Plenty of companies go straight in for a sale. They do everything they can to drive a customer to sign the dotted line without paying much attention to any other stage of the journey. You might find yourself getting sales here and there, but the lifetime value of your clients are low and you don’t see a lot of loyalty. When you create a client, not a sale, you put yourself in a position where you can achieve long-term success.
Understand Your Client’s Journey
How do they go from learning about your company to making a purchase? Try to map out the significant stages in their journey so you can better understand what your ideal clients are looking for. You can create resources that work well with these touch points and use this information to help you guide conversations.
Nurture the Relationship
How many times do you discover a new company and immediately start doing business with them? That situation probably doesn’t happen that often, so don’t be surprised if you need to take your time with prospective clients.
You can nurture the relationship by keeping in touch through an email newsletter, interacting with the lead on social media and sending out mailings for relevant promotions.
Center Value Over a Deal
Your eventual goal is to turn that lead into a client, but your current focus should be on delivering value. When you engage with a prospect, how are you improving their experience? Are you educating them on the information they need to make an informed decision? Can they apply your resources to their everyday life to solve pressing problems? Eliminate any messaging that isn’t valuable to your audience.
Another way to improve the client experience is by being transparent throughout the process. Many people don’t know what’s involved in choosing products or services in a new-to-them category. When you explain exactly what’s going on at each step and keep them in the loop, they have a more enjoyable time.
Leverage Technology to Improve the Client Experience
Your clients have a lot of technological expectations from other industries. They want to reach out to you on convenient channels, read your content from any of their devices, and easily be able to check-in on their order status and other details.
Some industries lag behind others when it comes to a robust technology infrastructure. Your clients don’t want to have to send out faxes or wait for snail mail to sign a contract. Look for ways that you can use technology to streamline the process and improve the client experience.
For example, you can offer your clients a self-service portal that allows them to electronically check on their order status, find answers to common questions, and access multiple ways of getting in touch with you.
Another area to consider is how you can connect with potential clients on mobile platforms. Make sure that your website is mobile-optimized, especially when you’re trying to reach out to your local customer base. Tools such as a payment calculator, rate chart and other useful resources offer a great way to help your clients when they’re starting to think about making purchase decisions.
The client experience is what separates you from other small businesses. Today’s customers want more than the lowest rates available. They also want a company willing to put the work in to build a connection and give them the best possible experience. You can accomplish this in many ways, from building up your client-facing technology to educating your clients.