s an often overlooked aspect of running your business that I’m itching to dive into next week. And also why I’m so excited to open doors to Share-worthy Design for Freelancers in just 2 weeks — which teaches my entire process from start to finish!
PS: If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my free live Designer #FreelanceWeek workshop series! For 5 days straight I’m sharing all the details of running a full-time design studio — from booking clients, to my exact client process. Excited to see you there!