October 1st means it is time for the tenth excerpt from my e-book The Business of Face Painting. Of course, if you would like to get all the information included in my book right now you can find out how here.
The Business of Face Painting was published in September of 2009 and I am working on the final stages of the companion book The Art of Face Painting which we hope to have out sometime this year.
One step to make your clients repeat clients is to make sure to follow-up with them after the event.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter Five of The Business of Face Painting.
DAILY BUSINESS OPERATIONS
I use a Customer Satisfaction Survey that I will give to the client with the invoice, or will mail to them after the job if I did not give one to them at the event. I always provide a self-addressed stamped envelope with the survey for them to use and this usually guarantees that they will send it back to me. I have included my survey with the document templates for your use. The survey is helpful to provide feedback on what people like or dislike about my services and gives me a source of references or testimonials that I can use in my marketing and on my website.
If there is a negative comment on the survey I will telephone the client to discuss the reason for their comment as I need to know what happened and if it is something I can fix or was it beyond my control. Depending on what it was I will provide further information to them or apologize, perhaps sending them a discount coupon for a future event.
Customer satisfaction is very important as so much of you work will be word of mouth so you need to address any negativity immediately and offer a solution. If the problem was a reaction to a product for example, offer product information, fill out your incident report form, ask if they had sought medical attention or took photos… be sympathetic and document everything.
I try to send a thank you card to the clients within a week of the event. I use my postcards and simply say “Thank you for having me at your event! Please keep me in mind for your upcoming functions.”
With regular clients I send reminder emails or postcards to confirm the next booking – annual events such as company picnics and Christmas parties. If I haven’t heard from them I will say “Just double checking with you about this year’s dates. Let me know the details and I will send the confirmation to you right away. I am looking forward to seeing you again.” Email is very good for this type of reminder. I have regular corporate clients that do not call me but when I send this reminder they respond with the date and time and the booking is confirmed.
There is nothing wrong with sending a past client an inquiry about upcoming work. You are being proactive about securing work and often the client just hasn’t got around to the details of their event. Once you have made contact they respond and they can cross you off their To Do list.
I keep a Client List on my computer of all client’s names, contacts, addresses, telephone and email addresses and dates booked and rates I gave them. This is a quick reference for when I get a call from a new contact for the client so I can verify all my information on the client and update as necessary. And I can check if I provided any discounts or special deals in the past and why I did so. Keeping this list saves me having to dig though my dairy and contract files to see what I did and who I spoke to.
I also use the client list to prepare regular direct mail reminders and notices. It keeps all the information on your clients easy to access. This is for MY USE ONLY. Never ever share, trade or sell your client information.
© Shannon Fennell, 2009
with material from “Designs and Templates Volume 1” © November 2007
and “Designs and Templates Volume 2” © March 2008