When someone is a creative entrepreneur, whether service based or product based, and who doesn’t have a storefront, social media presence becomes one of the most important aspects to our business marketing strategy, and that’s because it is one of the best ways to actually be a presence to our customer base. Since our brand is represented solely online (since we don’t have storefronts), our clients’ initial experience with us is online. The goal of creating a good online client experience is to bring the client from an online experience and convert them to an offline experience. Right? Because our services and products are done offline, and we are using our online presence to ultimately guide clients down a client experience that is predominantly offline. With that said, the first thing I want to talk about is how important our online presence is, and how we can create a great client experience online.
“According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, 86% of business leaders agree that customer experience is vital for success, and 75% believe social media will be an “extremely important” foundation of successful customer experiences in the future. But at the same time, only 34% agree they have the necessary tools and skills to deliver superior experiences to customers” (Check out the entire Forbes article here)
With that being said, it becomes an overwhelming idea, at least to me, that we have to create so much extra content to simply connect with our clients and represent our brand in a strong fashion. When talking about content creation and the sheer amount of content that we perceive as being needed to create a strong brand what it comes down to is being consistent and creating content that we can repackage and repurpose so we don’t overwhelm ourselves.
With this in mind, we can marry the two topics into one, that topic being creating and repurposing content with the end goal being to create a great customer experience while strengthening our brand. So the question we should be asking ourselves is, “What content should I be sharing this week that will represent my brand clearly, and also create a good customer experience with me online?”
Here’s a scary thought, “Experience is the new brand. People define what a brand is based on their experience with a company across all touch points” (from that same awesome Forbes article). So how can we create a great experience from start to finish, keeping in mind the importance of social media presence?
Create Content To Help Your Clients Know You
In order to give your clients a great experience, you need to first set yourself up for success by including yourself, your personality, and your quirks within your brand.
Clients need to know exactly what to expect from you as a person. They need to know your personality and how you communicate. This is the first step to setting a good expectation for your relationship with your clients. So, in the realm of creating content that creates a good experience for your customers and clients, you need to be creating content about yourself.
Include personal posts about your life, your likes, your dislikes, and include photos and videos of yourself talking about non-business related stuff.
Create Content To Help You Get To Know Your Clients
Next, you need to be creating content to help you understand your client better, and to help put yourself in their shoes. Gary Vee says that a good sales person goes into a sale not asking themselves what they want out of the experience, but rather, asking themselves what their client wants out of the experience. He says that you need to have empathy. You can only know what your client wants if you’ve taken the time to actually get to know your client.
Create questionnaires for your clients that will help you anticipate their needs without them having to tell you. Questionnaires are also a great way to infuse your personality a bit more into the client experience while simultaneously learning about your client. Another great way to learn about your client and their needs, is to go through your client process step by step, as if you are the client. You can also take questions that past clients have asked you, or frequently asked questions you’ve found on competitors sites, and make sure you’re addressing those, because more than likely, they will be needs that your clients have in the future.
Set Proper Expectations
Lastly, you need to be setting proper expectations up front with your online client experience. You can’t implement new expectations or guidelines or “enforce” rules after the fact, so its important that you’re setting proper expectations from the very beginning. A great way to do this is to make a frequently asked questions section, or article or blog post to send to your clients during the on-boarding process. Something else that is super important for setting proper expectations is having a good solid contract. Contracts are one of the best ways to set expectations up front with your clients, but also, the contract helps to give your business a really solid foundation.
We often think of client experience as being an “offline” process, from the moment we meet our clients in person, to when their photo session day comes and goes. In reality, the client experience begins way before they meet you in person or speak with you over the phone. Hopefully these techniques will help you up your game with your online client experience.