The question we’re asking today is why customer service is the biggest piece of your client experience puzzle.
Something happened to me recently that has inspired me to write this blog post because it relates to a subject that is very close to my heart, the client experience.
For me, as a creative and a Wedding CEO I’ve learnt that one of the big things that sets me apart from my competitors is the experience I create for my clients.
When this is done well it’s the thing that really moves your business forward, gets you more of your ideal clients and allows you to concentrate on what you love doing best. This might be planning weddings, creating amazing centrepieces or styling events with the wow factor, aka the thing you love to do in your wedding business.
Your client experience is the thing that makes your clients sing your praises, talk about you to their friends and family and basically give you that piece of marketing gold, testimonials and referrals.
However, when this vital piece is missing from your marketing and when you fail to put together a great client experience it can have quite the opposite effect.
Why is Customer Service so important?
If you’re a regular reader of our blog you’ll know that as the CEO of the Wedding Academy I’m lucky enough to live in rural France in the beautiful Charente, the home of the sunflower, to be exact.
Anyway, this week I have my family staying and when they come over I love to take them to new places I’ve discovered. I’m always on the look out for somewhere different.
As someone who has a limited grasp of French the best places for me are where my fellow Brits hang out. I know that sounds terrible and I should be trying to integrate myself into French life, and I do try, but sometimes you just need to chat to people without having to think about every single word you’re about to say.
So with that in mind I’d recently read about an amazing little teashop in a town called Civray. The article said they offer lots of homemade cakes and it was like a home away from home. They even did drop in clinics for your laptop or PC run by the guy who serviced my computers for me, Rob. It sounded absolutely perfect.
How did it go so wrong?
As you can imagine I was dying to try this place out for myself. However, the drawback for me was they only opened from 9am-4pm Mon-Fri and as I work Mon-Fri I hadn’t had a chance to go yet.
When I mentioned the place to my Mum and daughter they both said they’d love go and it sounded great. So off we went.
I’d already checked out their Facebook page that morning and they’d posted about their Victoria Sponge that was ‘cake of the day’ along with a Walnut cake. I was literally foaming at the mouth.
Who doesn’t love Victoria Sponge?
They also spoke about the warm and welcoming atmosphere you got as soon as you opened the door.
I was excited.
This could be a new hangout for me where I might be able to meet a few new people and enjoy coffee, cake and a catch up with friends.
What customer service and what client experience?
Well what a disappointment it was.
After psyching myself up for what I was convinced was going to be an amazing experience it couldn’t have been a bigger let down.
Trust me when I say that Le Café Civray had absolutely no idea what customer service was, let alone a client experience.
When I opened the door I was greeted by a surly looking woman who made us all feel like we were putting her out by being there. Not to be deterred I proceeded to the counter only to feel another surge of disappointment.
There was no Victoria Sponge. Not only was there no Victoria Sponge but there was only one sad looking crumpet and a half eaten, sunken in the middle Walnut cake.
Not quite sure how to react I smiled at the surly women and asked her if we were too late for cake. She grunted a reply about the cakes being in front of me and offered nothing further.
There certainly wasn’t a warm and welcoming smile.
From bad to worse
My daughter, put off by the lack of Victoria Sponge, spotted an ice cream cabinet so asked what ice creams were available. Again, the surly woman grunted and told her to go look for herself in the cabinet.
Realising it was futile to ask for anything else we settled on a couple of slices of the sunken walnut cake, coffee and an ice cream for Summer.
I’d like to say we soaked up the atmosphere, but the truth is we ate up quickly and got out of there as fast as we could.
Without even realising it the surly woman had turned what could have potentially been a regular and loyal customer, one who would have shouted about her to everyone she knew, into someone who would never return again.
What a shame. All because of a total lack of a client experience. I wasn’t expecting anything huge, just a warm and welcoming smile and maybe a couple of words explaining that they’d almost run out of cake that day.
Instead what I got was someone snapping at me and making me feel like I shouldn’t be there.
How could this be turned from a negative to a positive experience?
She could have so easily turned my disappointment into something else by making me feel special in another way.
If that was me, I would have offered an extra stamp on one of their special loyalty cards I saw sat on the tables. Something to make up for the lack of cake that had been advertised on Facebook.
I might have offered a cup of coffee on the house. Anything to ensure that my visitors went away happy and satisfied.
Your client experience doesn’t have to be huge it just has to be a positive experience that makes your clients feel special, wanted and part of something incredible.
In my case, I was already sold on the concept I just needed the surly lady to deliver, but she didn’t.
Have you looked at your client experience lately?
Do you make your clients feel special?
Do you give them a reason to tell other people how wonderful you are?
Trust me when I say this is a HUGE ingredient in making your wedding business take flight. I urge you to really set some time aside to make sure yours is a positive experience. It’s time well spent.
Don’t end up offering the same experience I had with the surly lady at the teashop in Civray.
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