The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
For freelancers and small business owners, positive customer experience is key to getting referrals, recognition for the added value they provide, and long-lasting business relationships.
1. Embrace clarity
Poor communication is one of the biggest dealbreakers in business. Think about your own experiences as a customer: how many times you didn't buy (or hire) because you didn't get the information you asked for?
Embracing clarity in business communication is a good first step towards a satisfying customer experience. It also reduces follow-up time, clarifies roles and responsibilities, and supports your professional reputation.
2. Build a network
Partnerships with solopreneurs trading products and services that might complement your offering are a vital asset to your small business.
As an example, a web copywriting client might also need to revamp their logo, or professional non-stock images for website's graphics. In such cases, valuable connections with professionals outside of your specific industry would come in handy.
You'd be able to refer this client to a trusted professional who can do a great job for them. With the added bonus of saving your customers the time and hassle to look for someone themselves - and that definitely improves customer experience.
3. Think cross-selling and up-selling
Even though cross-selling and upselling are often associated with being "pushy" and "too commercial", it doesn't have to be. In fact, your prospect might not know about a premium (or additional) solution that could help them achieve their goals better.
However, you should never cross-sell or up-sell services that don't suit your customer's needs. Customer loyalty is always earned, never granted: respect your customers and they'll come back; use them as piggy banks, and you won't fool them twice.
4. Encourage feedback
If you want to know how your customers' experience is, you just need to ask.
It doesn't have to be a tedious survey module, nor a formal conversation. You could just call your customer a couple days after project delivery, to see how they liked it. Or drop a line in an e-mail, encouranging them to forward a short feedback.
As solopreneurs, we enjoy the privilege of a direct contact with our customers. Promoting a "culture of feedback" fosters the development of a positive relationship, and shows your customer that you care about their goals and achievements.