If you’re a small business owner, chances are, you’ve outsourced for one or more areas of your small business: If you’re a photographer, maybe you’ve hired a brand and web design business to build your online presence. If you’re a brand and web designer, maybe you’ve hired a photographer to capture your head shots. Or, if you’re a wedding professional, you’ve likely hired or collaborated with fellow vendors to create one-of-a-kind celebrations.
Last week, we talked about creating an elevated on-boarding experience — focusing on the experience you provide to your clients through your business. So today, we want to talk about what it’s like when YOU are a client — and how to improve YOUR experience as a client. These quick tips can make all the difference when it comes to the experience you have when you work with or hire a fellow small business — so we’re excited to dive in!
How to Improve YOUR Experience as a Client
When we, as small business owners hire fellow small businesses, it can feel a little odd; when we spend a vast majority of our days guiding our clients through the client experience we created for them, it’s unusual to be guided through a totally new, often unfamiliar, client experience created for us.
But before we share our tips for being a successful client, why does today’s topic matter? Why should we, as small business owners, learn how to be better clients?
- Learning to be a better client will help us to receive the best experience possible from the small business we’ve hired. By focusing on and engaging in the client experience created for us, we can create a more seamless experience for ourselves and for the small business owner we’ve hired.
- Further, learning to be a better client can help us to serve our own clients better. We can put ourselves in the shoes of our clients and think about new ways to better educate, guide, and serve our own clients.
Here are four ways to improve YOUR experience as a client:
- Try your best to start your experience from a blank slate. It’s natural to assume the small business you’ve hired operates like your small business operates. But, every small business is unique. The client experience is like the unique, one-of-a-kind fingerprint of every small business. When you start your experience from a blank slate, you can offer yourself the best chance to seamlessly journey through the process that has been carefully-designed for you.
- Use the resources that have been created for you. At With Grace and Gold, we offer each of our clients access to our Client Experience Guide, which contains checklists, video guides, written guides, and recommended resources for their long-term success. These resources were carefully created and then revised over the course of several years — so we know, when our clients use the resources we’ve created, they’ll have a more seamless, engaging, and fun experience. On the other hand, we also know that when our clients don’t use the resources we’ve created, their experience will be less seamless. So, when you hire a fellow small business, embrace the resources they’ve created for you. They are experts in guiding their clients through their one-of-a-kind client experience and process, and the resources they’ve created are there to guide, serve, and help you every step of the way.
- Communicate openly and honestly. While we can’t speak for all client experiences, our client experience at With Grace and Gold is communication-driven. We communicate on an always-weekly, sometimes-daily basis, ensuring our clients always know what step we’re on and what step we’re heading to next. Although our process is tried and true, we always appreciate when our clients communicate openly and honestly with us. At every step, we journey through a refinement process to polish their design — and receiving open and honest feedback helps us to journey toward a design our client loves and feels proud of. Without open and honest communication — sharing comments, questions, or concerns — we might continue ahead in the process and those comments, questions, and concerns might build. So, as a client, we recommend communicating openly and honestly. The small business you’ve hired is there to help you and guide you, so your communication and honesty is essential.
- Trust the process. It’s likely the client experience you’re journeying through when you hire a fellow small business has been polished over the course of several years. The small business owner you’ve hired has likely guided many clients through the process — becoming better and better at their art. So, even if you began your client experience with a vision of what you had expected, trust the process and be open to receiving a finished product different from what you had imagined. At With Grace and Gold, we often say, “In order to experience success you’ve never experienced before, you may come away with a design you’ve never seen before.” Our goal is always to create a one-of-a-kind design we wholeheartedly believe will serve their business, and more importantly, their prospective and current clients better than ever before. But, to do so, we truly need our clients’ trust.
We are so hopeful these four tips guide you in the next client experience you journey through as a client.