Well, that’s easy. Do you know what turns a lead into a client? A positive experience. Curious about how to make your clients happy? A smooth customer experience. Wonder why some clients rave about you to the people in their network? Because you’ve given them an excellent experience and they want their friends and colleagues to know about it!
But providing a great client experience isn’t as simple as pasting a smile on your face and keeping a positive attitude throughout a project.
Nope. An excellent experience happens when you’ve considered every touchpoint (and even places where you may not be currently communicating with your leads and clients) and take steps to make your client feel as supported, appreciated, and informed as possible.
Well that certainly sounds daunting. Where do you begin? How do you improve on what you’ve already started? And what are those moments that you’re not currently communicating with your clients, anyway?
Workflow and automations strategist Colie James joins me on this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast, to answer those questions (and more). We’ll talk about the problem most businesses have with proposals, the point of discovery calls, and how to provide the best experience that will lead to an incredible testimonial.
Here is what Colie and Erin want you to know about why customer experience is important
Why content needs to be repurposed as part of the sales and marketing process to improve the customer experience
Why you shouldn’t sell on a discovery call (and what you should be doing instead)
Whether or not strategy should be part of a client discovery call
How to handle customer experience during “dead zones” when you normally wouldn’t be communicating with clients
The importance of regularly auditing all client touch points
Why clients need multiple reminders, and why reminding them is a service
How to not sound like a robot when you automate your processes
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
Quotes about customer experience and sales from Colie and Erin
“I really want us to repurpose what a sales call is, it’s not to get on there and sell your offer, it’s actually to make sure that you are a good fit, it’s to make sure that you are aligned with the person that you’re talking to, that you actually have an offer that they want or that they need, which are not always the same thing.” – Colie James
“The biggest source of booking friction is when you don’t allow someone to complete the entire booking process in one fell swoop.” – Colie James
Buckle up. You’re in for a wild ride. Colie has two homework assignments for you: make sure your proposal, contract and invoice are connected and also update two important client-facing emails.
Colie says, “If you are not…using your proposal, contract, and invoice [together], I need you to do that like today. Put an hour on your calendar for next week, I need those three things to be connected. Because the biggest source of booking friction is when you don’t allow someone to complete the entire booking process in one fell swoop. That’s number one.”
She continues, “If you already have that done, and you are thinking about copy, and you’re like ‘Okay, so I’ve got these emails, and they sound really robotic and not like me,’ I want you to go and pull information about how you speak to your clients …and I just want you to pick two emails to update. The first one is the lead response that someone gets after they inquire. And the second one is the booking confirmation. Those two are rewarding someone for taking action. They should be information filled, but they should also have a good sense of your personality in them. So if they don’t currently inform your client of what they should do next, or show who you are as a service provider, please add those two things to those two emails.”
Colie James is a Disney-loving family filmmaker, Workflow & Automations Guru, and the host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. Based in Denver Colorado, her heart pumps in helping photographers & creative service providers automate their sht, reclaim their time and get back to living! She believes “if it does not bring you joy, automate that sht.”
With 10+ years in the creative space, Colie believes every creative deserves to build a business that is sustainable and profitable, and no one should quit their 9 to 5 only to work 24/7 [in their business].
The truth—automated systems can save us all from being overworked and overwhelmed.
When Colie isn’t building killer workflows and automations, you can find her spending some much needed time with her husband, James, daughter Chloe, or [you guessed it] at Disneyland.
And don’t forget to check out her Dubsado Quickstart Guide if you’re in the process of automating and streamlining your customer experience and sales process.
Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
Learn more about Erin’s VIP Day options if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you with your marketing
Here’s the transcript for episode 067 that answers the question: “Why is customer experience important?”
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Colie James, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends, welcome to the Top coffee Timmy podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hello friends today I am here with Coley Jas and you definitely know her as someone who could whip your workflows into shape. But what you might not know about Callie is that she actually visited Disneyland every single month for a year, which I think is so much fun. I will say I know you love Disneyland, because it is in your brand. So much or at least within your like, storytelling part of like how you show up on social. But tell me like, did you sit down and say I am booking a trip every month for the year so that you could accomplish that goal? Or did it accidentally happen?
