Media Monday: Client Experience Is The Key

By Whitney Blessington | August 18th, 2013

BX | Social Media | Strategic Design | User Experience

In running through clever yet cheesy headlines for this blog post, I ran into my favorite a few hours after I originally had my idea for the post – ready for it? “Say Ahhhhhhhh to Client Experience.” While sitting in the dentist’s office chair getting my teeth cleaned last week (see, I told you you’ll never know when a good blog idea will hit you), I started mentally writing this gem.

It hit me while I literally had my mouth wide open. You don’t have to be Disney World, Southwest Airlines or Chic-fil-A to do customer service at a notice-ably high level. I had been “that guy.” I had walked into my dentist appointment three minutes late, and politely asked for them to have me out by 12:55 p.m. at the latest so I could jump on a conference call. Not an unreasonable request, but I was definitely asking them to do me a favor, when I had been the one to show up late. Since the customer is always right, shouldn’t the customer always be polite? That’s how I live, but that’s not always the case. So, the dentist office had the choice of how to respond. Not surprisingly, they were so friendly and accommodating. Not only did they get me out in less than 45 minutes so I could make my next appointment on time, but they did it by being as friendly and customer service oriented as they normally are.

Harpeth Dental – specifically the office of Chad and Darby Follis – really has their stuff together. It’s obvious that they have weekly meetings about how to provide the best possible experience for their clients. We’re talking far beyond the basic stuff. I think we’ve all had dental hygienists who are friendly and get to know you such, but the Follis office takes it to the next level.  They take care of all of your insurance unknowns for you – educate you on your options – without making you feel stupid. They remind you of your appointments with text messages and phone calls. They respect your time by getting you in and out; preparing you for the content and context of your appointments – and of course making sure you walk away with your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss kit.

This may seem basic, but it’s why you would choose one dentist over another. And, quite frankly, it’s why you would choose one financial planner over another; one attorney over another; one heating and cooling company over another (and yes, I have a real life example of this as well but won’t say anything negative about anyone) – and one web-communications company over another. That said, I’m taking a page out of Harpeth Dental (Chad Follis’) book. Cabedge is making a commitment to Client Experience. I’ve already told my teammates at Cabedge and Atiba that they need to get used to me saying this phrase between one and 172 times a day for the next 16 months until we get this right – Client Experience. The purpose behind every decision we make as a company should at some level work towards improving the overall experience that our clients have with us.

This is the key to any successful business. If you know Chad Follis at all; you know he’ll be happy to talk to you about it and back up my point. Chad is not a client of ours; I am a client of his – because of the experience his office provides that others don’t take the time to.

What does this have to do with small business SEO? You can ask Courtenay Rogers – our Director of Business Development and Client Experience – and she’ll back me up. You don’t want people leaving negative reviews on your company online, do you? You want positive reviews. Managing your online reputation is only a small collateral benefit of providing a top-notch and proactive Client Experience. There’s no better client than one that comes via word of mouth after a positive experience from someone they know. Remember that every little bit of traffic helps your overall SERP (search engine results page) rankings. The better the Client Experience, the more word-of-mouth, the more online vetting of your company. Like I said, small collateral benefits compared to direct repeat business – but still – Client Experience is very relevant to your small business SEO efforts.

One more shout out to a company that takes Client Experience very seriously. I was going to post this as a separate blog post, then realized it was a perfect addendum to this one…

Loving where you walk into work every day can make a huge difference in your quality of life, which ultimately makes a huge difference in your quality of work. I’ve been fortunate enough to have walked into many places around the country with business on the brain. When I saw this article in the Tennessean about our friends at E|SPACES – I got excited.

We’ve loved working out of E|SPACES since we joined as members in early 2012. This article pretty much nails it, and we wanted to say congratulations to Phil Gibbs and Josh Bowling and thank you to Kelsy Harms, Ali Blackshear, Laura Jackson, Justin Ostlind and Dale Clay.

Thank you for being part of our team at Cabedge. We are proud to be part of yours. You are true innovators, phenomenal communicators and effective business professionals. You are a great model for all of us, and provide a great environment to do effective and creative work. We are happy to be your clients, as you provide the best possible Client Experience.

Paul Hickey is the managing director of Cabedge Design, LLC – an Atiba Company – and specializes in building strategic websites that help clients and partners accomplish business goals. Paul loves writing and communicating, and helping drive relevant traffic to websites.

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