The four seemingly small details that impact a customer’s experience and their impression of your business

3 June, 2019

From the conceptual stages to the final delivery of a project, there are multiple touch points in a creative team's production workflow where you can positively impact a client's impression of you and your services.

The quality of the final work is obviously a critical component of this, but there are some often overlooked aspects of the development process that are equally important.

Succeeding in these smaller parts of the process can increase your chances of delighting the customer and receiving positive feedback.

Let's take a look at four seemingly small details that can impact a customer's final impression of your work - and help you keep their business in the future.

1. Delivery of work

The very first action a customer will take after you send them a deliverable is to open the file. Now this is obviously, a topic very close to our heart! 😉

But it's an often overlooked yet critical part of the development. You don't want the client inconvenienced by issues such as incompatible programs or file sizes that are too large and can't be delivered because of their IT setup.

That's why the key is to make file sharing as easy as possible for your client by:

  • Sharing a type of file that is compatible with the platforms and systems your client uses. Can they easily open the file? Will their system create an automatically generated preview? Is it streamable? Is it consumable on any device?
  • Using a speedy and efficient file transfer system to avoid long download times to ensure the recipient can access it quickly and the sender does not miss important deadlines.
  • Adopt an easy to use platform that doesn't need your client to download specialised software or create an account. Give them access to the file with the opening of an attachment or the clicking of a link

The bottom line: if the customer can't open the file, they can't access your project or recognise the great work you've done.

2. Follow-Up Communication

When your client reaches out after you have delivered the work, it provides a great opportunity to provide outstanding service. By following up, you prove to the client that you take their concerns past the initial submission date. It shows your dedication to seeing the project through to completion.

Respond to all emails as quickly as possible and in a professional manner. You may not be able to provide answers on the initial response, but always acknowledge receipt of the client's initial email with a promise to route it to the right person or contact them later with more information. This allows the client to feel heard and recognised. They will not have to worry about the status of their question even while they wait on a response.

The key to good follow-up? Thorough documentation. If you hold a conference call with the client to discuss your work, take copious notes. Our tool of choice is Google Docs as it's so easy to collaborate in and share with others,

Follow up on the call with an email that includes all those meeting notes with any action items. Then add a note asking if you captured the information correctly or if you need to include any additional items.

A platform with features such as activity tracking can let your client know when recipients of their files have accessed the work, left feedback, or downloaded the files.

This helps you maintain accountability and reassures the client that their product is in reliable hands.

3. Responding to Last-Minute Requests

There may come a time when a client submits a difficult request at the last minute. Perhaps they're requesting a change in the deliverable or a status update on a tight timeline.

It is critical to maintain flexibility when responding to requests like these. Do your best to go above and beyond to satisfy a last-minute request. Exhaust all options in the name of delighting your client - they'll notice this and appreciate it.

If the client makes an impossible request your team can't complete in the requested time frame, you can still provide high-quality customer service even in failing to meet a new deadline. Simply inform the client of your constraints and tell them what you can do for them. While they may not be thrilled that you're not meeting the initial request, they will ultimately respect your honesty.

Using a platform with a feedback and client approvals component gives your client the ability to easily provide comments, request edits, and provide one-click approvals. For more complex feedback, screen recording tools such as Screencastify may prove useful.

Establishing transparent and open lines of communication is a great way to build trust between you and your client. Better to deliver truthful bad news than provide good news you can't deliver on later.

4. Brand consistency in the delivery

Completing a project based on the client's instructions and specifications is a major part of submitting high-quality work. It's also important to anticipate adding details to your client's project they may not have requested but that add value. An easy way to do this is to ensure all deliverables maintain consistency with your client's brand.

Branding may be one of the ways a client differentiates itself from the competition. It usually appears to the people you are delivering work to. A few ways to help your work maintain brand consistency include:

  • Use the client's logo in the header, or wherever appropriate within the deliverable
  • Incorporate any client slogans, mission statement, or company goals into the deliverable's language. This helps you emphasise the client's values in the deliverable, which will make for a stronger end product
  • Use the client's colour scheme

Aligning all deliverables with the client's brand helps you create products that reinforce the message your client hopes to convey to its customers. It's also important to note that when using the customer's brand, it's critical that you represent it 100% correctly. If you're unable to do so, you're better off not using it.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality control and quality assurance are also important components of deliverable creation. Quality control is the process of reviewing your final deliverables for any errors. These can include typos, grammatical errors, graphic design issues or any other mistake. Quality assurance is the process of evaluating the process creating the final deliverables. Both are important aspects of delivering consistently outstanding final products.

It's a tedious part of the deliverable process, but having a rigorous process for quality control and assurance lessens the likelihood of your team submitting deliverables with errors. It is also another way to provide transparency to your client, letting them understand the process your team used to develop the end product.

The tiniest error could erode a client's trust in your work, wasting time and resources your team put into a project. Submitting products without mistakes heightens your credibility and perception of professionalism with the client. Using an editor for copy is invaluable - services such as Wordy and Grammarly can be very helpful in this part of the process.

Summary

The quality of the content you submit to your clients is paramount. However, there are numerous points throughout the development process where you can "wow" your client with your attention to detail. These types of considerations can include:

  • Emailing
  • File sharing
  • Follow-up communication
  • Responding to last-minute requests
  • Maintaining brand consistency
  • Checking for quality control and quality assurance

These types of details may seem minor in comparison to other aspects of your deliverable process. Your client may not even always notice if all of these things are done correctly. They will, however, notice if they are done incorrectly.

By nailing it when it comes to the details, you put your client's mind at ease. You build trust that the work you submit is of the highest quality, which in turn leads to repeat business.

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