Colie James 01:04
I mean, I think it was a little bit of both. So going back to pre pandemic, we were actually at Disneyland, three weeks before the world shutdown. And I took that opportunity to upgrade my four day ticket into a annual pass. And then the next trip that I had scheduled was March 31 of 2020. So we all know that didn’t happen. And then I never got to use my annual pass in November. Without any warning. I just got an automatic refund on my credit card from Disney saying the annual pass has been canceled and they’re no longer available. So yeah. And then, you know, come around, I think Disneyland was closed for like 14 solid months. And then when they reopened, it was only two people in California and I was really sad. And then when they open to everyone, I was like, Oh, we’re going. So I immediately booked a trip for my daughter’s birthday. We got there, it was great. And then they announced that they were reselling passes three weeks later, which is just outside the window for me to apply what I had just paid for a five day ticket, but it’s okay, I went ahead and bought my daughter and I full passes anyways. Because at that point, she was virtual schooling and we could go like every month. And girl, the hotels were cheap, the flights were cheap. And so we went every single month. And there was one month where I was like, I really don’t feel like going. But like I can’t ruin the campaign to tell people that I went every month for a year. So we finally stopped going every month in September. So we ended up with 14 straight months of Disneyland. That’s super
Erin Ollila 02:40
fun. What I love that this is going to be a jump here. But every time I ask these questions or like state the like random fact, there’s always some way I can bring it back into the actual conversation that we’re meant to have. And that way is by talking about the horrible like customer experience that was from Disney, right especially like not providing you the options to transition it over into the annual pass. And like obviously, through the past few few years, we as consumers have all adjusted and we we have changed our expectations to know that certain brands and businesses can only do so much. Sure, cool, fine. But does Disney just right? Okay. So Disneyland has a lot more options than we do as small businesses. But it goes to show how important a customer experience is like, they’re lucky that they already had like someone who was like brand loyal, in order to continue that experience, right? Like you loved it. It became like a tradition, a monthly tradition for you. But we don’t all have loyal customers like Disneyland has, right. So we have to work a little bit more to make sure the experience that we set for our customers is actually one that leaves them feeling really good about working with us, which is what we’re here to talk about today. We already have an episode in the books that talk about why customer experience is so important. But the beauty of this conversation is we’re going to talk more about the how so we know that when we create our forms our proposals, our workflows are processes that we are putting effort into speak to our clients and to invite them in on an experience. But then how do we go about doing that? What do you often see when you are working with your clients for common mistakes that people have when it comes to forgetting the client experience in the work that you’re doing?
Colie James 04:38
So the number one thing that I tell everyone, and it’s my favorite, and you and I are both dubsado users. So let’s just let’s get that off the top. But this is an any CRM that you are using is the proposal contract invoice process. Every single CRM has one. It can be automated in every single CRM, but what I specifically see with dubsado clients Is it a lot of them are not using it to its full capacity. And they’re simply like telling someone, this is what I offer, this is how much it costs. This is what you get. And that’s like the end of the conversation, the transactional part is so bland compared to what they may have been doing in other aspects of their customer service or their customer journey.
Erin Ollila 05:22
Yeah, I see that as well. And I think that it’s like, there’s often a disconnect when it comes to both sales and marketing of like, where one ends, and another begins, there’s not like the joining of the two. And I think that’s often what it is, you know, someone fills out a website form, so they now become a lead in whatever type of CRM you’re using. So in some ways you have paid for the marketing help, right? Or you’ve done it your own. So you’ve feel as if Okay, now I’ve got them, I can move forward. This is a different part of the process. But it’s not, I think we should maybe start with our conversation about proposals, and how proposals relate to the overall marketing experience. What you mentioned, is the fact that they’re not really nurturing anyone with their proposals. What do you commonly see on people’s proposals, where it’s not actually done as well as it could be?
Colie James 06:18
I mean, literally all people do is put their package they have, they’re not using images, they’re not using their brand voice. They’re not using frequently asked questions. They’re not using testimonials. They’re not using all of the things that probably exist on their website, which could carry over into a dubsado proposal. There’s simply presenting a package and expecting someone to book and I call that being lazy. I can’t overemphasize enough that I see a disconnect between when someone is talking to someone about what they do. And when they actually pitch the offer and expect someone to pay them money. It’s like for a lot of people, it’s like once they make the offer, they think their job is done. Yeah. And the funny thing is, I don’t really think that any of us believe that, because we’re constantly like, oh, they ghosted me, you know, what else can I do to get them to book. But if you were really friendly, and you, you know, you talked a lot about your processes. And you talked a lot about the experience while you were trying to hook them. And then you made the offer. And it was like completely contrary to the voice that you use the images that you use all of those things before you made the offer in the customers mind, they’re like, Oh, now they just want the money. Now there, you know, the sales pitch is done, if you will, like they’re just giving me this thing and telling me how much it is. And this is how you pay me my money, when there is still so much more nurturing, and so much more that can be done to make the marketing and sales process a continuum. Instead of two distinct circles.
Erin Ollila 07:54
People need multiple touch points before they determined that they’re going to buy something. And this isn’t like me making this up. This is true psychology of sales, you need to be multiple touchpoints as well as multiple education, right? Like you need to share the same information multiple times and will go to the side slightly. People are not reading everything on your website. That’s why we as like good copywriters, understand certain strategies have to be repeated on the website, you have to move people in like a transition in a specific way to make a sale to make the conversion based on strategy. Not that I love long sales pages, I don’t write sales pages very often. So it’s not like I would highly always recommend them. But there is a reason for them. It’s because we have to keep reminding people and there are different types of buyers. Some people are quick buyers, some people are slow buyers any more information. So I think it’s easy to see that when we talk sales page, because everyone wants to like roll their eyes at the lung, including me all the time, roll their eyes at the long sales page. But it’s easy to see that right and to understand, okay, there’s so many reminders here. Well, if we take that to the website versus the sales process, right, we have to remind people what we do, what we offer what our process is, right? Like you could have the best discovery call in the world. And then like you said, goalie, you get it like a piece of paper with just like text and bullet points and like a big money sign and the amount and a contract that is so long and you’re like I don’t know how to read contracts. What does this actually say? am I signing my wife or child away? Right? Like, that’s what the experience feels like as a consumer. So I think if we’re going to start this conversation, talking about improvements, maybe we need to also kind of put ourselves in the shoes of the consumer and be like, we don’t like that right? I wouldn’t feel really good like if You and I were working together and we just our conversation right now it’s on video, we’re chatting, we joked about some things before we came on here. And then all of a sudden you sent me like an invoice that was like, just a couple of lines with like, $1 amount and like a big Pay Now button. I’d be like, okay, cool. Let’s do this, right?
