Episode 124

Designing a Fabulous Client Experience

July 19th, 2023


We’re continuing on the adventure of creating a fabulous client experience that aligns with your business and where you’re heading, and today we’re focusing on the design phase.
We dive into:
  • Auditing the stages of your current client experience
  • Clear roles and expectations
  • Capturing the experience
  • Off-boarding being as important as the other phases
  • Action items to lean into what can be possible


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. This week, we are going to continue on that adventure of creating that fabulous client experience that just truly aligns with your business and where you are heading. So, really is focusing on that design, looking at how you can really shape that experience for your internal team and your external clients that aligned with that real core drive to introduce sustainable operating practices into your, just business as usual, day to day ways of working.

So, what actually is a client experience, let’s have a recap, just in case you have not yet listened to the previous two episodes, pop on back and have a listen as well. But client experience, every interaction that your client has with you, your team, and your brand is classed under that umbrella of client experience. So, let’s think about they’ve seen you on social media, they’re scrolling through LinkedIn, or Instagram, and they come across a post from your business. First of all visually appealing, is the brand the same is that alignment, those colors, that the fonts, the wording, the language that people, the images, is that connecting in with all of the other posts that are in your world? When they are now converting to becoming a client, they’re going to click on that link and pop over to your website. Is your website aligned beautifully with your brand as well? Have you got again the language right and your services clearly outlined? Is it really easy for them to come in and connect with you? For us, it’s all about ease.

So there is multiple ways that you can go in and click a button and book a call to come and connect with us at The Artisans. And now they’re on a call where they’ve clicked the button. What is that experience? Are you sending reminder emails? Are you sending Zoom links? Is it really easy to know what you’re going to be talking about in that first introduction call. Have you already sent through a form that captures all the key core bits of information that shows for you that as a business leader, engaging a new client, that they are ready to invest the time to complete that information before you’ve even jumped on a call? It’s a really good little tip too. If you are in that sort of premium service level experience, having that form at the start is a really beautiful way to really get those clients through the door, that are invested and ready from an energy point of view or a time point of view, and a financial point of view, of course, to take that next step to working with you as a business leader.

So, now we have our person on the Zoom, you’re in the Zoom Room, what is that experience you’re wanting to shape? Have you got a standard set of questions that you go through? Maybe you’d like what we have done here at The Artisans at the moment is we’re refining how we capture our Artisans experience. So, there are certain questions that we are asking in those intro calls that will shape on through our client journey. At that check in point are we connecting in with the initial intent of the project? What are those first words that we’re capturing when we’re actually having those calls with the clients? So, we’re transitioning now through to proposal. How do they feel when they get that email, they click that button? They scroll through the information that you have already spoken or with on the phone and being able to really connect in with again, your branding, your fonts, your language. Is it the same? Is it consistent? Or have they just received a document that feel so disaligned that they’re just thrown off course and they’re not sure, they’re having to restart that engagement and that connection process with you again? They’ve pressed that button, they’ve pressed approve, let’s go, I’m so excited to work with you as a as a business and elevate my business to that next level with the service that you are providing. What happens now. How easy is it for them to come in as a client? What is your onboarding process? What information is really important for you to get from them at this point, are there systems access? How do they do that? Are you providing that information, or are you just expecting that they’ll know how to add you to Google Analytics or whatever it might be that you are doing for them? Ads Manager, if you’re an ads, ads human Clickup, how do you actually share access to that system? So that you can actually support them on that journey?

Now they’re in, you’ve got your first session together. How has that shaped? Where are you meeting? What’s important? Are you in person? Have you got a room booked at the beautiful centers at Waterman? Have you got snacks? If you’ve got water, if you’ve got coffee? What are those things that make them feel like they’ve just walked into your home, and you’ve got a cheese platter and a bottle of champagne out ready to celebrate the journey are about to commence? Do you have your team as part of this session? Are they taking notes? Are they actively engaged in the conversation? Do you all know the roles that you’re playing in that room? Have you set those expectations at the start? We’re here meeting for two hours today, we’re firstly going to go through da, da, da. We’re going to have a break in the middle and then we’re going to continue on with da, da, da. And we’re going to wrap up the session with da, da, da. Now insert words into the da da das or assign whatever you might like to do. At the end of that session, those clients will walk out feeling confident that you’ve captured all that knowledge. They’re really clear on what those next steps are. If you’re at a calibration point at any time, how does that look? How does that feel? In between your sessions, if you are working completely asyncly and remotely with your clients, what is your communication strategy? What are your ways of working with them between any in person or online calls? Are you using Slack? Are you using WhatsApp? Are you communicating via email? What is it that those methods of communication really clearly and succinctly captured at those initial stages to support your clients as you go through that journey?

