Cultivating a Client Experience
Client experience has always been important, but it is now more critical than ever. Instant access to numerous vendors via event planning websites and social media can swipe a lead from you before you ever have the chance to appear in search results. The most reliable source of new business is referrals from happy clients and creative partners, and you can only earn these by providing outstanding service.
Building an exceptional reputation requires that you not only be skilled, but considerate and professional. Clients want personable interactions, transparency, and a positive experience, so you must find a way to give them what they need, and keep them coming back to you.
Evaluating Your Current Experience
Begin by scheduling regular sit-downs with your sales team to ensure that your client experience protocol exists and is working effectively. Brainstorm ways to improve it, giving weight to the feedback provided to you by your front-line employees. Everyone needs to be on the same page to achieve the kind of service you envision.
Your entire staff should know exactly what you expect from them when it comes to creating a positive client experience. Ask them to think about what they would want if they were the clients. Empathy will help them make a personal connection with your service goals.
Setting Yourself Apart
The professionalism and knowledge of your staff is so important. You want the client to believe there is an advantage to working with you over anyone else. A confident salesperson is key, as successful sales are all in how you present them. If you get excited about something, 9 times out of 10, the client will want it.
Help your prospective clients visualize what you are recommending. Put together a sample look. You might even consider consulting a florist at an early stage to see if they think their pieces will combine with your ideas to best achieve and create the client’s vision.
Go Above and Beyond
Stand out from the rest by doing the unexpected – go above and beyond. Create personal signage to welcome prospects to an appointment, or customize your tasting menu based on preliminary client feedback. Demonstrate that you care about your couples and that you are always listening for the things that are most important to them.
Consistency is key. Invest time in training to ensure your whole staff stays on the same page throughout the planning process and on event days. Every client should have the same quality experience every time. It’s not enough to have one great salesperson, and then a mediocre staff. Set a protocol for your operations and make sure everyone uses it all the time.
We take client experience extremely seriously as it directly affects the success of our business. We want our clients to love working with us, to love coming to our showroom, and to know we are always there to assist them in bringing their visions to life. You, too, can become renowned for your level of service. Focus on elevating your client experience and their satisfaction will follow.
Heather Rouffe is the Director of Sales and Partner of Atlas Event Rental, a full-service event rental company serving the Southern Florida market for over 30 years. Recently named one of the top 30 rental companies in the US by Special Events Magazine, Atlas provides top quality products and unparalleled customer service to each and every customer.