Colie James 10:20
Or maybe they have to, maybe the conversation was good. But you didn’t immediately make the offer. And they’ve forgotten why they were interested in you in the first place. Yeah. So then they get this proposal that only has the package. And they’re like, oh, I don’t even remember what was included? Oh, wait, why did I want to work with her? And like, as a photographer, they go back to your website? And they’re like, oh, yeah, those are the images. That’s why I reached out in the first place. But remember, guys, the chances that they’ve only reached out to you are pretty slim. So while you’re asking them for money, you also have to remind them of the conversation that you had, you have to remind them why they reached out to you in the first place, so that they can connect the dots between why they reached out in the first place and why they still want to pay you money.
Erin Ollila 11:07
Yeah, totally. And I mean, jumping back forward to the problems where the proposals are, people don’t know what the inclusions are on projects, right. So if I just send you a proposal that has like website, cop, like done for you website, copywriting and the high price that it could be because there’s so much that goes into it, you get sticker shock, because you’re like, oh, my gosh, this is just this is just writing, how long is this going to take you? Whereas what’s actually happening is a full round of competitor research, a full round of voice of customer research and interviews, full SEO research and implementation, multiple drafts of writing interviews, right? Like there is so much that goes into it. So it’s not just that the remembering, right, but it’s also the nurturing. So if we can show people how much effort or how much is included, it feels good to buy something where you feel like you’re getting like, whether it is a good deal, or like you’re just getting a lot of attention, a lot of service, a lot of benefits. So I think part of it, it might feel weird to have inclusions. I hear that from some of my clients, like, do I really need to list all of these things on my services page? Yeah. Because how the heck does anyone know what they’re getting
Colie James 12:23
right liberal. And going back to the different types of buyers, I will admit, I made that mistake early in my career. I was of the opinion that by the time someone contacted me, I wanted them to be completely sold on my services. My sales process was definitely geared towards people who were ready to buy, I didn’t set up a system that was ready for people who needed a little bit more information, people who needed time to think about it, or what I call the tire kickers, I didn’t have a process that was set up for them. And what I realized about three or four years into my photography business, was that I needed to set the process up for them. Because the people who were ready to buy, were automatically going to buy anyway. So I didn’t need the sales process to be for them. So I mean, then I started doing things like you know, including the discovery call, sending the proposal doing the follow ups, because again, a lot of people when you present a proposal, even if it’s super well done, they might need a little bit more time to just think about it. And that’s where as part of your automations as part of your customer journey, you can make automatic follow ups to be like, hey, you know, just checking in, I sent that proposal to you two days ago. If you have any questions, I would love to answer them. Or if you’ve made a decision to not move forward, hey, can you just holler at me, so that I can go ahead and close out your inquiry? I mean, you’re giving them multiple opportunities to do that. So that if they are someone that needs a little bit more time, they feel taken care of. They don’t feel like you, you know, sent this proposal and you just left it all in their hands. And so you know, when they contact you, or if they contact you that that’s the next step. You are still nurturing them while you are still following up with them and being like, Hey, are you still interested in my services?
Erin Ollila 14:13
Yeah, what’s so important about what you just said is that it talks about the next level, right, so we’re starting with proposals, because that’s kind of what we as salespeople see as the next step in the process. But what’s left is the lack of follow up. Right. So this show is about copywriting about marketing. So it’s easy to talk about, like creating transitions on a proposal and like including your frequently asked questions, things that’s easy to consider of like what we write on a page, but what gets left out is all of the nurturing. And those are still words, right? So just a how you mentioned like follow up emails that can be automated, like it can still be friendly, right? Like, I think that people feel like nervous that they will sound like robots when they’re automating. Certain things, I do want to go there. But before we move past proposals, I just want to kind of talk about the idea that when we think about reusing content, because you mentioned this, and if if you didn’t hear what Kohli said, like, you don’t need to start from scratch, right? Like, I’ll let you take that one, right, because I’m the one writing the website copy, and you’re the one doing all of this work. So you can sharing with your repurposing content.
