My favorite way of booking new clients is referrals. I consider one of my clients recommending me to another as the kindest compliments I could receive after working with them. So how do you create a brag-worthy client experience that makes your clients want to share with others?
It starts before a client has even signed the contract!
You’ve likely heard it before, people connect with people. So before you even begin providing services to someone you have to create an experience (a.k.a. brand strategy 😉) that allows someone to build trust that you are the person to solve their problem or fill their need. This will often look like showing up consistency online to create genuine connections and educate. It may also include fulfilling a promise through a free or low-cost offer and creating social proof.
When it’s time to get to work, set expectations, AND deliver
When you’ve enrolled someone in your services it’s time to deliver! Make sure you are providing clear expectations for what it is like to work with you.
A client should know things like:
- How often you are in your inbox and how soon you will respond to their messages
- Where they are at in the timeline of the service you are providing
- An understanding of the overall experience they will have
- What they will be responsible for and what you will be responsible for
- The deliverables and/or outcomes they will receive as a result of your service
And of course, make sure you deliver on the expectations you are setting! When you set a deadline, meet the deadline. When you promise to do something follow through. You’ve likely heard it is better to underpromise and overdeliver than overpromise and underdeliver. That’s sound advice for a reason. And that’s because…
People like to be delighted
I was going to say surprised and delighted, but not everyone likes surprises. However, as long as your surprise doesn’t scare them or make work for them I’m sure your client with love it! As you look at your process, where can you fit in moments of “extra”? Where can you do something your client isn’t expecting but will enjoy or let them know you are thinking of them.
Some examples of surprising and delighting:
- Send a thank you and a welcome card when you first start working with them
- Message them an image, article, or gif that makes you think of them
- Sending a birthday or anniversary card
- Delivering a small gift (a $5 Starbucks gift card is realllly easy to send)
- Provide a small add on service for free
- Giving a thank you gift when your service ends
And when your service ends, continue to serve
Staying in front of a client and continuing to serve even after your service is completed helps reinforce the experience you provided. It also keeps you in their mind as their friends, family, and acquaintances come to need your services. Hello being tagged on Facebook!!
Continuing to serve with your clients in mind also keeps them aware of opportunities where you can continue to work together. Whether you reach out directly via a message because you think it’d be a good fit for them or they see it in an email list broadcast or social post.
And if you want to take it one step further, you can create a system of referral rewards where clients have the benefit of recommending you to others they know. I often will send thank you gifts to clients I know have given me a recommendation that resulted in a signed client. It’s another fun way to surprise and delight.
Drop a comment with your favorite way of up-leveling your client’s experience in working with you.