How To Create A Deluxe Client Experience In Your Small Business

By VICKY BROWN

So, how can you create a deluxe client experience on a small business budget?  Never fear – here are 8 key tips for creating a client experience that will set you above the competition.

Well, first off – realize that a client experience isn’t just good, or great, customer service.  Great customer service is only one part of the customer experience – solving that immediate customer problem.  But, the client experience impacts feelings and emotions and addresses the entire client journey.  Every interaction the client has with your business is part of the client experience – so every interaction has to be handled in a deluxe way.

What?  I didn’t say it would be easy.  If it were easy, everyone would be doing it – and they aren’t.  It takes planning, work and attention to detail. But the payoff is magnificent.

It starts, as does most client focused exercises, with knowing who your client is.  After all, how can you create a deluxe experience when you have no idea who you’re catering to.  So, sharpen up your understanding of your target client, and what’s important to them.  Would they choose speed or luxury.  Do they prefer high tech or high touch.  Is their communication style edgy and irreverent, or professional with a dash of humor.  Knowing your target client is key.

Next up is the first contact – and by that I mean, your website.  Generally that’s the first in-depth contact a client will have with your brand.  After all, what’s the first thing you do when you’re looking at a new company or service provider – you look at their website.  Is it easy to navigate, does it give you the information you need in a clear and easy to understand way, does it give you a flavor of the values and personality behind the brand.  What if you have questions or need more information, can all that be found in a friction free way?

“Do everything in your business with an eye toward reducing friction for the client.  Make it easy for them.”

And then, of course there is your service – does it do what they need, is it solid, have you thought about the gaps and plugged them, is it user friendly?

And what about your communication style – does it resonate with the client.  Again, brand personality – does your brand align with the type of brand the client would like to work with, does it resonate with them.

Next, take a bit of a time out and think about the little touches that make you feel special as a customer.  Things like using your name, remembering prior encounters and referencing something you said in the past.  A company using their knowledge of your history with them, to anticipate and predict your possible future needs – that is a powerful client experience.  If you go to a Four Seasons anywhere in the world, and happen to mention that you prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate, no matter what other Four Seasons you visit, you will forever only get milk chocolate mints on your pillow with your turn-down service.  Listening to that kind of information, having a process or system for capturing it and making it part of the client record, and then acting on it – well that’s the mark of a deluxe client experience.  And something like that doesn’t take a huge budget, it takes the proper training and creating a process and system for capturing the information so you can use it to improve your client’s experience.  And remember, you don’t have to figure this out all on your own.  Your team will have valuable insight and feedback – after all, they are on the front line and will be more connected to the types of solutions that will make the most impact.

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Don’t forget the basics.  A deluxe client experience has to stand on getting the nuts and bolts right.  Create an effective client onboarding sequence, communicate thoroughly and often, empower your customer service team to act boldly to solve client issues and teach them an empathetic customer service approach, and clearly level set client expectations.  This is the foundation of simply providing good service to your clients.  If you have nothing else, you must have these things.  And it’s an absolute must for building a deluxe client experience.

Do everything in your business with an eye toward reducing friction for the client.  Make it easy for them.  Easy to get information, easy to communicate with someone, easy to get results, easy to solve an issue.  Reduce the clients friction, make it easy for them, and it will be easier for you – because when the client’s happy, everyone is happy.

Measure how your client experience is landing.  Do follow ups and check ins with your clients, ask the question – how are we doing, how is your experience.  Do surveys, ask for a net promoter score ranking, get client feedback.  Then track it over time, is it getting better, staying the same or getting worse.  Remember, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure”

And last, but not least – you can’t have a deluxe experience unless the look and feel is – well, deluxe.

So, when you’re creating anything that will be client facing in your business, first make it excellent, then think about making it beautiful as well as easy to use.

Consistently use these 8 tips to design your client experience, and you’ll be known as the Virgin Atlantic of your industry.

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