Ways Solopreneurs Can Create a Customer Experience Clients Will Want to Repeat

What you need to do to deliver a stand-out “customer experience” isn’t all that easy to pin down when you’re a solopreneur delivering professional services – often either remotely or in external environments over which you have little control.  There’s generally no decor, no music, no mood lighting, and no other sort of frills and fanfare to set the tone. So how do you make working with you a positive, memorable experience  that your clients will want to repeat? How do you embrace the “Power of the Heart” as Chuck Wall calls mentions in his book Customer CEOWhile you might not have all the resources that larger companies have at their fingertips, there are things you can do to harness the Power of the Heart when working with clients:

  • Be cheerful and make clients feel wanted and appreciated.
  • Communicate often so clients know that you care about their projects and that you’re making progress.
  • Be responsive to questions and concerns.
  • Be collaborative and demonstrate that you’re a partner vested in the success of their projects.
  • If you make mistakes, admit to them, say “I’m sorry,” and find a way to make it right.
  • If clients mess up don’t be accusatory. Diplomatically explain their errors and don’t use an accusatory tone. They most likely didn’t do it on purpose.
  • Deliver what you promise.
  • Deliver what you promise on time.
  • Say “Please” and “Thank you” often and abundantly.
  • When you don’t see eye-to-eye on some aspect of a project, listen to their point of view and take time to understand it before sharing your thoughts.
  • Stay in tune with their needs and direct them to resources that can help them solve issues that aren’t in your area professionally.
  • Embrace their uniqueness.
  • Be nice – always!

As Wall mentions in Customer CEO, most clients want to love what you do for them. They’re investing time and dollars in your relationship. Why would they want to waste either? Give them quality, exceed their expectations, and give them every reason to like you and come back for more!

Your turn! How do you make the experience of doing business with you something special? 

What Solopreneurs Need to Know and Do to Harness the “Customer CEO” Power of Value

When I started reading “Customer CEO – How to Profit from the Power of Your Customers” by Chuck Wall Light bulb(@CustomerCEO), I thought I’d write a review after I finished the book. But I’m finding so much helpful insight along the way, that it makes more sense to share Wall’s nuggets of wisdom in smaller doses. I hope that packaging some of what he shares in his book in posts that provide tips and food for solopreneurial thought will allow you to focus and think about how you might apply it in your own solo-business.

They’ve got the Power
Throughout “Customer CEO,” Wall homes in on the nine “powers” (core needs) that customers possess.

It’s these powers that make your customers the CEO of your company. Like it or not, your customers really do have the control. But the good news is that by tuning into their wants and needs, you can channel their powers into creating and sustaining a thriving business.

Why solopreneurs need to value the Power of Value
Among the nine powers, Wall speaks to the “Power of Value.” As Wall points out, value is highly subjective and different in the eye of one beholder to the next. But there are two universal concerns that all customers – those of mega businesses and those of solopreneurs – share…

  • They don’t want to be ripped off!
  • They don’t want to do business with someone who is “fly by night.”

As solo-business owners, it’s up to us to build trust and demonstrate to our customers and prospective customers that we deliver on our promises, that we provide products and services that are worth what they’re paying for them, and that we’re in business with the intent to stay in business. What are some ways to do that?

  • Maintain a portfolio of your best work.
  • Share testimonials that give you credibility.
  • Give detailed proposals that share the entire scope of work. For example: when I propose a rate for a website content writing project, I don’t just give an $X.XX rate for “website content;” I make it clear that my rate includes all research, collaboration, writing, revisions.”)
  • Don’t miss deadlines.
  • Be responsive. Never let more than 24 hours go by (unless you’re on vacation or in the hospital!) without either responding to or at least acknowledging that you received a customer’s inquiry.
  • Network tirelessly – and consistently – both online and face-to-face. Remember business relationships develop over time. You need to be persistent and show that you’ll be around for the long haul.

Empowered by the Power of Value
I encourage you to take Wall’s advice and find out what your customers think about you, your services and products, and what they like or don’t like about doing business with you. Overcoming customer skepticism related to the Power of Value gets easier as you become more in tune with the value you provide (in the eyes of your customers) – and as you become more comfortable with communicating that value.

What about you? In what ways have your Customer CEOs shared that you provide value to them? How do you keep the lines of communication open to keep tabs on your customers’ satisfaction with your products and services and the experience you deliver?

[Special thanks to Shelton Interactive for bringing “Customer CEO” to my attention and for the opportunity to add it to my library!]

Image courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net