Episode 122

Elevating Your Client Experience

July 5th, 2023


In today’s episode, I’m talking about all things client experience. It’s so important to shape the experience for your clients in alignment to your brand and consider how you want them to feel each and every time they interact with you or a team member.
We dive into:
  • Evolving the way your client experiences your business
  • Micro moments that you might not think are important
  • Shaping the level of experience you want for your clients
  • Understanding the gaps within the process

Connect with Nicole on Instagram @theartisansolutions 
Nicole’s website: https://theartisans.com.au/
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Welcome to Take Control With Nicole. As business owners, we experience firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go.

Hello, I’m Nicole Smith, COO, Operations Specialist and Systems Designer from The Artisans Business Solutions and welcome to Take Control With Nicole. Today, we are going to continue that fabulous conversation all around client experience. So, this is a real opportunity for you as a business leader to have a look at what exactly you want to shape that experience for your clients. You can also do the same for internal as well, let’s think about clients internal and external. So, really shaping that experience to align with where your brand placement is, and how you want your humans in your world to feel every time that they are interacting with you, and or a team member.

So let’s just take a snippet back to what actually is a client experience. So, the easiest way to shape it is that feeling of any time an external human comes to interact with you as a business leader, your team or your brand. So that moment they popped out onto the social’s. That moment, they’ve engaged with you to come and commence that next piece of work. That moment that they’re right in the thick of it and feeling a little bit, ah like this, as they’re going through any change management process. How have you held that container of space to give them that experience that is really beautifully aligned with how you would love to be treated as well. So, I guess when you’ve been in business for a while these ways of working naturally evolve.

You may start out thinking that you want it to be shaped this way, and all of a sudden you’ve elevated your operations, you’ve elevated your strategy, you’ve elevated the way that you are looking out at the world. And your client experience may not have continued on that journey with you, because you’re focusing on the future. And you may have just forgotten to take a glance back and think about what is happening with those people that are already in my space. This is a perfect time to evolve the way that your client experience is shaped. Now, it doesn’t mean that you got to shake the whole pan. What it can mean, though, is that you have that opportunity to create that space for yourself and your business and your team. Because remember, if you are growing a team, the alignment and the consistency that we’re wanting to shape for our external clients, is really shaped on how our team are working day in and day out.

So, having a look internally, what are the things that you are doing in your business right now that have that consistent approach? What I mean, let’s start have a look at email communication. It’s a great one to start. I’ve seen many examples where you contact a business, and they might have an assistant they might have a team member; they might have somebody else in a different department. And the actual connection experience that you’re getting from you as a leader to your team is not connected. So, it, you get from you. For instance, if you contact me, 99% of the time there will be ‘fabulous’ in there somewhere. It’s just part of my natural vocabulary, it just comes straight out without even thinking, as I’m typing, as I’m speaking. But that is a Nicole word that is being aligned now with the Nicole experience and The Artisans Brand. So, when you actually come through to speak with my team members, you will start to see that those things, those ways, those passions of excitement, is connecting through. Where you may find though, is in an email conversation, if our clients are experiencing disjointedness, it could be that your internal communication, your language, the way that we’re actually communicating day in day out, from a marketing point of view from a client delivery point of view, has not yet been connected all into that central hub to really be able to continue that beautiful flow of experience outwards. That’s where this experience thing can come really into play. Those micro moments that you may not actually think are important as part of that experience journey, but actually is those core foundational underpinning elements that support the rest of the journey to thrive.

So, why is it really important to actually review what you’re doing? We’re learning as business owners each day, different ways of being, of working, of supporting our clients, of supporting our teams, of supporting yourself as a human. Now, each time we’re elevating our own experience, we may be not even realizing it elevate the way that were integrating ourselves into our business, the way that we’re actually communicating with other people. Now, when we are evolving, if we have not allowed that connection to flow on through to the business, automatically, there’s going to be a non-alignment, it’s going to be disjointed, it’s going to feel like you’re interacting with Nicole as a business leader like this, and then you’re the other side of the business will feel a little bit clunkier, it won’t feel as enjoyable. So, this is why it’s really important, especially as a business leader, as a business team as just a business full stop, to bring that continuity back into play, we want to be able to shape that experience, it doesn’t matter who or how you’re coming into, talk, email, have a session, whatever it might be with whoever from the business, that that is such a beautiful aligned experience.

