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Archives for June 2011

Jimi Hendrix… and how to have loyal clients for life?

I was listening to tracks from one of my favorite albums – Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix this morning.

I can only guess what he meant by this trippy title, but it got me thinking about one of my favorite topics…

The Customer Experience

In software and in the on-line world, creating an incredible customer experience is a huge trend. Internet companies have whole departments devoted to these questions:

  • What is the experience the user of my product or service is having?
  • How can we make the user experience better, more fun, easier and/or unique?

The amazing experience people have using Apple products is what makes that company legendary.

The experience that you create for your clients is the difference between a commodity service and a highly sought-after service.

Yet I can see that WE, the service-based business owners, pay so very little attention to the experience our clients are having with us.

I don’t mean just paying attention to your service or your expertise. I mean paying attention to EVERY little interaction they have with you:

Your email communications, your initial consultations, customer service calls, the message they hear on your voice mail, your email address, your invoices, what your office looks like, thank you cards, the extra perks you give.

I know I pay attention to the experience of my clients, but providing the experience still takes a back seat to my content or to my coaching.

What would happen if I sat down and designed the experience from the first email my clients get from me, to how a welcome phone call is delivered, to what kind of gift I will send my clients for participating and even to learning what experience they are really wanting with me.

  • What if I made the experience my clients have with me more fun?
  • What if I made the experience my clients have with me much simpler?
  • What if the experience clients have with me had the WOW factor?
  • What if I delivered something totally unexpected for every single client?

If I did that –

I would have clients for life!

And that is precisely what I want. And I am hoping you want that, too.

I invite you to explore this topic and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Mosquitos, Malaria and What May Be Stopping You From Getting Clients

I really love deconstructing the psychology of why service-based business owners get hired.

So what needs to be in place for someone to even begin contemplating hiring you?

I can boil it down to just 2 words

“URGENT CHANGE”

What I mean by this is that something in your potential client’s business or life needs to be enough of problem that they want it to be different NOW. Or perhaps they want something bad enough that they are willing to do something about it NOW.

  • I like my shoes; and the heel broke off. I want that situation to change, so I go to a cobbler to get that fixed.
  • I don’t like how I look in the mirror because I put on 15 pounds, so I go to a weight loss coach or a trainer because I want my appearance to change.
  • I am sad and depressed and I feel so lost in my life. So I go to a therapist or a life purpose coach to help me with that.

Without a current urgent need, your potential clients will continue to be potential clients unless their problem becomes acute enough for them to want to do something about it.

There has to be a problem NOW.

I’ll give you an example. In Africa, malaria kills hundreds of thousands of children every year. It turns out that $6 bed nets, which prevent mosquitoes from biting kids while they sleep, is a great preventative measure. Yet, unless these bed nets are given out for free, they tend to not sell at all. On the other hand, once the child gets malaria, paren’ts do everything possible to obtain medicine to save their child’s life.

Why would an African paren’t not buy a $6 bed when that action could very well save their child’s life?

It is not because they don’t care about their child – because they ARE willing to invest hundreds of dollars on medicine once their child gets malaria.

Prevention is simply not enough of a motivator for someone to invest. There simply isn’t yet an urgent problem.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you will not get hired unless your potential client has a current urgent need:

  • There’s not enough motivation for someone to even learn about something that is not yet an urgent problem; so people aren’t even in the position to seek out help.
  • Taking action in order for something not to happen is not enough of motivator. You sleep under a bed net and you don’t get malaria. You eat right and you don’t get sick. You get liability insurance so that you can keep your money when you get sued.
  • It’s easy to procrastinate when the need is not current. Yes, your service may sound interesting to your potential client, but unless there is a current need it’s just too easy to say “I will take care of it later.”

So the moral of this story – make sure you have identified an urgent problem that you are solving with your services, your packages and your products. And make sure to identify the result which people with that problem are really seeking. This is really the basis of your business. It is the shingle on your virtual store. Without this, success may be a bit elusive.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment below…