3 Ways To Lose A Client Passion Squared blog

3 Ways To Lose An Awesome Client

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better. ~ Jeff Bezos, Amazon 

We often hear talk about how to keep a client, but today, I am reminding you of how to lose one.

Why? Because sadly, I am seeing more and more the most simple things being overlooked when engaging with a business that I felt inspired to share this reminder with you.

First off, why do we lose clients? Several ways. It all comes down to broken promises, over time, which leads to diminishing trust, which ultimately makes a client decide to choose to go elsewhere.

Recently, I visited a service establishment that pretty much violated most of the reasons clients don’t stay. As I walked in, I was greeted, so yay! But from there, it all went downhill. For some context, there were 6 team members and 2 clients in the business when I arrived. They asked me sit down and wait for my service but never told me where to sit. Once I figured out for myself where to sit, I began to cough. And cough some more. Then some more. For over one minute, I coughed. Yet, it was not until over a minute of coughing that someone decided it was a good time to offer me a beverage.

When I sat for my experience, I was never offered another beverage, even though there were still only 2 clients in the business with idle team members watching TV and staring down at their phones. Really?

I requested a specific service be done, yet, I had to ask 3 times at which point the service provider finally heard me and did what I requested.

Upon checkout, which took WAY too long for no good reason, I was asked 3 times if I wanted a receipt. THREE times. I was never asked if I wanted to leave a tip, how my experience was, not was I asked when I wanted to pre book my next appointment. The fundamentals, forgotten or ignored.

1. Not Listening

This is the foundation of everything. Listening says so much. If we really listen, we can ensure our clients needs are being taken care of. When we listen we show we care. When we listen we deliver awesome experiences. When we deliver awesome experiences, clients are inspired to share them with their friends.

2. Not Providing An Awesome Experience

The client experience begins LONG before we walk through the door. It begins upon first contact. This could be our experience with your online platforms, how we book our appointments, how appointments are confirmed, how we are treated upon entering the business, during our service, checking out of our service, and any post service follow up. This can speak to the products you use, to the towel quality, the beverage service, the music being played, the energy in the space, and so on; experience matters.

3. Not Caring

How do we show we care? We pay attention, we listen, we respond, we engage, online and off, I can tell if you care, and I can tell if you do not. Do you care if I ever come back? If you do, one way to show me is to remind me to book my next experience before I leave. If you care about my experience as a client, you will do everything in your power to ensure my needs are being met, including offering me a beverage the first time you hear me cough. If you care, you will ask me to share my experience on Yelp. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Why does this happen?

Many reasons. Sometimes it may be lack of training, lack of systems, lack of expectations, lack of engagement in the business, a disgruntled team, lack of culture, or lack of leadership.

In this case, the owner was not present. But if leaders do their job, the owner should not have to be present for an awesome experience to be delivered consistently.

What can you do about it?

Take a good, objective look at your experience. The systems, the training, the team, the culture, your brand promise, and your ability to lead. Most likely, something is missing or broken. The good news? You can change it, if you really want to.

Start with brand purpose and promise. Are you clear and is your team clear? What do you stand for? Believe in? Who is your target client? Do you understand them and what they value? What specifically does your experience look and feel like? Is the team crystal clear on how to deliver that experience consistently and what it looks and feels like? What systems can you build to ensure the experience is delivered? How will the team be held accountable if the experience is not delivered consistently.

One last thing…

As I mentioned in the beginning, there were 2 clients in the salon and 6 service providers. What were the other 4 service providers doing? Nothing. In 2017, there is NO reason in the world to do nothing. If you want to build a clientele, the KEY word is “want”, then it’s your responsibility to build those relationships. One way to do that today is by engaging on social platforms. Create content that is of value to your client. Engage. Build relationships. Create content. Engage. Build relationships. For the one hour I was there, those 4 service providers could have done a mini photo shoot, created a video, done an Instagram or Facebook LIVE, written a blog, practiced their craft, etc.

If you don’t have the clients you dream of, the only place to look is in the mirror. Then at your phone, not to play games, but to create and share content, engage, deliver value and build relationships.

