Client Experience 101
If you had to pick one thing as the “most important” part of your business, what would you pick? Your service? Your process? Your unique point of view? Those, of course, are all extremely important to any wedding business, but if we were to pick the one thing that is more important than anything else, we’d pick your client experience.
Hear us out.
Building a thriving business is almost always contingent on building a customer base that is not just happy with your services; rather, one that is over the moon about everything they experienced with you. Because, doing the job you were hired to do is just that—your job. But, making sure that your couples feel like their needs are anticipated, that you advocate on their behalf, and that there is no doubt in their minds that you are going to go above and beyond to make each of their guests feel welcome on their wedding day—that is all about your client experience. So today, we wanted to talk about what exactly client experience is, how it can help you increase customer satisfaction and, ultimately, how focusing on it can help you build your business.
How to build trust with clients in your marketing and sales process
It might be called “client experience” but it actually starts well before any lead signs on the dotted line. Your client experience (which is essentially how you make people feel), starts from the moment a potential client first finds you on the internet. And, whether they are finding you on The Knot, WeddingWire, or Google, what they see, read, and experience becomes their first judgment about what it might be like to work with you. So, when it comes to kicking off your client experience in how you market your business and take potential clients through your sales process, be sure to show them more than just how talented you are by:
- Using language that sounds like you! Your brand voice is an important part of your overall brand but it is also an important tool in setting a tone that helps potential clients understand your personality and it shows up in what you share on social media, in the emails you write, your website copy, and in your bio on your Storefront
- Don’t be afraid to show your face! Building trust with a human is much easier than building trust with a brand. Plus, if you are the person potential clients will be working with, putting yourself on video is an extremely effective way to help them feel like they know you and what it will be like working with you before they ever reach out
- Improving the experience people have on your website! How your website makes people feel doesn’t just give them a taste of your client experience, it can either help or hurt your chances of getting them to inquire
Ways to incorporate client experience into your planning process
The planning or prep process you take your clients through is tied very closely to your client experience. It is, after all, the phase of wedding planning that you spend the most time with your couples. So, when it comes to making sure that you are not just checking tasks off a list together and that you are also building your reputation, increasing customer satisfaction, and making sure that everyone is having fun along the way, WeddingPro Educator and wedding planner, Lindsay Longacre of LVL Weddings and Planner Life Academy, wants to encourage you to consider your most important service to be your customer service.
Over the years, I’ve shifted my view of what exactly it is I do. Now, I consider myself to be a customer service company that happens to plan weddings and that simple change in mindset has helped me build a business that is focused on client experience. For example, I always text my couples to let them know that I am on my way to an appointment with them so that there is no question about whether or not I am showing up on time and, when I do, I also ask if they need anything. Sometimes it’s that they need a few minutes to get out of the door and sometimes it’s a cup of coffee. Regardless, checking in with my couples as a routine has absolutely become an important part (and habit) in making sure they are happy.
In addition to that, I think the most important thing you can do to make sure that the experience you are creating for your clients is the best one for them is to be present. I know it sounds like common sense, but you might be surprised at what you start to pick up when you really pay attention to things like their mood, body expressions, etc. No two couples are alike, so you always have to make micro-adjustments. And, using your social and emotional intelligence to do that will definitely help you get that 5-star review and future referral!
How to ensure your couples have a great experience on their wedding day
Just as your planning process builds to your couple’s wedding day, so does your client experience. Because, even if you have done everything “right” leading up to their big day, mistakes and missteps on the wedding day can undo it all (sorry to get so serious!). So, in the midst of you setting yourself up to do a knocked-it-outta-the-park job, here are a few additional tips to help you make sure that everything goes according to plan:
- Minimize the need to ask your couples questions on their wedding day by scheduling a final check-in call in the weeks leading up to their date; this is also a great way to show them that you are working to anticipate their needs
- Make sure you touch base with the other pros you need to in order to finalize your plan and keep everyone in the know. The last thing you want to have to do is bother your couple for an answer or contact number when they are getting ready
- Lindsay also suggests giving your cell phone number to a member(s) of the wedding party in case anyone does need to reach out. This helps keep things calm is something is going sideways because no one will have to dig to try and find your contact
Ideas to help you end on a high note
If your client experience starts before any contract is signed, then it certainly doesn’t end after you’ve sent the couple off after their reception! And, whether you call it off-boarding, wedding day follow up or tying up loose ends, you want to make sure that the last contact you have with your couples leaves a lasting impression. Want to make sure that you’re doing just that? Here are a few ideas you can think about incorporating to the end of your client experience:
- Text your clients a video of you talking about your favorite memory from their wedding
- Send your clients a thoughtful gift and hand-written note
- Mail a hand-written note or make a phone call to apologize if anything didn’t go according to plan
- Email them sneak peeks of their photos or a fun behind the scenes video
- Post about their one-month “anniversary” on social media
Building a great client experience doesn’t happen overnight but you will get there if you are open to making adjustments along the way. So, make the effort to really listen to your couples and give them the wedding experience they are dreaming because it will help you build your reputation and business along the way!
Photo Credit: Yulia Grigoryeva/shutterstock.com