Barnacle & Lime Design Studio

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A Few Simple Tips To Delight Your Clients


barnaclelime
barnaclelime
barnaclelime

As a business owner, you know that you don’t just get to a point where you can sit back and let the business run itself (but wouldn’t that be nice?!) Sure it gets easier as you work out the kinks, learn how to delegate jobs and get a good client base, but seldom does a business owner stop thinking of ways to improve their business. It’s important however, to understand with every change you make, big or small, to remember one key point…without your clients, you do not have a business. So whether you decide to niche down or to expand, to branch out or specialise, to re-brand, re-focus, re-energise or re-locate, you need to keep your clients in mind.

So on that note, read on to learn how to impress your new, existing and past clients.

I was once told that you need to ‘woo’ your clients, to treat them like you are courting them (I’d say dating but these days dating can be interpreted differently) I’m talking good ole fashion, call when you say you’ll call, arrive on time and listen attentively kind of dating. So when I decided to write  ‘ways to impress your clients’, I started to think about my dating history and what did and didn’t work in the ‘wooing’ department. For some reason this story seemed to stick out in my mind…

The year 2007, I was at a friends house celebrating Australia Day where the sun was shining, the beers were flowing and Triple Js hottest 100 was pumping. I had been seeing a  guy for a few weeks now and he had a good sense of humour, a good job and good hair…so there was some potential “the one” vibes going on (naive and over excited) . As the afternoon was drawing to a close he invited me to his parents house to kick on as they were having a casual BBQ. I had never met them and didn’t want to drop in unannounced but I was convinced they had invited us to ‘swing by’. On the way there I insisted I grab something from the cheesecake shop…I opted for the brownies for optimum ‘brownie’ points (turns out I was lame back then too!) Well when we got there I find out we were over an hour late…apparently it was an official invite and not a causal one! I then realise I am way underdressed in my bathers and a sundress…everyone else is wearing smart casual attire. From there, things got worse and I think the icing on the cake was when my date’s Nephew ate one of the brownies I put on the desert table and had an allergic reaction to the nuts and it was realised that I had brought the brownies (needless to say I got no points for those bad boys!)

Well as painfully awkward as that memory is, I wanted to share it with you to highlight the fact that being unprepared can make impressing people a little hard. The night could have played out differently, had I arrived on time, appropriately dressed and with a bunch of flowers in hand! Luckily for you, you probably don’t need to impress your client’s Mother. In saying that, if you are providing an outstanding service, there’s a good chance she will hear about it!

I have split up the ‘courtship’ into 3 categories and in each section are ways to impress….and keep on impressing your clients.

New

  • Communicate quickly- this is so basic but also imperative to your business. People want to feel like a priority. Keep on top of your emails/calls and aim to have a 24hr response time.

  • Provide a welcome package including a client questionnaire- depending on the service you provide, this can be really useful to gauge what the client wants and what they expect of you. It can also help determine if this client fits in with your businesses values and beliefs. In the B&L welcome pack I have included a welcome letter, agreement, frequently asked questions and also the terms of service ( You can get a quick view of this welcome package featured on the LHS)

  • Your Process- in order to set the tone for your professional relationship, it is a great idea to set and maintain clear boundaries. Offer your clients a proposed scope of works as well as a basic timeline. This prevents any confusion later on.

Current

  • Communicate quickly- again this is so important, because it makes your client feel important and valued. Aim for a 24hr turn around. 

  • Reward loyalty- if they are a great client (especially if they are spending good $$$) it is amazing what sending a small gift in the mail can do..from a small chocolate, to a movie ticket to a bunch of flowers…these small gestures will win you big brownie points!

  • Showcase your work- with permission, showcase what you’ve been working on through your social media channels…make an endearing comment about how working with them was a delight!

  • Feedback and testimonials- encourage your clients to leave feedback and testimonials

  • Say “Thank you”- a simple thank you goes a long way and a handwritten thank you note makes for a nice personal touch.

Past

  • Check in/follow up-  without bombarding your past clients with mass generated emails, keep them updated on any new services provided with a personal email. Offer a discount code to be used for either themselves or a friend.

  • Showcase your work on social media- don’t be afraid to go into the archives to repost some of your older work…by subtly tagging them you are giving them a little reminder of what an amazing job you have done for them in the past!

  • Hand-written Snail Mail- in an age where your inbox gets cluttered with spam and your letterbox is full of bills…send a handwritten note. This could be a Birthday or Christmas card, a postcard size business card with an inspirational quote or anything positive and thought provoking to keep you in their minds without trying to hard sell your service.

So remember that getting the clients is only half the battle. Maintaining your reputation and getting referrals and repeat business is the other half! Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful advertising you will ever get- so get people talking about you. Be bold and offer a unique experience that they won’t forget!


EBONY HARPER