Colie James 15:26
I have some clients that work with copywriters, you know, before they come to me, and so you know, some of them come with very, you know, wonderful copy documents that I can pull from, but if they don’t, what I ended up asking a lot of my clients are okay, but what information do you absolutely need people to know, before they commit to you? And often my clients are like, oh, you know, there’s this blog post. And I do this. And I’m like, Yeah, but what if they didn’t see that, before you send them the proposal, we should make sure that that information is also highlighted on the proposal. So in a lot of ways, my job is going back to their website, going back to the emails that they may have in a welcome series, after they’ve gotten somebody you know, into their world off of a freebie, whatever information they already have written, where they are informing clients about the process themselves, what they get from the service, I look at all of those things to prioritize what needs to be included in either the email that sends the proposal, the proposal itself, or the emails where we’re following up because again, guys, even if the follow ups are automated, it’s still an opportunity for you to continue to nurture the sale while you are doing it. And so, like in the world of photography, I have a lot of people that are like, Oh, but you know, when should I have my newborn session? Well, that is something that I think everyone should know, before they hire me. You know, you don’t have to have your newborn session with me within two weeks. Because that’s only for people who do pose sessions. And so that is something that I highlight in a frequently asked question. It’s something that I highlight at the top of the proposal, where I give examples of how awesome sessions can be at one month after you give birth, like you just continue to include this information everywhere that you can, because whether or not every single person who comes through your business has that question, enough people have it to where if you’re addressing it in multiple places, again, multiple touchpoints. Aaron, you just want to keep on hammering the exact same information over and over again. And while you answer questions that they may not have even asked you themselves, you are letting them know that you are the person for this job, you are the person that can solve their current problem,
Erin Ollila 17:36
I think frequently asked questions is one of the things that are not done enough. Because here’s how they solve the problem, whether or not they knew like the timeline for the newborn photography, using that as an example. If that was their question, you just resolved it. So they’re more ready to purchase? Because you answered it right? And if they didn’t even have that as a question, and you’re providing them like a key decision making piece of information, they think to themselves, Oh, my gosh, I would have never thought of that. Like, look how prepared she is. Look at her process, she must do this all the time. So one plug for frequently asked questions. But too, it’s really like, the more information you can give to someone via your marketing channels. And again, through your selling tools, the less selling, you have to do. You know, we talked earlier, before we go on about, I get a lot of people when I ask them, like, what’s the goal of this page are like what steps would you like someone to take, after they’ve viewed your website, a lot of my clients will tell me like, I’m just so tired of discovery calls or I’m so frustrated, because I’m on so many. And I’m not necessarily you know, getting the ideal clients, I’m wasting my time all of these pain points that come around discovery calls. But the key is, well obviously if they feel this way, it is a very clear sign they need new website messaging, because they’re not doing enough in the like, top of funnel phase to tell people about who they are, what they do and what they can offer them. But to we you know, cuz that’s kind of entry, like the middle of the night, right? You got your website, you got your sales proposals and all that. Well, that discovery call if it’s happening in the middle. You don’t have to sell on a discovery call. In fact, you should not be selling on a discovery call. Right? But then if you’re listening and you’re like, Well, okay, you’re telling me I need to keep putting content in many different places. Colleen is telling me people aren’t gonna even remember what I offer when it comes to the proposal. What the heck am I supposed to do like how are how else am I supposed to use my discovery call time? It’s literally just deciding whether one you want to work with them and to if they like and trust you and want to work with you like it is just a check on whether you guys will be A good pair. And if you do a really good job of making it clear what you’re offering, what your services are, what your packages look like, pre discovery call, and post discovery call, you can have the time to do a quick call and actually get to know people, right? Because I think we all want to work with people we like, you know, like, I don’t think anyone’s like, oh, I cannot wait to work with someone who is a big pain in the ass. You generally just enjoy people like you. And that’s how you figure it
Colie James 20:31
out. Yeah, I actually did a real I want to say it was like a month or two ago. And I said, I really want us to repurpose what a sales call is, it’s not to get on there and sell your offer, it’s actually to make sure that you are a good fit, it’s to make sure that you are aligned with the person that you’re talking to, that you actually have an offer that they want or that they need, which are not always the same thing. But I mean, after I started thinking about sales calls like that, it really does put you in a different mindset, when you actually get on the call, because you can enjoy yourself, you can ask them to tell you about themselves. And guys, I mean, there’s there’s, you know, a different a couple different ways that you can think about sales calls. But I personally don’t get on a call and like direct someone through my whole process ABCD basically making sure that I’m checking off a box, every time I go, I ask the clients, how they’re doing, what interests the most about their business, I mean, we talk about their families, we talk about all kinds of things on a sales call or a quote unquote, Discovery call. Because while people are talking, they will let you know what it is that they need. And then you are the professional to know whether or not what you are offering is what they actually need. And so that should be the purpose of the sales call, not to make sure that you list out features and benefits, not to make sure that you know that they can afford or that they’re willing to pay whatever your price, it is a GET TO KNOW you call it is a make sure that we get along and make sure that I offer what you think you are actually buying.
