What Makes Up an Exceptional Business Experience in the Service-Based Industry? Winners of The Excellence in Experience Awards Weigh In
Running a small business— especially a service-based one— is challenging, but having ownership, mastering the multiple hats you have to wear, and seeing those smiles and the look of satisfaction on the faces of your clients makes it all worth it.
It’s all about the human connection and making your clients happy, that’s the real deal.
And while there are various factors that contribute to your business’s growth, it eventually boils down to one thing—a great business experience.
Excellent business experiences are the reason that clients want to revisit your business. It is the reason that they leave a positive review, the reason that they would recommend your business to their friends and family, and it is also the reason that they will support you when you need them—even if it means helping you win an award!
Genbook recently wrapped up its first-ever annual Excellence in Experience Awards featuring North America’s best service providers across hair, beauty, wellness, and personal service businesses.
After announcing the Winners we sat down with each of the category winners (solo and team) and asked them a pivotal question—what makes a good business experience? Their insights speak to the client experience, what clients of small service-based businesses expect from service providers, and what tactics helped them win their clients’ hearts.
Read along or jump ahead.
- Going above and beyond the client’s expectation
- Making the first impression count
- Understanding the deliverables and passing on the baton
- Limiting distractions
- Understanding the Power of Collaboration
Going above and beyond the client’s expectation
What you give is what you get, or so goes the age-old adage. And it couldn’t be more accurate for service-based businesses whether you operate within a team, rent a chair or run a solo business.
A great client relationship is the hallmark of your business. It is what differentiates you from your competitors, and makes your clients value your business. But more importantly, it is what ensures that you have positive word of mouth. Nadene Morris, owner at Sewphisticated Hair, and 2020 Winner of the best business experience for hair services by a solo provider agrees with this thinking and quotes:
“Always make sure the customers are satisfied no matter what and to go above and beyond to accommodate them. Accommodating them may require some effort, but in my opinion, you will always gain in the future due to positive word of mouth,” she advises.
But while it sounds perfect in theory, the practicality of it often gets tested. You may encounter unhappy clients, you may falter on delivery and sometimes you may not be able to satisfy your client’s need despite your best efforts.
But matching your client’s expectation is always a work in progress and you will reach peak success only when everyone leaving your business leaves smiling. Megan Tantleff from M. Jolie Spa shares her two cents:
“A good business experience would foremost make every client feel special and that they are one of a kind & the fact that making them happy is key. That every customer is satisfied when they leave & they want to rebook and they want to refer to the service you provide.”
Making the first impression worth it
From how inviting your spa, salon, or barbershop is to how easy it was to book an appointment with your business—you only get one chance to make the first impression, and that’s key to an overall experience! As humans, we tend to make judgments and form impressions about people and things fairly quickly and this includes your clients too.
So how can you ensure that you start off strong? There are plenty of ways and tips that get talked about, but nothing triumphs personalization and making them feel at home in your space.
“A good business experience begins when the client walks through the door, making sure they feel like family throughout the whole experience, and after, when everything is completed, I make sure to ask if they’re satisfied and if they enjoyed their experience. It’s all about leaving a lasting impression starting with the first impression as that’s all we get. It’s important to show consistency and pay persistent attention to detail, & making them feel at home and like family. At the end of the day, my clients aren’t just my clients, they’re my friends,” states Marc Rivera from Classic Barber & Beard Co.
For Nadia Carpanzano of Maplebrook Chiropractic, it translates into “taking good care and offering friendly service. We talk to all our clients, they are part of our family, and I guess that drives people to revisit our office time and time again” she mentions.
Chrissy Hughes from Chrissy Hughes at The Cutting Company isn’t far behind and believes that “pleasing the clients, making sure they can make appointments, making sure that they receive a good service” are essentials of a good first impression.
Understanding the deliverables and passing on the baton
We live in a world where the hustling culture has been over-romanticized, and while we agree that it is part of your DNA, making it a part of your standard routine may burn you out and will definitely impact the experience for your clients.
Very often as entrepreneurs you tend to take more on your plate than you can deliver. Call it the hustling nature or confidence to over-deliver, but it can come in the way of your success. And that’s where Brannigan Roeber from Brannigan Marie LMT’s advice comes into play.
“I always hear and listen to their needs, and if I can’t provide them with what they need I will always recommend someone that can. A good business experience means that the clients come in and feel that I actually genuinely care about them going above and beyond and meet everyone’s needs.”
One of the most important parts of a loved business experience is your client’s ability to feel at ease and that’s possible only when you can focus on them wholeheartedly.
But oftentimes business-related distractions such as client scheduling, calendar management, and playing phone tag can prevent you from being your best self as well as come in the way of you delivering exceptional services to your clients.
Lisa from Lisa Keating Photography nods in approval. She mentions:
“Because I’m creative and my job is photography, people come to me to capture them, to give them a shot for their dream, and to do that I have to be 100% ready – keep my mind clear & open so I may be creative & open offering my best self for them.
Being really free is the crux. That’s why I love Genbook which helps me be my best creative self, as it frees up my time, and takes care of scheduling, and other business stuff.”
Genbook has helped many customers like Lisa over years in managing their schedules and making it easy for their clients to book an appointment. Brandy Luong from XO Lashes also agrees with the power of an all-in-one scheduling software and how it has helped her be more productive with her time.
Understanding the Power of Collaboration
Great things happen when we work together. For businesses with many employees, your team is your biggest strength, in fact, mastering the art of keeping your staff happy can reap you serious benefits and help you build a better business experience for your clients. Yes, it helps to have an intimate crew that surrounds you, supports you but also isn’t afraid, to be honest with you.
Meg Lamberton from Mama Meg’s Massage believes in the power of collaboration and states:
“Excellence in experience is about presence and dedication. It’s about care, compassion, professionalism, and collaboration. I am so deeply grateful for the team that I get to work with at Mama Meg’s Massage and the many clients that we’ve been able to serve over the last nine years.”
The team at Empyre Barber has ensured that serving their clients is ingrained in their motto “how can we serve you” which ensures that the entire team can focus on what’s important. “For us, it is all about serving our clients with quality service,” said the spokesperson from Empyre Barbers.
According to Joe Pine & James Gilmore, authors of The Experience Economy, the world has changed in many ways but the way to a customer’s heart has not. They also go on to say that experience is the missing link between businesses and their potential audience.
So how do you stand out? Well for starters learn from our winners!
And if you want to jump in to give Genbook a try, start your free trial today and see for yourself why thousands of small business owners use Genbook to manage their time and convert more clients!