Now, I’ve only really spoken about connection here that’s kind of in person or that online connection. But the client experience goes well past that. So, thinking about that workflow. So you know, we love a workflow, we love a plan, we love a process over here at The Artisans. So, take a moment to just open up your ClickUp whiteboard or your Miro board or grab a piece of paper, whatever it might be, for your creative zone to be activated, and map out your client journey through the stages. So, nuture leads, process, we’re going through to onboarding, we’re actually delivering the work, offboarding. And what happens after that, map those out. Now think about those actions, those micro actions that happen underneath.

So for instance, let’s talk about nurture leads, right, we have recently elevated the way that we manage our proposals. So, we’ve introduced a beautiful new system called Qwilr. I am so excited about it, it is just the experience, elevated, right? I knew that for a business, our business, that next iteration is here. And it was the right time to invest in that piece of software to invest in the automation design, to invest in the way that we want to shape that experience for our clients. And we pulled the pin and we ran through and we activated our own internal all-that-jazz program to get that from design all the way through to connection which is now live and it’s lovely. Now the reason why I’m sharing this though, is previously our process was fabulous. Our clients loved it. We had many of our clients say, hey, I want this in my business. And I’m like, amazing. So, we had ClickUp boards, we had all these fabulous things. But what our new elevated experience is doing now from an internal point of view. It’s beautiful and easy. We click a button, things happen, templates are loaded, document, IDs are coming back in and out – all the things right, beautiful, streamlined. Now from an external point of view, the clients can come they click a button to approve. They’ve approved that proposal; they’ve popped in their payment details. There’s all that first step done, I am ready, I’m ready to actually elevate my business to that next phase. Now we celebrate that so exciting.

We then what happens is really seamlessly after that button has been pressed, the automation magic comes into play. It streamlines that whole experience. So, I don’t need to go in manually and press any buttons. It goes up, approve back into ClickUp, update status, send email out, onboarding has commenced. Simple and easy.

Hello there, I’m just interrupting this episode as I would love to invite you to come on in and join us inside The Members Lounge. My community have shared with me that they joined initially because they really wanted to discover the power of ClickUp. They wanted to be able to design, build and connect their ClickUps within their own individual businesses. However, once they were inside, they really discovered how the power of looking at the foundations of your operational areas of your business and designing those really to set you up for success is such a powerful element. And guess what else, we have a fabulous community inside. So once you’re in, you’re never gonna want to leave. So come on over, have a look, go to my website, the artisans.com.au and pop up to The Members Lounge button at the top. And we look forward to supporting you as you discover how fabulous it is, when you’re confidently striding down Easy Street. See you inside The lounge.

Now for my business, we are all about elevating and streamlining operational ways of working. Now a really big part of this is the experience for our internal team and the experience for our clients externally. Now we want to be able to show them what can be possible. At a click of a button, all these things are happening. And I could be sleeping, if it’s in the middle of the night, they might have gone and been excited about pressing that button and done it and all of a sudden it’s happened. So, we can really support from an efficiency point of view that workflow progression going forward. It’s not going to be blocked by I don’t know Sally, who only comes and works on a Tuesday in your business and manages client proposals, for instance, it’s going to automatically flow on through. Now as an example here. I’ve used multiple systems. Now there are tools that can do this. So, for instance, you might have Dubsado, you might have another system in place, right? It’s about making that decision on, from an external point of view. What is the experience that you’re wanting to shape for your clients? What level of experience? I think I shared, maybe in the last episode, where I was getting a coffee at what are the Waterman Chadstones and somebody asked if I worked for Chanel. My answer was, I don’t work for Chanel, but my business is Chanel level business. So, I wanted to ensure that that message, that experience is flowing through every touchpoint that we have with our clients.

