July 20, 2015
After a successful first meetup, I was left feeling super excited for the next one! Then, finally, it arrived! Last Tuesday our group got together to discuss July’s topic- Client Experience: Creating extraordinary client experiences & cultivating genuine relationships with the people we serve. I thoroughly enjoy being able to sit in a room with other entrepreneurs discussing ideas and learning from each other and our experiences. I think everyone who participates will find growth at one point or another. To me, that is beyond exciting. I shared this powerful quote with everyone as our discussion began:
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Ghandi
I have to admit, this month’s topic was hard to put into a learning/organized format. I couldn’t quite understand why… then, as I was driving home, it hit me. Client experience is one of the main reasons why each business is unique. Just as we are all our own unique person. There is no right or wrong- I truly believe everyone is doing their personal best. For our discussion, with the help of the Rising Tide Society founders, we were given three building blocks of a strong client experience.
- RUN YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH THE LENS OF YOUR CORE VALUES:
Start by listing the core values that guide your decision making as a business owner. What is your purpose for being a creative entrepreneur? Why do you create, photograph, paint, design, or lead? For so many of us, our business leads back to an overarching desire to make the lives of our clients better. Whether it’s through producing something for their homes or documenting their visual history – our job is to make someone feel loved, appreciated, perhaps even beautiful. To give our clients hope, make them laugh and to add a little light to their darkest days. When you start by focusing on those core values, it’s easier to craft an experience that aims to fulfill the higher goals you hold for your company.
- UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER: The key with making a client happy often lies in setting expectations at a level where you can consistently surpass them. As the saying goes: Under promise and over deliver.
- CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KING: Never lose sight of who you’re working for… the client! Remember that customer service is always king. Treat your clients as you would want to be treated. Apologize when you make a mistake and go above and beyond to make it right. Clients will rarely remember what you did right, but they will never forget how you react when you were in the wrong. Surprise them with your overabundant gratitude and kindness.
With these, we shared our personal experiences and also offered some suggestions of ways to say thank you to our clients-such as a client appreciation party. We also agreed as a group that sending a hand written note in the mail is far more meaningful than an email. We chatted about holiday gifts and other tokens of appreciation…but at the end of the day, managing expectations was probably the most significant take away.
The next meetup will be August 11th when we discuss, “The Art of Instagram: How to build your business on Instagram and monetize on the platform.” Time and location will be announced closer to the date and posted in the Facebook group. If you haven’t already, check out the Rising Tide Society online-and be sure to sign up for the newsletter! Please help spread the word- this is open to all creative entrepreneurs! To join the Facebook group, click here! Don’t forget to hashtag #TuesdaysTogether! Thanks again to all those who came out- it means a lot!!
Tiffany… your Albany, New York Leader