With love-
Nina

PS: Just after I finished writing this post, I saw this in my inbox from the awesome Seth Godin. Let it sink in and share it with your teams…

The best time to study for the test… is before it’s given.
The best time to campaign is before the election.
And the best time to keep a customer is before he leaves.- Seth Godin

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Two Ingredients of An Awesome Client Experience

Focus on the shit that matters.

When was the last time going to the vet was an awesome experience? For me, it’s been way too long. And while this story is about a vet visit, my experience applies beautifully to small businesses of many kinds, salons included.

When it comes to client experience in the social + digital age, there are several opportunities which allow us to engage our clients and make them feel special and cared for. And in doing this, we can also capture their experience and turn that into stories to share online and off.

Going to the vets office (and the salon) sometimes comes with a bit of anxiety. Knowing that, it’s clear that Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital made it a priority to make their experience less stressful and more joyful.

The Photo Booth
The first thing I noticed when entering Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital on Courage Jude’s first visit was a photo booth. What? A photo booth at the vets office? Yep. A photo booth at a vets office.

For all the pet parents out there we know that capturing photos with our babies is a big part of our daily existence. Mohawk knows this too. We were immediately put at ease, because #selfiesession

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Simple Booth Photo App + iPad at Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital in Echo Park, California

The name says it all. Simple Booth. And based on their website, it truly is that simple to create a space where clients can capture their experiences to share with their friends and create content for you to share on your social platforms. They have three different packages to choose from for different sized business and needs. Then just add an iPad and you are in business. Just as we share creating a space to capture your work, this takes up very little space and it so worth it. #yourcontentisyourmarketing

Business Is Personal
The next thing that captured my eye, and heart, was also incredibly simple. A personalized welcome. That’s it. And you know it only took a few seconds to make such a huge impact. So much so that I have dedicated an entire blog to it. Good Morning Courage.

  good-morning-courage-mohawk-alley
Both of these “little things” are two ways to make your client experience even more awesome. These two “little things” along with a system to execute on them consistently, can turn an average visit to your business into an awesome visit.

Two simple ways to make your clients experience even more awesome, memorable and special. Two ways to encourage word of mouth. Two ways to deepen the relationship between you and your clients. Two ways to create more awesome. What are you waiting for?

Love + Awesomeness-
Nina xo

PS: A big shout out of love and gratitude to the awesome humans at Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital for making Courage Jude’s first visit one that brought smiles to our hearts and faces. And to Courage’s new vet Dr. Lena Braham, we love you!

dr-lena-braham                                                 Dr. Lena Braham and Courage Jude Louis Kovner

 

I Am The Client Blog hd Passion Squared

I’m The Client, Remember?

“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” Chinese Proverb

Since when did it become a thing to make a client jump though hoops to engage with your business? I am watching a disturbing trend unfold right before my eyes that astounds me and I while I have blogged on this topic before, here and here, I am inspired to share again. Why? Because I care, and even more because I know many are not even aware they are doing this.

As a business owner, our responsibility is to make the client experience the most awesome possible, online and off. This means several things. But here are just a few…

If you want me to engage with you, make it simple + easy.
And by easy, I mean make it easy for me. Be mindful of my needs and my process. Create a system that works for me, and of course, if it works for me, that means it will work for you. The harder you make it, the more likely I will choose to go elsewhere.

Be mindful of how you speak to me on social platforms. Please.
True leadership comes from having a level of control over our emotions. Just because you had one no show, does not make it OK to blame an entire following. When things begin to unravel, look inward, and look at your systems. There is something broken but guess what? It can be fixed.

I am not to blame for your lack of systems.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by texts, phone calls, and emails, look in the mirror. This is many times the most challenging part of biz ownership. So much of the angst you feel can be alleviated by having awesome systems and processes. But nine times out of ten, its not the people who fail, it’s the system that fails. Take the time to work on creating systems. Your anxiety and angst, and most of all, your clients will thank you.

Some systems + processes you may want to look into are…
Appointment Booking
Confirmations
Cancelled or changed appointments
No shows
Check In
Check Out
Pre Booking
Re-Do’s
Post experience
Lapsed client communications
FAQ’s
Agreements (Policies)
Note on agreements: Be sure these are created with the mindset that a large majority of clients awesome. If you are making a new policy charged with emotion over one repeat offender, that is not a policy, it is actually punishing everyone versus dealing with that one offender directly. Remember, doing biz with you should be simple, easy and client focused and friendly.

