Today we’re talking all about client experience — meaning…the experience + value you deliver to your clients through your services and offers. If you are in the early stages of building your business, an amazing client experience really is everything. In fact, I would argue it’s more important than your visual branding. Read on or listen to the podcast above to experience more!
From the very beginning of my business journey, providing an exceptional client experience has been my top priority. I’ve always wanted my clients to feel taken care of, to experience something unique, and to walk away with a sense of pride in their choice. Over nearly five years in business, I’ve learned and grown so much, and today, I’m excited to share my insights with you.
Five years may seem like a long time, or maybe not, depending on your perspective, but it’s been a journey of continuous improvement. Initially, I focused on aesthetics and how people perceived my brand, but what truly mattered to me was the client experience. And that’s what we’re delving into today.
Now, let’s dive into today’s episode and talk about creating an outstanding client experience. It’s a topic close to my heart, and I’m thrilled to share my insights and experiences with you.
I had an inspiring chat with a friend earlier today, and it got me all fired up to share some thoughts on this topic. These ideas have been marinating in my mind for several months, and they’ve been a driving force throughout my entire business journey.
Now, I don’t like to say I “pride myself” on things, but I’m truly proud of the client experience I’ve crafted. As a fellow business owner, I think it’s absolutely okay to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in what you’ve built. So, yes, I’m proud of my client experience, and I want to tell you why.
A couple of years back, during a quieter period in my business, I decided to focus on creating a client portal and a framework. This was a game-changer. I wanted a system that could benefit both my clients and me, allowing us to be on the same page with everything neatly organized in one place. Just in case you’re curious, I use Notion for this, and it’s been a dream tool.
The magic isn’t in the software but in the content and structure I’ve built within it. This portal allowed me to document every aspect of what I do for my clients, creating a step-by-step process that I can follow for each unique project. Sure, my clients often have custom needs, and I provide tailored deliverables, but I’ve got a solid framework, a blueprint that I know works for the majority of them.
So, whether it’s branding or a website project, there’s a clear path that virtually every client walks through with me. Once I nailed down this client experience, it filled me with confidence. I thought, “This is the best time to be a Wonder Creative client!” Everything is streamlined and conveniently placed in one spot, making my life easier and my clients’ lives more predictable.
It’s all about setting clear expectations on both sides of the relationship, and it just works like a charm. Solidifying this client experience reignited my passion for what I do. I was practically jumping with excitement, eager to welcome new clients and share this fantastic system with them. That’s the real power of a well-thought-out client experience!
Starting out in your business? You bet branding is crucial. But if you think branding is all about the visual identity, you might not be seeing the full picture. I’m passionate about branding, and I talk about it all the time. It’s more than just how your business looks; it’s the culture of your business and how it comes to life in every aspect, including your client experience.
Your client experience speaks volumes about your brand. It reflects your values, whether it’s honesty, boundaries, structure, or authenticity. As service providers, we should emphasize this more because it’s a big deal. In fact, having a fantastic client experience is often more critical when you’re just starting than having a polished visual identity.
Here’s the scoop: when I launched Wonder Creative, my branding was far from impressive. I mean, it was pretty terrible. But you know what? I’m not embarrassed about it; I’m proud. Why? Because it was a step in the right direction. There are people who don’t even take that step; they feel paralyzed by imposter syndrome or self-doubt. So kudos to you if you’re using a Canva logo and getting out there. It may not take you all the way, but it gets you started, and that’s what matters.
Even with my not-so-great branding, what mattered most was providing an excellent client experience. Clearly communicating my vision and the value I could offer led me to the right clients. I got referrals from those happy clients, and I pretty much lived off of referrals for the first two years of my business. What you put out there is what you get, and your client experience sets the precedent for the future.
A piece of advice I give my clients is to have a structured process from lead generation to inquiry and beyond. If you haven’t done this in your business, I highly recommend it. Outline your process, both for your clients and your internal use. You need to know what you’re doing and what you’re offering, so you can effectively market your business.
Listening to your clients is crucial. Their feedback is a goldmine of insights, helping you shape your marketing messages and your business approach. It reinforces your confidence and gives you a clear way to speak genuinely about what you offer.
Valuing the client experience lets you approach your business wholeheartedly. Your business should serve others, but it should also serve you as the business owner. You should feel good about your business and not like it’s running your life. I’m pivoting into some new things because I’ll have two kids soon, and it’s all about finding what fits your life.
Business is meant to solve problems for others, and it should be profitable for you. A business that evolves, grows, and has longevity must serve others, stay connected to its community, and value input and conversation.
Remember, what you put out is what you get. You need a strong internal compass to know who’s the right client for you and when to say no. Understand your bottom line, profitability, and what you gain from each project. This might mean turning away potential clients who don’t align with your goals, and that’s okay. It’s a journey, and as a business owner, you need to lean into what works for you.
You know, I talk a lot about the StoryBrand framework, and the whole idea is that you’re not the hero of your own business; your client is the hero, and you are the guide. So, that’s a perfect way to look at your client experience. It’s about building them up and guiding them through a process that you’ve perfected and believe in. You want them to feel like the hero, like they’re succeeding, while you’re there to provide guidance and all the tools they need.
Having a robust client experience is crucial, whether you’re a designer or any kind of service provider. It’s essential to have a system in place.
I’m passionate about the Lord and His ways, and I believe that applying those principles to your business is a wonderful thing. While I’m not a perfectionist, I approach things with excellence, as it honors the Lord. Doing everything wholeheartedly, as a reflection of my faith, is essential. If something doesn’t allow me to be wholehearted, I either don’t do it or work on it until I can. I care deeply about my clients, especially those who invest significant sums in my services.
Your client experience reflects your commitment to delivering excellence and being wholehearted in your approach, which honors both your business and the Lord.
Your business is sacred, and I’m always humbled by the impact it has. It sets clients on a trajectory to achieve their business goals, and it’s an honor to have a voice in their dreams.
In a world where anyone can start a business, it’s vital to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. Having boundaries is essential to ensure a wonderful client experience. You want your clients to feel heard and well-guided, but you also need to maintain control of the project. Managing expectations is vital. For instance, I don’t share my personal phone number with clients. Instead, we schedule calls to ensure a balance between my work and family life. It’s all about transparency and honesty, preventing dissatisfaction in the final product.
Remember, these principles aren’t exclusive to design; they apply to various fields. Having boundaries, contracts, and protection for both parties is essential.
Reflecting on successful projects is a great way to identify what works. It’s essential to work with people who share your enthusiasm and energy. A collaborative approach can lead to successful outcomes.
Delivering an excellent client experience is an ongoing priority, a part of your brand identity. Feel free to reach out to me with your thoughts, questions, or experiences. I’d love to continue this conversation and provide more resources and insights.
Having a solid client experience is an invaluable foundation that informs your visual identity, branding, and marketing, enhancing your value perception. It allows you to charge what you’re worth and create a strong bond with your audience.