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How to Create Positive Client Experiences

Client-servicesUnderstanding that a client experience is part of your company’s products and services will be a profitable differentiator for your business compared to your competition.  They will not only not return, but convey their disappointment to everyone that they know as well as online through various review and rating sites.  People who have positive experiences, in contrast, become loyal clients who return for future projects, referring coworkers, friends and relatives as new clients.

What Do Clients Really Want?

Clients want their money’s worth—a dependable resource that they can count on for work they can’t do themselves. A great client experience is all about the golden rule: “Treat others the way that you want to be treated.”

More specifically, it includes the following elements:

  1. Know the client.

Take the time to get to know individual clients and their unique needs. What problems or challenges are they trying to solve? What are their plans for the new project? Create realistic expectations.

  1. Don’t let technology replace timely and consistent personal communication with clients.

Reach out to make clients feel valued and demonstrate that their satisfaction is the company’s ultimate goal. Provide expertise and guidance by suggesting the best course of action to take, explaining options and helping clients make decisions.

Each client has to think that he or she is your only client.

  1. Establish and then exceed quality standards.

As quality is subjective, its definition has to be mutually agreed upon by the company and client so that both parties know when it has been achieved. Always strive to exceed the set standard.

Quality control is about having experienced project managers and supervisors. Always account for those management costs in your bid. If your price is a little higher than a competitor’s, clients will hire you, anyway, provided that your initial presentation highlights your project management expertise.

  1. Deliver on time.

Failure to deliver on schedule raises doubts about whether the company always stands behind its word.

A client’s time is money.  They don’t mind paying a little more for having their project completed in a timely manner.

  1. Make customer service everyone’s job.

Anyone at any point of contact with the client has the power to positively or negatively influence the client experience. This includes company owners, receptionists, accounts receivable personnel, salespeople, project managers, workers and any subcontractors.

A good experience starts with a good first impression. Your first response team should be trained to make a masterful presentation to prospective clients.  Office staff, too, should be trained to be the voice of the company.

  1. Stay involved.


Business owners need to stay personally involved throughout the project to ensure all staff and subcontractors deliver excellent client service.  Two companies may offer equally good products, but clients will prefer the one that is organized, meets expectations, communicates, regularly, and listens well.


If using subcontractors, you have to own the client relationship as well as the client subcontractor relationship.  Consider subcontractors to be an extension of your company. They need to know the complete scope of work and understand a client’s needs. Involve them in project meetings and introduce them to clients, early on. Solid project management is essential, ensuring that neither the client relationship, nor the subcontractor relationship, is jeopardized.


Besides generating repeat and referral business, a client friendly environment enhances a company’s ability to attract and retain quality employees. People don’t want to work for a company that treats its clients badly, because, most likely, it will treat its employees poorly as well…


Follow Up and Follow Through

Determining if clients are having a positive experience is a prerequisite for improvement. One method of measurement is to track repeat business and referrals, as well as rework or warranty work. In addition, the promptness with which clients pay their bills may indicate satisfaction.


Most importantly, ask clients what they really think. An absence of complaints does not guarantee satisfaction. Obtaining feedback on completed projects has to be done in a non-threatening way. If the company owner personally visits clients and asks their opinion, the answers may be polite rather than honest. It’s better to send a questionnaire or survey, which people can complete in private. Wait a few weeks after the project has been completed, however, before sending a survey; everything may seem perfect on the first day, but issues may arise later.


Client surveys will give you actionable information and make you stand out in the marketplace, because they let clients know that you care.  Make sure to provide contact information, in case they have questions about material, installation or maintenance. This puts them back in touch with the lead qualifying department for up-sells, additional business and referrals. When clients don’t respond to the survey, it is important to have a trained lead qualifying team member call.  The goal is to have the questions answered, while at the same time, discuss the benefits of repeat business and referrals.


Positive client feedback also can be used for marketing purposes, as well as for employee incentive programs.


A questionnaire creates expectations, so that it’s even more important to follow through with necessary rework or warranty work. If there is a complaint, send an experienced professional to the site for an inspection. The worst thing that you could do is ignore those issues, once you’ve been paid. After all the hard work that you’ve invested to build a great client experience, don’t drop the ball, at this point.


Increased market share goes to proactive companies that streamline their operations and implement processes to deliver customer service excellence.  Giving clients what they really want and treating them the way that they want to be treated assures business success in any economic environment.