Erin Ollila 22:06
Yeah, then that brought up something I wasn’t even thinking of sharing. Because sometimes I feel like when I am on a discovery call with potential clients, I tend to just and this is how I sell, which is totally fine. I’ve accepted it, it is who I am. But I still connection based, like I’m not a good seller. So for me most of the time, people who hire me, they hire me because they just trust and like me. And I’m and they know I’m an expert from the content, the copy and all of that, but it is really still that relationship. But what happens is what I like to do on calls is I often find myself offering like strategy, right? Because I can’t just ask you what you want from your website. Because just because you think you know you want something does not mean it is strategic, right? Like that’s my job. My job is to tell you like the correct user experience, site navigation, SEO, all those things. So if you tell me okay, yes, I would like five pages and those five pages are, and then I come back at you. And I’m like, Wait, aren’t you a public speaker? Like, aren’t you speaking at these huge conferences, you need a speaking page, right? It is my job to be able to ask questions that also provide some strategy. And when I have this conversation with other service providers, I hear a lot of like, friction or anxiety about giving too much. I know, from my
Colie James 23:27
perspective, like for my dubsado services, one of the biggest things that I do want to call if someone has not already committed to dubsado, is making sure that dubsado is a good fit for them, making sure that whatever they’re doing in their business will work in dubsado. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people Yeah, no, dubsado is not a good fit. And I’m not person that you need to hire, you need to go look at this. I mean, they have something special, like they have multiple team members, and everybody has to have their own calendar, which is a big red flag for dubsado. And so I do really see it as my job to make sure that I am providing that strategy. And it’s funny that you mentioned that, because some people will be like, Well, if you give it away on the Discovery call, then they won’t hire you, guys, if I can solve your whole problem and 15 chance and you don’t need to hire me, I don’t want you to hire a problem. Like you don’t have a problem. I am happy to solve people’s problems in less than five minutes. And I have a rule of doing that, like on social media or, you know, in Facebook groups, like if someone asks a question, and I can answer your question in less than five minutes, and like tell you what to do without, you know, giving away my whole strategy without having to look something up extensively. I am happy to solve your problem in less than five minutes. Because eventually, if you have a problem that can’t be solved in five minutes, guess who you’re going to come to? You’re going to come to me because I helped you. You know, I mean, because when it comes to systems, a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to Google answers. And most of the time they don’t know Know the question to ask. And so a lot of times, the thing that I’m helping someone figure out is just what question to ask. Like they’re saying it in a way to where I’m like, You’re never gonna find the answer, asking that, because that’s not what you really need to know. Like, you need to know this. And then maybe they do take it to Google or YouTube. Or maybe they do check out those dubsado tutorials that are done by the company. I mean, I don’t want to take anyone’s money that doesn’t actually need to pay me money. Like, I am happy to just move you along with a quick solution. Because a lot of people don’t need the full services that I offer. And so I mean, I’m happy. I mean, now, guys, now, I’m not telling you to let everybody get on Discovery call and pick your brain. That’s actually not what I’m saying. But me, yeah, a little bit of strategy will go a long way in building connections, because I guarantee you if they never end up needing your services, but they know someone else who does, oh, they’re 100% going to recommend you because you were that person that took the time to listen to their problem, and give them a solution and push them along their merry way.
Erin Ollila 26:08
Yeah, quick side story in 2020, I actually got three clients from one lady who I did about a 20 minute discovery call with and told her that she did not need my help. Because what her problem was, was a funnel problem. And the copy I read was excellent, great. Like it was excellent. It was just that certain pieces were in place to achieve her goal. So I told her what those pieces were, and in the steps on how to, like, take those steps to fix the problem. And it was quick, and it was easy. And it was just that she couldn’t see outside of her own situation, which none of us can we all need a little help sometimes. So she was so pleased that she literally sent me three great clients. But to jump back on this whole reason I brought up strategy, it’s because of this, people get on calls. And we talk about the fact that you shouldn’t be selling on the calls, you shouldn’t be educating on the calls. But strategy is neither of those two things, right. So if you if you look at a discovery call, just from the the basics of I’m going to find out if we are a good fit. And while doing that, I’m going to ask questions that help me as the business owner, that helped them as the potential client and in that I’m going to share value. That’s where that strategy part, right, it’s literally to help yourself to help them. And that might come out. So you weren’t getting on a call and saying like, How can I best show off my skills? No, like, you’re literally just like figuring out if you like these people or not. And like you mentioned whether or not they decide to ever work with you, that doesn’t make a difference, right? They could be the referrers and in the future. And they’re just going to be pleased with that lead experience that you gave them. You know, we talked about the marketing to selling spectrum will client experience doesn’t start after the contract signed, which is evident when we talk about proposals for client experience begins with the lead and pre lead process. So that we can cover a few more things besides just talk about proposals. I’d love to kind of talk more about those, like touch points that don’t get considered. You know, we talked about like follow ups from proposals. But what other touch points do you see that people could improve on their client experience?
