Landing a new client is one of the best feelings as an entrepreneur, but sometimes the doubts start to creep in once the client has signed their contract and paid their deposit. What if they’re a nightmare client? What if I can’t complete the work they’re looking for? What if they don’t like the final product? These thoughts and feelings are totally understandable and natural for small business owners! However, you can create a customer experience that minimizes the number of bad customer experiences you encounter. Today, we’re going to talk about five different types of clients and how to work with them so you can satisfy every client you sign on. We’ll be covering…
- The self-proclaimed perfectionist
- The worrywart
- The disorganized
- The people pleaser
- The one that got away
The Control Freak or Self Proclaimed Perfectionist
This kind of client needs your help, possibly even more than they may know! They are too deep in weeds and so obsessed with details that they tend to forget the big picture. Outsourcing something within their business will teach them to let go and trust others, but you may have to help them get to that point! So what can you do?
- Continuously remind them of their goals – one of my favorite questions I ask on discovery calls and my onboarding questionnaire is about my client’s goals. What are your short-term goals? What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year? What are your long-term goals? What legacy do you want to leave behind? When you have this kind of insight into your client’s business, you can remind them that the work you’re doing together won’t just benefit them now and for the next few months, but will help them as they work towards their long-term goals, years down the road.
- Position yourself as the expert – be sure to include social proof on your website and on social media to reassure potential clients that you know what you’re doing. Direct inquiries to your portfolio where potential customers can see the work you’ve completed for past (happy) clients. Throughout your process, include answers to frequently asked questions, provide clients with a welcome guide, and make sure your clients know they can ask you questions and feel comfortable with you taking the lead.
She plans for the worst and is ten steps ahead of you. By inquiring to work with you, she is already taking a step outside of her comfort zone and knows it’s a calculated investment worth every cent. So what can you do to confirm that working together is a great idea while also making sure she stays calm and on track?
- Create a strategic welcome packet – in addition to answering frequently asked questions and sprinkling in testimonials, you can also include a timeline of when project milestones will be accomplished and what the client needs to complete before each date.
- Talk about the transformation – your worrywart client may be concerned about things that aren’t relevant at the time, so after you provide them with a welcome packet outlining the project timeline, tell them about how they will feel after working together. Highlight how working together has transformed your past client’s businesses and help them to see that the same thing is possible for them after working with you.
The steps you take to help your worrywart clients feel calm can lead to a positive customer experience. Make an effort to help them have a firm understanding of the process so they can feel secure, knowing someone has their best interests at heart while they sit back and relax!
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While sometimes it can be hard to get a project started with these types of customers, they are oftentimes the most rewarding! However, problems start to come up when these clients forget appointments, don’t grant you access to all the information you need, take a long time filling out questionnaires, and the list goes on. Here’s how you can stay on top of your project without seeming like you’re the control freak when working with disorganized clients…
- Use a project management tool – something like Asana, Notion, or ClickUp can help you to outline every step of your process beforehand so everyone has easy access to all payments, questionnaires, appointment times, and they can know when certain tasks are due to avoid delaying their project.
- Set deadlines for both parties – when customers can know when to expect certain deliverables, meetings, or other important project milestones from the beginning, it’s more likely that they will be easy to communicate with and less likely to forget about your project and put it on the back burner. Tell your client when they can expect to hear from you, how many days they have for feedback, and what happens once a project is delayed.
Don’t forget to highlight the importance of the work you’re doing with your client! Chances are they are prioritizing what is most important to them, so when they see the value of your work, they will make an effort to get organized for you without having any awkward conversations with each other!
The People Pleaser
One of the most important parts of any business owner’s process is feedback. But what do you do when customers find it difficult to tell you what they would like to change about the work you’ve done? Communication difficulties can be tricky to navigate! You don’t want your customers to feel bad about themselves or their personality traits, but it’s important to make sure they walk away with the best deliverables for their business, which you can only achieve through honest feedback! Implement these two tips into your process:
- Create a safe space – when customers feel comfortable with you, they are more likely to open up. Create a friendship with your clients by adding personalized notes, sending Starbucks gift cards, or sending a gift box when your project is complete.
- Tailor your feedback process – some business owners prefer live video calls for feedback, whereas others prefer a more passive feedback form. If your client is a people pleaser, one may be more comfortable for them than the other. Talking face to face may be more comfortable, but it may also put your client on the spot and cause them to panic. With a written form, it may be difficult for your client to put how they feel into words, and they may write less than they would be inclined to say in person. There are pros and cons to each, so ask your client which works best for them! One of the best ways you can make these clients feel comfortable is by showing them that you’re willing to adapt.
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The one that got away
Well, maybe they’re not totally gone yet, but this is the person who keeps ghosting you… they won’t reply to emails or direct messages, and you’re finding it difficult to proceed with their project. So once you get them actually talking to you again, how do you ensure it stays that way?
- Set boundaries – these kinds of projects can cause business owners lots of stress, so put a system in place that keeps you from feeling anxious and overwhelmed! Set deadlines for feedback and how many days they have to respond to emails.
- Have a strong contract – when you can, refer back to the contract your client signed. This is where you can outline terms for project delays, a fee for late payment, a fee to restart a project after no communication has been received within a certain amount of time, and so on.
Pro tip: Sometimes potential clients will ghost you before they even sign a contract or invoice and come back months later when your packages, processes, and availability are much different. To avoid awkward situations when this happens, you can add a clause to your proposals and invoices that they will expire in a set amount of time and if the client does not respond within the set window, they will have to restart the process with a new proposal.
Use these tips to create a community of loyal customers who keep coming back to work with you! You’ll avoid angry customers and nightmare projects while working with people who have the same values and truly appreciate the work you do.
Learn more about the Social Circle Inc. brand here.