By Caroline Creedon
Structuring the Client Journey Part 3
My last few articles have been about finding structure in your client journey and implementing new ways to keep your clients’ confidence up from start to finish. If you missed parts one and two of this segment, take a minute to get caught up right here
Essentially, for clients to start working with you, they go through a 5-step process that begins with them as a prospect and (ideally) ends with them being a raving fan of your business. For us business owners, the first step to nailing those raving reviews is asking ourselves where we stand in providing a rewarding client journey.
Consider how you approach a prospective client and how they feel when they consider saying“yes” to your pitch. Helping build confidence in your prospects will ensure they feel certain and secure in your hands, and there are many ways to help you do just that.
Hint: For 6 concrete steps you can take today to earn their confidence, read Structuring the Client Journey Part 2
Now we’re going to look at what happens once you’ve done your job. What does the last stage of the client journey work with? Naturally, this will vary depending on your business, but regardless of what product or service you offer, the last thing we want your clients to feel at the end of the road is relief. If they’re relieved, it means the client’s journey was painful and difficult and, to be blunt, you likely haven’t put in the work to nurture that relationship.
When the client’s journey comes to a close, we want them to feel absolutely delighted, and it’s entirely up to us to make that happen. One key strategy to really solidify this feeling of delight is to think about all the wins (big and small) you have achieved for your clients throughout their journey.
If you’re dealing with a client in a finite time period, as we near the end, we need to lay out all the things they’ve gotten out of the partnership. If the relationship is ongoing and there is no end in sight, you might consider setting what I like to call “false timeframes” where you pull out some concrete evidence of the value you’re providing. For instance, this might look like a monthly KPI summary or an annual progress report.
These timeframes are a great opportunity for you to assess what needs to happen next and really tailor the customer experience to each individual relationship. When you create a path for your clients, you’re essentially giving them a clear call to action. For many of us, this might look like a request for a Google review. For others, it might be a contract renewal or upgrade.
Take a moment now to think about the end of your client’s journey as it is now. What’s the next step you wish every client would take at the end of their journey that would add value to our business?
Now, what are you currently doing to tell them what you want?
Remember, the whole purpose of this last step of the client journey is to re-engage your clients and maintain that relationship. Hint: a great way to know if you’ve succeeded is whether they know who you are the next time you call them.
The key takeaway here is that there’s always the next step, even if you think it may lead them away from you momentarily. In some cases, the last step might even just be to refer them to one of your partners. At the very least, this shows them how valuable you’ve been and will earn you those stellar reviews I mentioned earlier. You might even get a referral in return!
If you don’t already, a great final step to the client journey is asking your clients if they’d be happy to be featured in a case study. Yes, a review is fantastic, but what’s even more fantastic is the way a case study serves as proof of how good you are in your job to all your future prospects. A case study shows people a problem that’s often very relatable and exactly how you solved that problem, giving people a no-brainer answer to your pitch.
Tip: If you are planning to ask for a review or a case study, make sure you pre-frame it in the early days of the client journey. This way, clients feel honored that you asked for their feedback, but more importantly, they’re expecting it so it doesn’t across as “salesy” as it might otherwise.
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