Colie James 28:28
Well, the ones that are related to the proposal already talked about, like, you know, touching bases after you’ve made the offer. And before they’ve actually decided to work with you like that’s where you have the opportunity to touch points. But what I often see for my clients is that, you know, the client books, and then depending on how much information you need, what you end up doing before you provide the service, there’s often this dead space, like a client will go weeks without hearing from you. And while that’s perfectly acceptable, just think about the ways that you could be preparing them before you do the service. The other gap that I often see is after you’ve performed the service, but before you’ve given them the deliverables, if you in fact need to, you know, do additional things, and you actually like turnover website, copy to them, you give them finished photos, whatever your deliverables are, I always recommend that if your anticipated window between services and delivery is like two weeks, at one week, you should be checking in with them. And what you could do is tell them how they will use what you will be delivering to them going forward. So if it’s website copy, maybe you’ve got tips for you know how they can choose the perfect template or how they can, you know, get it on the website in a manner to where it doesn’t just sit in there Google Doc, like those kinds of things. Make sure that people use your deliverable faster, which usually ends up meaning that you get additional testimonials, which Hey, Aaron, you’re the testimonial, Dwayne, let’s talk about that for a minute, oh,
Erin Ollila 30:03
I was gonna bring it down.
Colie James 30:07
But I mean, that’s what else I often tell my clients that they need to ask for feedback in multiple stages,
Erin Ollila 30:13
I feel like one thing we didn’t say is that there can be levels, right like, so if you’re a beginner at this, like you can take like the minimal level of effort, and then just keep improving on it over and over. Right. So I have deadzones in my copywriting projects, too. So it takes I write the entire first draft at once I used to just do home pages. And then eventually I was like, What the heck are you gonna get from like, two paragraphs, you need the whole website to find out if it’s good or not. So in the process of kickoff call to first draft delivery, there are all the things I mentioned before, full competitor research, potentially interviews with former clients, or at least data getting from the ideal type of clients. There is, I don’t know if I said SEO research, because my brain is just mush. But the point is, all of these research phases, they all have to occur before I pick up a pen or type anything. So there is a quote unquote, deadzone of when I’m not communicating with my clients, and when I first noticed that it was because I was noticing friction, like clients would check in with me, even though I told them like, Yes, I will, like deliver on this date, or yes, we’ll review your copy on that state. It’s because they felt nervous because they weren’t being like, nurtured. So then I started to automate it to have a check in that was literally like, I exist, didn’t forget about everything is going swimmingly. If you’re receiving this email, it’s automated. But here’s why that’s awesome. Because everything’s fine. I don’t need you. Like, there’s no problems. We’re going to meet our call, it’s going to be awesome. And the reason I thought about mentioning this is because you mentioned, do you have them something and I that’s not what I’m doing in my first deadzone. But but it could be a great idea. Like while I’m doing this, how about you come up with a list of people that you could email when your site launches? Yeah. So that we can talk about your post launch, like post project plan. Because that’s something that I always feel frustrated with, at least with website, copy projects, like, we end, they move to the designer, and then sometimes they pull me back in so I can review staging sites, which I love. But but if they don’t, it’s like, Okay, goodbye, like, and then it’s dead air. So if they’re not, if they don’t have the initiative, to know how to market their website, once they’ve just spent all this money on the coffee, they need me for that, right. So again, I’ve developed better processes and systems to stay on their radar to keep touching point to bring up things like this. But I think that if we look at it from we’re improving our client experience, and we can really only improve by what we see, or what we’re told, like, if you’re listening to this conversation, maybe you hear something about the proposal. So you go and add that to your proposal. Or maybe you you know, do a website launch, if that’s something that you’re planning on doing. But if we aren’t told that, or if we don’t see the friction within our own projects, we can’t improve on things. So take baby steps, right? If it’s as simple as just sending that one automated email at one week, like I said, that’s like, hello, I’m here. Cool. Maybe then after you’ve done that you improve on it by giving, like, some type of like, freebie or direction for the future or like, whatever, right? Like just build upon the client experience, because that’s how it improves. There’s definitely a false narrative that like, you just make a client experience that doesn’t exist. You’re always
Colie James 33:50
always improving. I mean, you said, you’re like a CO is one of you up front, you know, my systems need work. The truth is, everyone systems needs work. And I feel like in our industry, as entrepreneurs, we need to get rid of the idea that anything that we do is like, set it and forget it, that does not exist, guys, for your copy, you may, you know, get different clients, you may have different offers. For myself, if I set systems up for you today, in six months, when you make changes in your business, or when you just really have a handle on how the systems that I created for you are working, and you’re like, Oh, well I have this list of ideas of how to make it better. That’s okay. Like none of the things are set it and forget it. We should be constantly reviewing and making changes. And so I really recommend that everybody do like systems checks quarterly. But if that feels like too much, guys, maybe every six months or at a minimum, every year, every year, you should be reviewing all of the emails in your CRM to make sure that they still sound like you that they still have the pertinent information that the links all still work. And then you can look at you know, your proposal because also guys on at least an annual basis, we should all be raising our prices, right? So why don’t you do those things at the same time? raise your prices. Yeah. And check out your systems.
