Creating an amazing client experience is important whether you're a yoga teacher in Atlanta, a photographer in Dallas or a big, fake wedding planner nationwide. Your client experience is what sets you apart from others in your location and industry, so it's important to be consistent and always provide the highest quality of experience for your client. But how do you do this? What if you don't even know what a client experience should look like? Here are 10 ways to create an exceptional client experience, no matter what your industry is.
- Create a website that works.
If you don't have your own website yet, finish reading this article, and then get to it! You could have one in an hour on a simple platform like Squarespace. If you're running a reputable business in this century, your clients are going to expect you to have a website, even if (especially if!) you're a one-(wo)man yoga teacher boss lady. The one thing that's possibly worse than not having any website is having a terrible one. Your website needs to do two things at a minimum:
i) Give your clients a way to get in touch with you
ii) Convey your service in a clean, user-friendly manner.
With the advent of simple websites found on Squarespace and Creative Market, you really have no excuse not to have a beautiful website that may be simple, but effective.
2. Set your policies in a visible area.
One thing that will ruin your customer's experience before they even get to work with you is your failure to have clear-cut policies in place about your services. You must have things like a cancellation policy, an inclement weather policy and a no-show policy. These are essential to avoid hurt feelings and frustration (on both ends) later in the relationship.
But having policies is only half the battle- your clients must be aware of your policies. The best way to do this is by integrating them into your client contract so your client knows right from the get-go what to expect when working with you.
3. Spend some time crafting your signature elements.
What will your clients remember about their experience with you? What will they tell their friends when their friend needs a yoga instructor, photographer or other service professional? Will they recommend you first? Give you a raving review and mention something crazy you did for them, like a perfectly timed foot rub as they went into savasana? Or the extra jar of glitter you brought to your shoot so they could have an extra prop?
Spend some time crafting the experience that you want clients to have. If you don't know where to start, think about the experience YOU wish you had with a yoga teacher, photographer, event planner, florist, etc. Get out there and see what other people in your industry are doing well and what they are doing poorly. Then improve on all of it with your unique touch.
4. Define your signature offering.
Speaking of signature elements, what will be your signature offering? What is the one service clients will keep coming back for each week, month or year? You don't have to get it perfect, you just have to start. Start with an offering and see what your clients like about it, and what they don't. Keep improving your clients' experience by getting feedback from them, either at the end of your session (not the best way) or by surveying them 1-2x per year via your newsletter.
5. Look to your community.
I am part of the Rising Tide Society, and agree with their founding premise that when we support each other, we accomplish a lot more than if we were to be in constant competition with each other. There are certainly enough clients to go around for everyone who truly wants them in your industry, and new clients are being created every day by innovative providers in all of our fields. Just think back to 1995- had you ever heard of boudoir photography? Senior portraits? Even engagement sessions? All of these are relatively new additions to the photography industry and all of these categories have created a deluge of new clients for all photographers- not just the few in the beginning who thought outside the box.
In yoga, we need to be particularly aware of the problems a mentality of competition creates. As it is right now, most of the yoga industry is facing an impossible business model. That is, the norm is to open a studio, offer a teacher training, create new yoga teachers who open their own studios, have their own teacher trainings that create new teachers, who open their own studios... It's a feast or famine mentality because instead of focusing on growing the market, yoga teachers and studios seem to be obsessed with going after the existing students, hoping new students will be attracted to yoga and eventually their studio. It's an impossible cycle that can be broken by supporting each other and finding new clients and students in unlikely places.
Did you like these? Please share this post with two friends and look out for the final five tips this Friday, October 9, 2015.