Look, I know biz ownership can be overwhelming, but that is what we signed up for. With the technology and choices available to us today, it is simpler than ever to implement systems that make the client experience awesome.

Always be mindful that we have choices. And of all the reasons I will choose you; how you treat me, and my experience with your brand, online and off, are some of the biggest reasons.

The choice is yours.
Love + Awesomeness-
Nina

PS: If you are an owner, our A School for Owners online coaching program may be a good fit for you. Interested? Click here to learn more!

Passion Squared This On Demand Life HD

This On-Demand Life

“The future of business lies in experience architecture and you are the architect.” Brian Solis

Today is Cyber Monday, which was created in response to Black Friday when e-commerce became a thing. And can you even believe that was in 2005? Exactly 10 years ago. Ten. Years. Ago! And now look at the world. E-commerce has now become on-demand anything. Think the W Hotel, whatever, whenever. Wow!

As I was scrolling through Instagram last week, I happened upon an ad, yes, an AD, done well, and seemingly timely and relevant to me, good job ad.

This ad was for Zeel, what I will call the Uber of Massages, yes, in home massages on demand. Breakthrough? No. Not now at least, as we are living an on demand life. And e-commerce has become more than just a transaction; it has become a way of life. We are consuming 24/7 via our mobile devices. All day, every day. We are even paying for our beloved Starbucks with our phone, without a wallet. Think about that. No money is exchanging hands. None.

Whether its someone to build my Ikea desk, thank you Task Rabbit, to someone to do my grocery shopping, thank you Instacart, to someone to deliver late night snacks, thank you Eat24, to someone to whisk me around town, thank you Uber, to someone to run an errand while I have the flu, thank you Postmates. On demand everything. And lets not even get started on Amazon’s new Prime same day delivery. Thank you Amazon.

The world has changed. Again. Just when you thought having a website and a presence on Yelp, Instagram and Facebook mattered, that now feels like so 2013.

With 2016 around the corner, it is imperative that we really take a serious look at our client’s digital experience if we want to stay relevant. Period.

This on demand life is creating experiences that are so seamless and awesome, there is almost no question as to why we would not just pick up our “phone” and click “book now”.

Here is a little “on-demand” quiz for your biz…

Can I book from my “phone” easily? And I mean awesomely! No bugs, easy to read, awesome to experience.

Do I have a responsive website (mobile + tablet friendly) that allows for no more than one click to connect with me?

Are all my links on my social profiles relevant? Meaning, why would you have the URL of your Facebook page on your Insta profile? I want a phone number and on online booking link.

Is your payment processing seamless and easy? Email receipts? Online sales?

Is your confirmation process seamless? And I mean without me having to pick up the phone?

Is there a system, which allows me to review your biz, not because you want a 5 star review but because you care enough to hear about my experience? Is it a one-click process?

Is it easy for me to share my experience of your biz with my friends? Like in one click?

Based on your answers, my challenge to you is to audit your entire online and offline experience, and create a plan to crate an experience so awesome, your clients truly enjoy engaging with you and shout it from the rooftops to all that will listen.

If you are thinking, screw that, I like the good old fashion way of doing business; here is what I will say…

This is NOT about changing face-to-face experiences; it is actually about making them better. This is NOT about not picking up the phone, this is actually about engaging on clients terms, not yours.

This is NOT about today; this is about being in business tomorrow. The world has changed, as have the clients seeking salon and wellness services, so my passionate plea to you is to open your mind, and focus on building the new, not fighting or defending the old. My challenge to you is to see the entire client journey from discovery of your business to entering the door of your business. What does that experience look and feel like? It matters.

Adele may try to call 1000 times, but your current and for sure your future clients won’t. #fact

Love + Awesomeness-

Nina

PS: All of the above on-demand services I mentioned are all ones I highly recommend. Of course.

PPS: If you are looking for some tools specific to the salon market, I blogged about that here and here.