Erin Ollila 35:12
Even if you like live in systems, you also have to be observant, right. So I noticed the friction with my clients because I noticed clients checking in, there was no friction with me, I’m cool. I’m doing my work. Like, I don’t need to talk to you. But when I noticed that, another example is I set up my podcasting workflow through dubsado, before I had my podcast, and it’s actually pretty smooth. However, when Callie came in what one thing I didn’t notice that was very helpful to have an outsider’s view is that I had originally been filming on Zoom, and then I moved over to using Riverside for my podcast. So in one email that she got from me, it said, like meet me in Riverside. And then another, there was my Zoom link. So little things like that, like she mentioned, to me, that was a quick fix. But if you’re not observant, or at least like paying attention, you might not think to even go back and like make the adjustment. So definitely, just sometimes when it comes to client experience, it’s like, listen to what your clients say, listen to what your leads, say, listen to what the people that you’re collaborating with, I’m working with you say, because that feedback is completely invaluable.
Colie James 36:22
Absolutely. And every time one of your clients ask you a question, like everyone should have this either in a notepad on your desk, or in some kind of electronic format on your computer. Every time you get a question from a client, you should put it into a document. And then at the end of the quarter, if I mean, in my opinion, there are some that even if you only get asked that question one time, it needs to be fixed. Like you, you have to alter your proposal, add a frequently asked question, put it in an email, whatever it is that you need to do. But definitely, if you see a pattern of people asking you the same kinds of questions over and over again, or if clients are constantly like, I mean, for example, your delivery window, if it was 14 days, and then you changed it to 21 days, and you thought that you changed it everywhere that you needed to change it. But you keep getting people checking in at 14 days, guys recheck everything. Maybe you still said the window was 14 days somewhere. And so your clients are checking in with you. And they’re not trying to be obnoxious. But they’re also not flat out telling you Oh, yeah, but you said it was 14? Yes. And so you know, just be cognizant of things like that, you know,
Erin Ollila 37:30
most of our conversation has been about selling, but on the point that you just mentioned, I think it’s really important that we are paying attention to how we are presenting things and how often we present things throughout the entire process. Because I’ll hear from a lot of people like, why is my client doing this? Like if it’s up here, they’re like, Oh, my God, this is so frustrating. Well, you know why? It’s because they don’t like their entire life doesn’t revolve around the project that they’re doing with you. So we talk about multiple touch points. In order to make a sale. Our clients need multiple reminders, multiple touchpoints, about even their job within the project, or when things can be done or how we do things. And that’s a service, right? So I always say selling as a service like, and this is a service as well to be a reminder, like, I think we’re all like, we grew up with the whole like, Oh, my mom was a nag or all these people are nagging me like there is a humongous difference between like providing quality information at a regular interval, and nagging. Because if someone is paying you the money to do something, they want you to be on top of it. So yes, I always say build into your workflows build into your systems, reminders, right? So for me, it could literally be like that two week thing, where halfway through I’m like, just as a reminder, I haven’t even started writing, research. life’s great. Everything’s wonderful, right? Or it could be like something else like with photography as an example. It could be like, here’s how to prep for your shoot. Here’s like if you’re doing like true newborn within the first couple of days, part of the questions I’m sure everyone has is like, I don’t know when I’m gonna have my baby, right? So if someone books you when they’re six months pregnant, it’s just check ins like automate those emails to be like, hey, hey, know you’re still pregnant. Or don’t worry, I this is normal for me. I’m so used to this. I know it’s not normal for you, because you’re just having your baby like, we if we can provide that like support, that reminder that education, we’re always going to be keeping our clients happy. And if not, if there is friction, we know immediately how to adjust to make them happy to like turn the corner from where they’re struggling, which is how I bring those back to testimonials. So So, is so important. We this is kind of what we talked about like when we Send your proposals, right, like have the Frequently Asked Questions have the social proof? Well, how do you get social proof? Nobody knows. It’s like this big ambiguous thing. Like, how do I get my client to say something nice about me, just do a good job. Like, do a good job and then be like, hello. Remember me? In the moment, we don’t have to wait months. We don’t have to send questionnaires like a year after you work with someone. Just make it part of your process, right? If someone is like, Oh, thank you so much for checking in. This was so helpful, you’re so communicative say, Oh, hello, would it be okay to use the like your quote about how communicative I am and how like much that was helpful for you on my website. Because again, part of the other problem is people don’t know how to diversify their testimonials. Everyone wants a testimonial that says, like, I changed their life by blinking my eyes, and now they’re a millionaire. Like, I’m not even gonna go down that road. But just diversifying them from like, different ways you work with clients, like, Yes, I’m a writer. But if I put how communicative actually think I have something on my website, where one of my clients is like, Hey, I’ve worked with a lot of artsy like people in the past. And they’re horrible for communication. But I was blown away with how like every single step of the process, Aaron was there and like keeping me moving. That’s a great testimonial. So just because I’m a writer, like that client didn’t have to talk about what the about page was, like, I have testimonials about about pages. So think, always be listening as well during this process of giving your clients a good experience, to pay attention for the things that you could use as a testimonial.
