Streamline & Manage Your Customer Experience
Updated: Aug 29
As service providers, we’re always looking for ways to stand out to our prospective customers. And of course our talents for our work play a role in this, but so does the way we manage our customer experience with streamlined processes and great communication.
Below are three ways that you can stand out from the competition, regardless of your experience and longevity in your industry.
Rather listen? This is a conversation I had as a
guest on The Bright Balloon Podcast!
Tip #1 - Communicate quickly
When a new lead reaches out to you, be sure you acknowledge their request as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean that you need to confirm your actual availability right away, but a simple message to confirm that you’ve received their request and they are on your radar will go a long way.
Think about it… have you ever submitted a form without getting any kind of confirmation message or email? Kind of frustrating and confusing, right?
Did it even go through? How long do you wait before you follow up? Do you even want to if this is how awkward and clunky the booking process is going to be?
Don’t put your customers through that! Have some kind of automated message that comes up, or better yet, an email that goes out automatically and lets them know you will be getting back to them with more details soon.
This is a common feature in any CRM or form builder, so check your settings now to ensure your customers are getting some type of automated message after they submit your inquiry form.
Tip #2 - Answer their questions before they have them
Speaking of that automated email, this is a great place to share with your customer the next steps in your booking process. If they’re ready to book you right away this will help make that happen ASAP!
And if they aren’t exactly sure whether you’re the right service provider for them, having laid out what your process is will probably have them feeling confident in your ability to get their job done. If you can answer their questions before your customer has to ask them, you’ll increase your trust factor a ton, and shine as someone who is a true professional in what they do.
For my fellow introverts, I recognize how pushy this might feel. But keep in mind that even your customer probably wants to get past the “messy middle” stage, between their inquiry with you and getting the project accomplished.
And you know your process better than your customer, so lay it out for them and it should really help you manage your customer experience with impressive communication and organization.
You know your process better than your customer.
Tip #3 - Have a clear process
It kind of goes without saying that you can’t communicate your process well if it’s not even clear to you! Take some time to map out how your ideal booking process would go. Is it all through email and forms? Or is there an in-person, phone or video consult involved?
No matter what type of communication suits you best, also think about all of the details you need to know about their request. Plan out when and how you’ll ask for those details, keeping in mind the length of any forms and questionnaires you’re sending. You may need to spread out the number of questions asked in each.
Finally, what is your payment policy? Do you require a deposit or full payment ahead of their date?
These are key pieces to your process that you should be able to communicate with your potential customers so that they know what is needed from them, and when.
Another reason that having a clear process will help you manage your customer experience is because you are less likely to mistakenly allow different processes for different customers.
For example, say you are fortunate enough to receive a referral (yay!). For customer #1 you asked for full payment before their booking date. But for customer #2 you allow only a deposit be paid before their booking date, and the remainder due within a week after their booking date.
This probably won’t feel fair to customer #1 if they knew, especially after they were the one to send a referral your way.
Now this is not completely unavoidable, because processes do change, but if something like this happens simply because you’re not aware of your own process, it could really cause some sticky situations.
Is there anything that you can do to better manage your customer experience?
Maybe it’s writing down your process on a physical sheet of paper. Maybe it’s saving some email templates in your email service provider. Or maybe it’s creating customized workflows that guide both you and your customer through your process without missing a beat.
If you’re serious about standing out by improving your customer experience, consider allowing a CRM (customer relationship management) tool like 17hats to support you in that.
Set up an automated email, plus tons of other email templates, workflows and documents that support you through your journey with every client. You can learn about my 17 favorite features of the platform by jotting down your contact info below!