Recommendations from clients can be a blessing or a curse. I’ve seen it all. There’s the bride who is so happy with my work that she can’t wait to recommend me to all of her girlfriends who are also getting married. (I live for these brides!) Then there are the clients, often corporate, who are so happy with my work that they prefer to keep me their little secret. (This is great for my ego but not so great for my business!) There are also the clients who are happy with my work but still choose another vendor for their next event. (This always baffles and surprises me.)
Of course there are those clients who are simply unhappy with my work and would not recommend me to anyone. (Yes, I’m sorry to say that I have had more than a few such clients over the years.) And, finally, there are the clients who love my designs and love their event but walk away feeling that I’m way too expensive. (This is a huge issue, and it’s one that I am still working on solving.)
Really, it all boils down to an ability to keep clients happy. And that does not just mean great design and great service at a great cost. In my experience, it is much more than that.
I’ve found that it makes a big difference if you can make the process fun for your clients. The moment clients stop having fun is the moment that something has probably gone wrong. When this happens, I ask myself, “What am I doing wrong?” The answer helps me get back on track. The question I don’t ask is, “What’s wrong with my client?” Always look to what you can do better.
Now a few questions for you: What’s your secret to keeping clients happy? What do you do when you realize that a client is unhappy with your performance? And doesn’t it make you feel like screaming when happy clients use someone else for their next event?!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Common Mistakes: The 10 Top Things That Clients Unhappy.