In this day and age, we have a million different ways to advertise our business – our site, social media, info packet, etc. As such, there’s a lot of opportunities for inconsistency. When you update or adapt your services, you may remember to update it on your website, but what about your social media? And what about items you only have printed every few years? Do you list different services and features on all of them, accidentally?
Know What Your Customer Expects of You
It’s hard to keep track of everything we put out there about our business. But doing so is crucial when it comes to your client having a great experience. Imagine them going to your Facebook business page and it’s written that 3 follow up emails accompany your Designer as a Day service. They make a mental note. Maybe even use it as a big Pro to choose you over another designer. And then it’s not until you’ve come to their home, sent them the shopping list and paint colors, that they start emailing you questions back. And not once, or twice, but three times. And you irritatedly wonder why? Little do you know, it’s because they were clinging to that 3 follow up email expectation listed many years ago on a forgotten tab on your Facebook page.
Every time you inform a client of a feature within your services, you’re making a promise to a client. Whether it’s in an introductory info packet, your site, your social media, or anything else, anything that lists your features becomes an expectation for a client. It might even be their deciding factor. And sometimes it’s the smallest things. But to them, it may be a big thing.
Fulfill the Services and Features You Promise
The other day Aaron and I were trying to decide where to stay for our 5 year anniversary trip. A B&B we’d been to, and one we hadn’t. The biggest deciding factor for me, the never visited B&B said we could eat breakfast in their garden. To me, that was honestly the biggest pull for why we should go there. I mean, eat breakfast, IN A GARDEN? Yes, please!! I can imagine few things better than that. And certainly nothing more important when comparing pros and cons. Not the size of the room, not the location, not even the price really. It was because we could eat breakfast in the garden. But if we get there and they just put us in the dining room, internally I’ll be a mighty sad lady. Because unfortunately they didn’t fulfill the promise of what they advertised. The promise that was the very reason I chose it in the first place.
And doesn’t this happen a lot? I’m sure you’ve seen a service listed somewhere, gotten excited about it, and then when it came time you realized that didn’t actually happen? My salon lists a complementary makeup touch-up with every hair cut. I remember reading that before I went and thought, that’s awesome! It’s never been offered, nor have I ever seen anyone else have it done. So, it seems like that’s not real. No big deal. I clearly still go there. But you might have some customers that DO think it’s a big deal. And you don’t want to cause yourself a misunderstanding between a client and yourself because there’s an inconsistent message with what’s online, and what reality is.
Under Promise Instead of Under Deliver
If you know that you don’t really plan on providing a service consistently, or at all, just take it out. If you just want it to sound nice, but then hope no one will ask for it, or hope everyone forgets, or you just aren’t sure you’ll remember, just leave it out. Don’t promise that your first meeting is complementary and an hour long, and then only stay for 30 minutes. Or, that you’ll update clients on their project status every two weeks. And then only email them once between the time they ok the presentation and their installation day. It’s ALWAYS better to over deliver and under promise, then the other way around. Give the client reason to tell everyone “With her service, she should be charging triple.” rather than “Her designs were pretty. But she really didn’t do much that was promised at the first meeting.”
So make a list for yourself. Of everything that you need to check to make sure that information is consistent throughout every client facing document, social media site, your website, etc. Then go through it once a month, maybe the first business day of every month, for 30 minutes. Making sure that every service you no longer offer, every brand you no longer carry, every hour your office is no longer open, is updated. Then breathe a sigh of relief, knowing you are honestly fulfilling all of your promises to clients. Because you know what they are.
If you’d like even more help making sure you have consistent success, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how!