There’s something to be said about creating a memorable client experience. Not only will they associate YOU with their wonderful results, but they’ll also remember you when another opportunity comes along.
Four years ago, I had the honour of collaborating with Columbia County’s Habitat For Humanity for a pro-bono promotional video for their ReStore. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
Around 50% of their proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world. That’s pretty impressive for retail.
I was humbled when they asked me to come back (4 years later!) to shoot a fundraiser video for them .. and they were happy to pay me because there was already trust in the relationship.
In building my video editing and videography business, I’ve learned a few key things that have helped me to create a stellar client experience that I hope you can apply to your business today.
HELP YOUR CLIENTS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
From the initial consult, to on-boarding your client, through to delivery (or the end of your package), it’s your responsibility as the professional, to make sure communication and expectations are clear at every step of the way.
Never assume that your client’s vision is the same as yours. You can also avoid difficult conversations and disappointed clients by making sure you include these keys into your client experience:
- Clear proposal & contract outlining your process, the schedule you’ve set forth together, and clear deliverables or results they can expect.
- Smooth on-boarding process that includes a clear welcome email, and any resources (like a beautifully designed PDF) that shows your client that you’ve thought of the details, and ensures they know what to expect at every step of the way.
- Welcome call that helps your client to stay track with delivering what you need (ie. logo files and digital assets for their project), and answers any questions they might have. Not all clients will read every document you send them.
MAKE YOUR CLIENTS FEEL COMFORTABLE & APPRECIATED
Details and processes are important, but nothing replaces helping people to feel comfortable and relaxed when they work with you! Not only does this quickly establish trust right at the beginning , but they’re most likely to be great clients who trust your decision-making process, and allow you to take the reins on the project.
Most of my clients require a 15 minute warm-up period before they feel themselves enough to really shine on camera. During this time, I walk them through what to expect once we start recording, and start engaging with them in ways that makes them feel reassured. This is particularly important if the client isn’t comfortable on camera.
Take these two ReStore staff members, for example. They were NOT excited to be on video, and I could immediately recognize that when they turned their backs away from me as soon as I walked into the warehouse.
Instead of barging in with an intimidating, “hey, want to be in a video?” (which I knew they would’ve declined!). Instead, I softly asked, “would you mind doing a couple really fun shots with me? I promise you it’ll only take a minute.”
When you acknowledge what your clients are thinking, and encourage them that it can be painless (and maybe even fun!) it’s amazing how quickly this approach can break the ice.
I clearly directed them to saying, “I’d love for you to stand back to back, right here …. eyes looking out into the distance … then when I say “action”, I’d love for you to cross your arms and smile at the camera .. you’ve got this! It’ll look amazing!”
And guess what? With some clear, simply directions, they totally pulled it off on the first take, and they DID look amazing!
I decided to take it one step further and instructed them: “now, I’d love for you to stand at opposite sides: you right here, and you over there .. that’s right … and when I say action, walk towards each other, give him a big high five, and keep walking.” By this time, they were even smiling and kinda excited to do this next shot 😉
Here’s the thing: your clients are PAYING YOU to instruct them. Like when two people dance, they’re entrusting you to take the lead and show them what’s next.
It’s taken some practice to be more vocal and directing my subjects with exactly what I’d like them to do (instead of just allowing them to direct themselves which rarely delivers a great experience or results), but in doing so, not only do I get exactly the shots I want, but my clients have fun in the process!
Here’s a photo from my drone footage when I was asking the crew to wave at the camera. Not everyone was excited to be on camera, but when I told them exactly where to stand, and what to do, not only did it help them to feel less awkward, but it also made the process a lot more fun.
… In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m running backwards to get out of the shot 😉
SMALL GESTURES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
After our shoot day was wrapped, I knew there was a beautiful little Marina just blocks away. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m all about the b-roll footage that’ll help to make the video more visually dynamic, and helps to tell the story.
I could’ve just wrapped my gear and went home, but I decided to fly my drone around the marina to capture footage of the town where this Habitat community resides. Yes, these shots took a bit more time, but it would ensure I had even more b-roll footage to use in the final videos (which is ALWAYS a good thing!), and it also sets the tone that I’m there to help them fulfill a vision .. not just to get a job done.
I also make it a point to send my clients a thank you email the following day, just thanking them for being so wonderful to work with, and let them know that I’m really happy with the footage we’ve captured. Similar to a small on-boarding or off-boarding gift, this small gesture speaks volumes about the type of professional you are because you take the time, and re-assure your clients that they’ve made the right decision in investing with you.
At the end of the day, your clients might not remember all the details, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. If you can lead with memorable client experiences, you’ll have clients telling all their friends about you, and you’ll be first in their roster for years to come.
Are you a business owner or nonprofit invested in making this world a better place? If so, let’s collaborate on your videos! To find out more, click here to learn about my custom videography package.