I’ve had many optimists tell me that every experience is an opportunity to learn. And that stressful experiences can yield particularly rich lessons. So when I started planning my wedding a few months ago, wise friends encouraged me to keep my eyes open for lessons along the way. I’m glad I listened – it’s been a rewarding experience so far.
Professionally, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is what it looks like to onboard clients well. I’ve spoken with nearly 50 vendors at this point and while some have taught me what not to do, many have shown me how to excel in onboarding.
From initial contact to post-purchase communication, here’s what the best of the wedding industry have been teaching me about providing a better experience for potential clients in the web industry:
- There’s no replacement for quality. My first contact with any vendor has been driven by one thing: the quality and consistency of what they produce.
- Personal interest establishes connection. Vendors who showed genuine enthusiasm about my day and details, rather than emailing a generic rate sheet, immediately won my affection and established a connection. Right off the bat, this put them one step ahead of similar rate sheet competitors.
- Collaborative pricing builds trust. It’s essential to all healthy relationships (including business relationships), but trust is often hard to build. Vendors who started with a base price, and then customized the final price according to my needs (and not regardless of them), earned my trust. Which made me significantly more likely to work with them.
- Little things make a big impact. When a vendor paid attention to small details like the readability of their emails and the time of day they called, it made a big impression. There were multiple times I had to make a decision between two or three similarly priced good options. Each time, the little things swayed me.
- Follow ups reduce client anxiety. Spending a large amount of money can be nerve wracking and induce post-purchase anxiety. Vendors who followed up the “Yes!” decision with a thank you note, clear next steps, or more information on who they are validated my purchase much more than vendors who said “thanks” and disappeared for a period of time.
Worth the Effort
While none of these lessons are ground breaking, seeing them in action (in any industry) is somewhat rare and that’s intriguing. It may be because they require a good deal of hard work. When you receive hundreds of requests a month, genuine excitement is hard to produce. When you’re hustling to provide a great product, keeping up with details requires effort. And when it’s been an insane work week, providing customized pricing options and follow ups means overcoming challenges.
But the fact that each of my vendors worked hard to do these things is exactly why I selected them. And now, they not only have my business, they have my recommendation to a large pool of single and engaged friends. Which tells me that the work is worth the effort.
What are some additional onboarding lessons you’ve learned from your diverse experiences? Leave a comment below – we’d love to know! Or, if you’d like more information on our services, please reach out to us on our contact page. We’d love to provide you with a great experience.