Delivery. How are we delivering the work? How are we delivering those projects, those actions that support whatever it might look like for your business? Who is involved? Is it you as a solopreneur or as a business leader with a team? Have you delegated some of that responsibility, so that it can create that space and energy for you to continue to welcome in clients and help more people with your mission in life to support businesses to be XYZ. When we are engaging our team as part of this client experience, this is a really important moment to be really clear and concise, on whose the roles and responsibilities of each person involved in the project in the deliverable work. Are they client-facing? Are they not client-facing? How does that look and feel? As a team internally, how are we communicating to ensure that those deadlines are met and delivered? How are we communicating as a team to ensure that everybody is across all the elements so they can easily pop in and out when they are needed to do so? How do we actually engage with our clients and their team? So we may find it depending on the level of clients you’re working with, that it’s not only you and your client that’s working together, it might be you and your team and your client and their team. And how, as a unit, are we creating this container of space for a period of time or a long period of time, depending on how you work as your services? How are we capturing that experience so that everybody is really clear on where we’re communicating how we’re communicating? Who has the choice of not the choice, the approval for change? Who is that real driver of change?

If we are as a business, if you’re working directly with an Ops Manager or a leader of a particular team, do they have the authority to actually make decisions in those meetings? If they don’t, there’s a conversation that does need to happen. Because if you were in a session that is around action items, show you this, is how we want to move forward. If there’s a third party that needs to be involved in that conversation, and they’re not available at that time, or that delegated access has not been prioritized right there. It’s going to delay any forward momentum for your projects. Then as a client, they may feel that it’s delaying our end result in our project. So really, with all of our client experience right at the start setting those expectations on deliverable. What is your responsibility as a client in this partnership with us to ensure a successful experience for both parties? Now I say partnership, because this really is a partnership, you’re working with your clients, there is a lot of opportunity, and I guess a lot of scope to explore what partnership means.

When you’re working with a premium level client, and you’re coming in as an expert to deliver a specific service, you are a partner, you’re a trusted partner in their business. And it’s our responsibility as service providers to go, Hey, this is what we expect from our clients, when we’re engaging with you to help you to drive your business forward, to move your business to the next level. And that’s all part of our client journey. That’s all part of our client experience. We are holding the container so that the client has the option, they’re invited to join us on this journey so that we can support you to travel on through to that next elevated level of experience for your business as well.

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 going to want to leave. So come on over, have a look. Go to my website, theartisans.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.

So we’ve moved through, we’ve nurtured our clients, they’ve onboarded, they’re now at our right and delivery mode, setting all those things, continuously checking in and calibrating to ensure that we’re really focused in on where we are heading. We finished our project. We’re now at handovers phase, what does that experience look like? Is it a simple handover? The systems have already been built, that marketing plan is implemented those ads alive and we’re in monitoring phase, it’s a beautiful place to have a look at when we’re reaching the end of that project to have that opportunity to actually review what has been going on. That is part of that offboarding process. How are we capturing the experience that we have gone through? Maybe at each calibration point of your journey, you have already asked a question, you’re collecting that piece of information that is going to feed through to that beautiful case study, or that testimonial that you’re wanting to shape to share out with the world for that beautiful piece of work that you’ve just done.

The offboarding is as important as the project delivery, as the onboarding, as the nurture leads, each experience should hold the same weight of importance as you’re moving through the journey. Once you have actually designed this journey for your business and for your team and for your clients, having that option to really implement it and refine as you’re going and continually calibrate internally, with your team to shape and make sure that what you had intended with that design. We you know, we always love to spend and invest time in discovery and design. Is that the experience that they’re actually experiencing as a client? I shared in a couple of episodes previously how one of our clients, we had a sort of a wrap up conversation with them. And the words that they shared were that they felt so supported. Now this is one of our guiding values, being surrounded and supported at The Artisans, now we had not shared that with this client. And yet the words that they shared, just reflected exactly the experience that we we were looking to shape as a business for our clients. That is just the moment of amazingness.

