6 tips to keep new customers happy – Part 2
As I was writing part one of this article series with my reasons for not spoiling your customers, I discovered that my personal observations on the subject seem to have been confirmed by behavioural scientists in California and a business professor from the University of Chicago.
Here is proof that there is no need to over-deliver!
Having examined responses to different types of promises (ones that were either kept, broken or that exceeded expectations), they found out that whilst everyone gets upset when a promise is broken, over-delivering won’t make people significantly more impressed by someone’s ability.
Indeed, it seems that overall level of satisfaction does not increase when a person receives more than they were expecting.
I see many female solopreneurs or freelancers make the mistake of wanting to exceed expectations with new customers. Perhaps your business is still new and you feel lucky or grateful that someone wants to work with you. And before you know it, you end up making all sorts of concessions.
The trouble is, once you’ve started to over-deliver, undercharge and essentially undersell yourself, it can be tricky to revert to a different mindset and even harder to change that of your customer.
As a result many women are scared to increase their fees — the risk of losing your customer is perceived as far too high.
But crucially, once you start off on the wrong foot you lose a valuable opportunity to grow a strong customer relationship with those who might become not only well-paying but loyal ‘fans’ of yours for years to come.
So how do you get things right from the start?
- Always work with a clear structure — a process, for example, that helps you clarify your customer’s key objective for each meeting and is easy to follow too.
- By documenting your discussions, you will always know what was covered and can communicate the outcomes to your customer. That way, you may both find it easier to see the value of what you provide.
- You offer only what you have agreed to and learn to trust that most clients will not only be happy with that but see it as an indication of your professional approach.
- If you know yourself too well and that you will invariably over-deliver anyway, why not book your client meetings back to back so you know you have a specific deadline? You could also set an alarm on your phone to prevent yourself from getting carried away.
- If you absolutely feel like you must offer something extra, give them a complimentary eBook, e-course, or whatever you’ve created already that they may find beneficial. Always make sure that you don’t end up out of pocket by giving your client time they haven’t paid for.
- Sometimes it can help to offer a VIP-level service where extra time is already included in the fees. I know marketers, other business coaches and advisers who work in this way. Since I’ve introduced such a service, I’ve found that it provides me with a welcome opportunity to spoil my clients legitimately! By that I mean knowing that I’m not out of pocket when I go the extra mile.
Now that sounds like an exciting win-win for you and your customer!
What works for you? Why not share your tips with other readers below.
About Ute Wieczorek-King:
Ute is a UK-based German business mentor who inspires passionate midlife women to achieve business success by simplifying and staying focused on what really matters. If you’d like to take your small venture from good to great, why not download Ute’s free “Passion to Profit ebook or read her motivational business tips on Facebook.