So, take a moment to have a think about where are you positioning yourself from a service point of view, from a delivery point of view, from a branding position point of view probably would be the most succinct way of saying that. Now, if your current experience is matching that, high fives, give me a message I want to celebrate, let’s do it. If you’ve now just realized that it’s not matching, what a fabulous place to be. Because the only way forward is to see what is possible. And press those buttons design that way, design the way that you want it to be, and make it a thing. All of a sudden that experience is elevated. You’ve gone through that review, you’ve realized that it’s time, you’ve created that space for that energy for iteration and change. And now it’s time to celebrate, because going forward, that interaction with you on a call, with you on email with your team is now matching the experience that your clients are going to be having outside of those rooms.

All right. So, here we go. Let’s go for some action points today. This one’s a really driven action area. So, I want you to be able to have that opportunity to really shape it for your business. Because I can say since I’ve updated just that little proposal section in our system and our process, it’s so easy to welcoming those new clients even easier than before. And it’s really, really exciting to get excited every time I get to create a proposal now it’s like, yeah, let’s do it. Let’s press those buttons.

Okay, so step one, what we want to do, as I said, grab that space to capture all the information for your discovery process. We want to complete a gap analysis of what is currently happening in your experience, versus the ideal scenario that you would love to shape. Right.

Now part of that step two is actually brain storming the ideas of what can be, what can you improve? What ways of working may have been okay playing in this space here, but as you’re elevating up to here, or as you realize that you’re stuck in growth, you can’t grow any more until you look at these ops things come and talk to us because that’s our specialty. We love it. What is it that we can change? It could be as simple as an email automation, it could be that it’s time to invest in a new tech solution to move your experience internally and externally to that next level. Whatever it might be, this is the space we’re going to be really thinking about what can be possible for me and my business as we move forward?

This is the important one, step three, making that action plan. So, this is interesting, I’ve had so many conversations of late where, you know, we’re encouraged to look at strategy, we’re encouraged to do, you know, all these big picture things, all the things, but the piece of the puzzle that I have seen time and time that is missing is the action, taking action, the implementation. So transitioning your discovery, your design or your plan, your what can be possible into create phase, phase three of The Artisans Four Stage Method is create actually translated into the practical application of the ways of working, and all of a sudden, you’re in Phase Four Connect. We’re connecting it into the business, we’ve written those SOPs, our team is so excited now to press those buttons and make that a reality. We’re confident we know how that experience will be shaped from right at that initial stage. So when I’ve met you at an event, all the way through to working together, that’s the same experience. That’s really interesting.

Another conversation I’ve had of recent is where people on the social’s on the on the interwebs seem to appear a certain way, and then you meet them in person, and they are not aligned. That is a really key point of our client experience. Whatever you are doing, however you’re showing up is you part of your brand, is part of your business, is part of the way that people do connect in with you. And when that is not transitioned through to all the touch points. It’s a bit grating, it feels a little bit yuck. It feels a little bit dis-genuine, right? If that’s even a word, someone can come correct me if it’s not. But this is our real opportunity. Now have a look at what’s going on. Where are you actually wanting to be so it’s aligned with you as a person, you as a brand, whatever position that you’re at, and create that action plan, make those micro steps take those actions to transform the operational Ways of Working your client experience to that next level to align with where your business is right now. And also where it’s going in the future. Think a few steps forward, because that’s always where we’re heading forward. Rado.

Well, I’d love to hear about your client experience right now. How are you feeling? Is it really lighting you up? Is it exciting? Do you get that beautiful feedback every time you work with your clients? Or if you just realize now it’s time, let me know pop over to Instagram at The Artisan Solutions, pop me a DM, tag me in a comment, whatever you might like to do. And I’m really excited to hear about your journey.

Okay. Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week creating clever systems for your business by now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on socials yet? If not, please come on over say, hi, I’m on all the platforms at The Artisans Solutions. So, I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week. And until next time see you then.



Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.