Five Super Simple Ways To Delight Your Clients
The difference between “she does great work” and “we love working with her” can be super simple. It can also be the difference between repeat business (or not) and getting referrals (or not).
Here are five unbelievably easy ways to delight your clients.
1. Save them time.
- Don’t send files as attachments (unless specifically requested) - instead, store the files in an agreed-upon location and share the files as links.
- Once you’ve done that, be sure to include links to those files in your emails or messages any time you’re referencing a particular piece of work, especially if you’re asking for feedback. It’s amazing how much faster the responses will be, AND it minimizes the chance of confusion.
- You can also include file links in invoices. This serves as a solid reminder of all you’ve accomplished for them, and of how you make their life easier.
2. Help them stay organized.
- Be careful about version control. Always treat your first project as though you expect to have ongoing work with this client, and organize your files accordingly.
- Agree upon and/or establish a file naming convention, and make sure to let them know what it is.
- Ideally you’ll be working in a collaborative online environment, but if you’re going to be receiving files back from the client with edits, specify how you’d like those files named. This makes you look like an organized professional, and it makes your life easier.
3. Be a good business partner.
- Send invoices on time. Ask if they have any particular needs in terms of accounting (for example, some clients will have accounting teams who need to “close the books” each month, and they’ll want to receive all invoices by a particular date.) Alternatively, consider using a platform like Ditto to set up and automate your invoices.
- Sometimes bring unsolicited ideas to the table. This way they know you’re thinking about them, even when you’re not being paid to do so. It’s an opportunity to surprise and delight.
4. Communicate clearly and consistently.
- Let clients know in advance when you’ll be unavailable for a period of time.
- Provide an estimate of how long something will take. If you’re tracking to miss that deadline, reach out with an update.
- Keep track of any important deadlines the client needs to meet, and then help them get there. For example, if you know that a client wants their new packaging in place before Black Friday but they’re slow on responding with feedback, you may remind them to provide you with requested changes by saying something like “I know that it’s important to you that we make this happen in time for Black Friday. We still need to send these files to the printer and review proofs, so in order for us to make this deadline, I’ll need your edits no later than the end of the day on Wednesday.” This helps you, too - it’s much easier to say that you can’t take on their last minute rush of requests (or that you’ll need to charge extra for them) when you’ve clearly communicated what a reasonable timeline should look like.
5. Be proactive in recommending resources.
- Chances are, you have more experience in a given area than your client does, and you’re likely to see where there’s room for improvement - even if they don’t know it yet. Don’t be shy about making recommendations. Whether it’s people or tools, if you’re confident that what or who you know could help your client, tell them - and explain why.
- This is a great chance to tap into your network -- and the more you do this, the more you’ll find that others start tapping you back. One good turn (or referral) deserves another, you know! And even if referrals don’t materialize right away, the universe tends to reward generosity of spirit.
There you have it! None of this is rocket science, but sometimes we all need a reminder that your best business development tools are retention and referrals, and little details can make all the difference. Go forth and make your clients happy!