Clients are one of the best parts of owning your own business. Clients can motivate you, they believe in your vision, and they are part of the reason you push yourself to do more (and do better).
It doesn’t hurt that they pay the bills, too.
If you’re trying to grow your business by booking more clients, you’ll also want to think about how you keep them around. How do you do that? It starts with taking action to create a better client experience. Below, we’re sharing some of the best (and easiest) ways to enhance your clients’ experience so you can serve them and take your business to the next level.
Set expectations from the beginning
One way you can create a better client experience is setting the tone so everyone knows what to expect. One of the best ways to set expectations is to create a contract agreement. Don’t have a contract yet?
No worries! Start by building a document of the services you and the client agreed to, pricing, and anything else relevant to the agreement, like timelines and ad-hoc services.
Want to up-level the client experience even more? Choose from our collections of on-brand stock photos to add your own personal touch. Use them as a cover page, header, footer, or as a side element for your contract. This will help reinforce your own personal branding while adding a professional flair that’s sure to impress. Want to purchase a contract template written by a lawyer? We recommend the Contract Shop!
Another way to set expectations from the beginning is by sending potential clients your Service + Pricing Guide. This way they know what your services include and what they can expect to invest. Styled Stock Society members have access to a Service + Pricing Guide Canva template for free!
Communication is essential for any great relationship with a client. It not only helps build trust, but it allows both you and your client to check in with each other to make sure you’re on the same page. Discuss deliverables, ask questions, get feedback, talk strategy… these are all great conversations to have regularly with your clients.
A simple way to create ongoing communication with your client is to schedule standing meetings or calls. These don’t have to be frequent, as you still need time for the actual work. Talk with your clients about what works for them and go from there. Whether it’s bi-weekly, monthly, or once every quarter (depending on the project or type of work you do), your client will really feel like a priority, and they’ll be better able to plan their days, as well.
Ask for feedback
Clients already enjoy working with you (because, well, they’re doing it still), so use that to your advantage: ask them how you can make their experience even better! It can be a little nerve-wracking asking for feedback but remember that it’s all to help you grow.
Here are a few ways to get the conversations started:
- Ask for regular feedback in your standing meetings with clients
- Prepare specific questions about what’s working, what’s not, and how you can enhance their client experience
- Send out bi-yearly or yearly surveys to clients
- Create a survey using a tool like Typeform or Google Forms if you want to keep client feedback anonymous
Aim to exceed expectations
We know, we know. We just advised you to set expectations for your clients, and now we’re saying to exceed them! Stay with us, though.
You probably already work to exceed expectations, but now that you’ve already set them with your client, they’ll be that much more blown away when you present your ideas or deliverables. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to go above and beyond for everything; that will quickly lead to burnout, as well as confuse future expectations.
But by using all of the simple tips above, you can exceed expectations in a simple, subtle way that doesn’t negatively impact you or your work. Other ways to exceed expectations? Submit deliverables on time or *gasp* early. Come in under budget (or right at budget). Answer their emails promptly. And keep them updated on your progress. All clients want to know is that they can trust you to do the work well, so show them that — without a doubt — they made the right call by choosing you.
Surprise and delight
There’s another way to really uplevel the client experience with your business: your brand! When clients work with small businesses, they may not expect a complete branded experience because you’re a small business. That’s where you get to prove them wrong! One way to do this is by creating an on brand Service + Pricing Guide.
As a Styled Stock Society member, you’ll have access to thousands of beautiful images and Canva templates to elevate your brand and business through different client touchpoints. By creating a branded client experience with your contracts, onboarding emails, client guides, deliverables, and even your social media, you’re able to showcase consistency and professionalism with a side of surprise and delight. Clients will feel they’re in great hands when they see the effort you’ve put into your own brand, knowing you’ll do the same for theirs.
Ready to create a better client experience? Sign up for your membership today, and you’ll quickly be on your way to impressing your clients — and even yourself!