Colie James 41:52
And it may actually shape how I mean, because I don’t, I didn’t really intend to bring this back to selling, but it could change the way that you are talking about your offer from the get go. One type of testimonial that I have gotten, I think no less than five times in the last year was people say, you know, Callie, I just didn’t know that you were going to dive into my business that much. Like you really looked at my entire business and fixed way more than the systems. Like, you know, we looked at my business from beginning to end. And I mean, little did they know, I mean, yeah, that’s your client experience. So I have to look at the whole thing. But like a lot of people come into it, just thinking that I am going to fix their systems end up solder. And no matter how many times I tell people, no, I look at everything. Because if you’re not confident in your prices, I can’t put them in a proposal, because you will not sell the offer if you’re not competent. So we have to look at everything. And after a few people said that, I mean, first of all that testimonial, a couple of them are in multiple places on my website, yay. But they’re also on the proposal. They’re also in one of the first emails that you get from me after you fill out my contact form. So I’m like planting the seed early, with things that I know my clients say surprised they’re in a good way, time and time again, at the end of the process. And I just feel like it helps me you know, throughout the entire client experience, because then they’re thinking, Oh, well, I don’t just need her for my dubsado account. Like, I don’t have to have everything together. Before I come to her. She is going to help me really strategize, hopefully, and think about these things before we apply them to systems which you know, is of course, great,
Erin Ollila 43:28
which is a huge selling point, because I remember before I got my dubsado set up, literally the question that I had was, how can you help me do this? Because I don’t like remember I mentioned I need systems and I also need to be like shown away. When it came to creating workflows. My mind does not create workflows naturally. Now that I know how to do it, oh, sure, I can fly through it. But my brain didn’t actually work like that. So my brain works more story for him. Like I chat. We talk I do the work. But like nowhere in that was like touch points, right? Guess what,
Colie James 44:05
what I heard when you said that was you needed appointment scheduler to schedule that shot, literally form to ask the client for the information, you need a second form to go back and clarify. Like when you tell me the story stuff, I am automatically thinking of Okay, so this is what she needs in her workflow. And these are the specific things that we can pull out of her CRM in order to get these things accomplished for her in less time with more automation and reminders. Because I’m just want to talk about reminders. One more time do is not only to remind everyone about remind remind everyone about the reminders. Not only should we be talking about the reminders that we’ve already talked about, but in dubsado and many other CRMs if you send a form and your client does not fill it out, just like the proposal, you can send them an automatic reminder. And guys, I don’t know what kind of service you do, but I know for Aaron and I if we’re asking you for pre work and We absolutely need it before we can talk to you about strategy before she can sit. I mean, Aaron can’t conduct interviews with your clients, if you don’t tell her who the clients are.
Erin Ollila 45:09
I mean, I could call people randomly. Have you ever worked with Colin James? Oh, man, this is gonna be a stinky project, okay,
Colie James 45:17
this is gonna be really long. But like, if they haven’t given that to you on the timeline that you know that you need it, you can put in automatic reminders. You can also put in one final reminder that okay, if this person has seriously not done this by now, it either triggers or reschedule, or you reach out to them on the phone like these are the ways that we keep our business moving. Yeah, both for us and for our clients
Erin Ollila 45:42
coolly. Do you have a tiny homework assignment you could give our audience based on our conversation,
Colie James 45:47
and then it’s a two, but don’t worry, you pick one, you don’t need to do both right away. If you are not, if you are currently a dubsado user or you’re not, and you are not using your proposal, contract invoice, I need you to do that like today, like put an hour on your calendar for next week, I need those three things to be connected. Because the biggest source of booking friction is when you don’t allow someone to complete the entire booking process in one fell swoop. That’s number one. If you already have that done, and you are thinking about copy, and you’re like Okay, so I’ve got these emails, and they sound really robotic and not like me, I want you to go and pull information about how you speak to your clients and emails the copy from your website. And I just want you to pick two emails to update. The first one is the lead response that someone gets after they inquire. And the second one is the booking confirmation. Those two are rewarding someone for taking action. They should be information filled, but they should also have a good sense of your personality and them. So if they don’t currently inform your client of what they should do next, or show who you are, as a service provider, please add those two things to those two emails.
Erin Ollila 47:04
Okay, next question. If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
Colie James 47:08
This is going to be so ridiculous. I would love to meet Ryan and Blake. Blake Lively. I mean, they are so personal with their children, and they don’t put them out on the internet. Like I would love to be their photographer for a day. Like I wouldn’t have to share the images with anyone, but they just seem like they are so fun. And such great parents, I would just love to meet them.
Erin Ollila 47:31
Okay, final question. What is it that you love the most about systems? Because we all know that you were a photographer? Well, you are a photographer, and you moved into the systems world. So what is it that really gets you lit up about doing what you do with your clients?
Colie James 47:46
You know what my favorite part is? It’s gonna be so ridiculous. The strategy call. And I feel like it really aligns with what we’ve talked about on this podcast episode. Because when someone asked me, Why did you move from photography to doing systems, I’m like, I consider systems to be a puzzle. Like when someone brings me all of their shit, and they unload. Like, this is what I’m currently doing. This is what I wish I was doing. These are why people are not booking me and like I synthesize all of it. And I present them with a plan for how we’re gonna make their life easier. That is literally my favorite part of my job.
Erin Ollila 48:23
All right, friends. That’s it for this week. Thank you so much, Chloe, for joining us and everyone go get those systems all in. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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