We are back today with the final post in Alex from Prairie Letter Shop's series on the client experience! Be sure to read to the bottom and grab the pdf and freebie wallpaper!
If you’ve been following along with this series, I’ve shared about client experience—why it’s vital, and how to diagnose your own strengths and weaknesses in this area. Today’s post is the final in the series, and it’s all about creating a concrete plan. If you haven’t read Parts 1 and 2 yet, be sure to start there!
As much as creatives are known for our abundance of ideas and ability to create beautiful products and experiences, we’re also known for being a bit near sighted. It’s normal for creatives in their first few years of business not to have an overarching “big picture.” However, when defining your client experience, that big picture is hugely important. So let’s start there!
The secret to any strong planning is to begin with the end in mind. The best way to define you client experience is first to imagine the finish line. Simply put, ask yourself, “How do I want my client to feel at the end of our experience working together?” Here are some examples of big-picture ideas that guide my thinking about client experience. Each one corresponds to questions you may ask yourself as you plan. At the end of this post, you’ll see a PDF that summarizes this process. First, I start with some brainstorming about how I want my client to feel at the end of our
1) I want my client to feel that their needs were met.
Therefore, I consider the needs, desires, and pain points of my clients. Why are
they coming to me in the first place?
2) I want my client to understand my own boundaries so that they never feel let down when I simply operate within my own boundaries.
Therefore, I consider my own needs, desires, and boundaries as a business owner. What expectations do I need to set and share with my client from the very beginning, e.g., working style?
3) I want my client to know exactly what they are getting from me. I want to meet and
exceed their expectations. I don’t want there to be any negative surprises.
Therefore, I consider my product or service. What is the exact description of my service/product and everything that comes along with it? What does not come along with it that I need to make clear?
4) I want my client to understand the timeline of my product/service. I shouldn’t have to answer emails such as “When will my product ship?” or “Just wondering when I’ll receive those drafts from you!” because the timelines are clear and met.
Therefore, I consider my timeline. When will my client hear from me? How often? How will I follow up, and how fast? When is the final ship date/delivery date? What circumstances warrant extending my timeline, and how would I communicate that?
5) I want my client to feel loved and cared for. I want them to feel a personal connection with me and stay invested in my business (aligns to step 5 below).
Therefore, I consider the personal connection with your client. How will you make your clients feel loved and cared for? How will you infuse your personality so that patronizing your business feels different than using an anonymous service or shopping at a major retailer?
6) I want my client to feel safe sharing about their experience. I want them to remember me when our time is over, and I want them to refer me to their loved ones. (aligns to step 6 below).
Therefore, I consider the follow up. How will I follow up with your clients? How will you remind your clients of your offerings once you are no longer working together? How can you gain data about your client’s experience?
Preempting Unexpected Challenges
When you do this planning, you’re aligning everything you do for your client to the end
result. There are no surprises in the process. However, even the best-laid plans can
encounter unexpected challenges. You are the expert of your product or service, and
your experience helps you predict the most common hiccups that arise across the
experience—as nothing in life is perfect and seamless, despite our best efforts. In
addition to meeting your clients needs, it’s important to do some extended thinking and
prepare for challenges ahead of time.
Ask yourself: Even considering everything that I planned for in Steps 1-5, what are 2 of
the most common misconceptions or misunderstandings that are likely to come up for
this client? How can I solve this client’s challenges with the process before they even
realize a challenge exists?
In order to help you with that process you can grab this free client experience sheet to print out and help you utilize all the information we have learned over the last three weeks!
We can't thank Alex enough for this amazing series! We hope you have been able to take a step back and redefine your client experience and make changes that will help you become more efficient, attract the clients you want and communicate well! Be sure to visit her over at Prairie Letter Shop!
Alex has also created this fun free download just for Bloom readers! Grab it below!
Alex from Prairie Letter Shop has created this custom 8x10 downloadable print for you to enjoy for the summer! Be sure to catch her guest post series on our blog all about the client experience!
Digital download can be printed out to use in your home or used as the perfect cell phone wallpaper for summer!