Now, some things to consider when you are designing your experience, I’ve mentioned a couple already, but who in your team is responsible for what actions at what stage of that journey? For example, if you have somebody who is monitoring your incoming leads, what process do you have in place to ensure that it’s consistent across that experience, whenever any interaction is coming in and out?

What areas of your process can be automated, can have some system enhancements to make it really smooth and streamlined? And what areas who should still have that human touch? For example, we wouldn’t schedule an intro call with an AI bot? Well, who knows, in the future we may. But I know for our business, it’s about connection with that person. So what are those points in your process that we can streamline with tech? And what are those points that are really important for you or your team to have that human connected element, or that customization for your clients. Understanding and remembering that when you’re shaping this experience, we want to align it with your brand positioning and your business strategy. If you are aiming to have a high caliber level of clientele, could be corporate, it could be large SME, and you know, spaces, bigger businesses with sales teams, what does that experience look like versus a solopreneur? You know, that really is in their business day in day out? How do you shape that experience to really support them to have that best journey through when they’re working with you? What touchpoints are needed with a client like that versus a corporate client? They are very different. But how can you align it to be connected with your core values, and your core ways of working with your business strategy, and your brand positioning, and something to remember as well, how much is enough?

If you’re in a business of service, if you’re in a service-based business, primarily, I would imagine there will be a connected part of you, that wants to make sure that everybody is A-Okay, getting all the things they want and more. This is where boundaries come into place. And I know that this is something that we’ve worked on all the time in The Artisans because everything is possible. But for the experience to actually be the most enjoyable for everybody. It’s about shaping that, what is enough, for this focus project right now.

Change, elevation involves energy. Now, energy when we’re developing and changing things and still running your business, we need to ensure that that balance is there to support you, as a business owner to continue to do your core actions and business. While also shaping your business to support it could continue to grow and evolve and move through to that next iteration, whatever that may be. So some actions, exactly like our previous episode, but this is still so relevant. If you have not yet taken that opportunity to actually give yourself some space and have a look at connecting in where you are now, with your client experience your client delivery or client onboarding, offboarding, connection, team internal support, how that is all flowing through. This is your invitation to do it right now.

Take a moment, give yourself some space. Maybe it’s a small bit of space over the next few weeks. But allow yourself to lean into what can be possible. If you’re right at the cusp of going into that next growth phase for the next financial year. I know that’s what we’re happening over here. We’ve just done all of our business strategy stuff we’ve been working on our financial forecasting, we’ve been looking at our marketing strategies and how they’re all aligning in and connecting in the most important part of all of this, our client experience has been a big part of that as well, and how we’re delivering internally to elevate our ways of working at The Artisans to ensure they’re sustainable for me as a business owner, for my team as we’re continuing to grow and support more clients as well. But ultimately, for any of these changes, these next iterations, having an action plan, an implementation plan is the only way that you will start to see change. Because otherwise the day-to-day things continue. And we’re like, Oh, we’ve done our strategies. We’ve got our forecast; we know the pathway. But until we actually invest in our operational ways of working, until we actually support our teams to connect in to be a part of that change process. We’re going to continue to sort of stay at that same pace, that same level of experience that you may have been feeling starts to feel a bit chirny and that you’re feeling a little bit blocked in what can be possible. So as always, I love to hear your journey so pleased hop on over to The Artisan Solutions on Instagram or any of the socials, or LinkedIn, pop me an email across whatever is your medium of choice. Voicemails are always so fun as well. I’d love to hear where you’re at. And if there’s anything that seems to feel like it’s just a little bit blocking you from moving forward, share it with me, because you never know there might be a nugget of gold just waiting on the other end of that voicemail for you to unlock that potential of moving your business to that next level.

Well, thank you so much, as always, for joining me today. I hope you have the most fabulous rest of your week. And enjoy creating clever systems for your business. So, bye 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.