Improving The Client Experience

July 26, 2014

How to keep a client comfortable & productive as a key part of postproduction client services. A checklist for client happiness.

It’s Not Just Your Grading That Makes Happy Clients

As I’ve mentioned in previous Insights, postproduction, but especially finishing, is all about keeping clients happy and pushing them over the proverbial finish line with their project

Your work is obviously an important part of the finishing experience (probably the most important), but besides talent, there is nothing that keeps a client coming back more than their comfort and overall experience with a facility.

When I first started working in postproduction there really wasn’t such a thing as a “small shop” or a boutique – after all, the equipment cost millions.  But it wasn’t the heavy iron, opulent rooms, or outrageous hourly rates that stuck with me over the years.

It was how large facilities continuously work on improving the overall experience for their clients.  From the mundane like easy parking to good workspaces, big facilities are always trying to make things better for their clients.

I know when I think of large facilities charging a $2k/hr for post services the first thing I think of is – clients must really being taken care of there.  In my mind the client services folks at these facilities are asking clients questions like:

Want a scotch? Only if is really old! Of course it is!

We’re ordering Sushi that’s outrageously expensive would you like some?  Yes please, because I couldn’t afford that place – ever.

Back rubs in the client lounge at 4 pm — care to join us?  Umm yes!

I know, I know, even very large facilities that are raking in the bucks are not as lavish as they used to be, but in the world of high-end finishing and postproduction, this stuff still happens all the time.

So how does this concern you?

I think no matter the size of your operation  – from an iMac in your folks’ basement to a 25k sq/ft facility with platinum-plated walls we can all benefit from prioritizing the client experience and borrowing some of the methods of large facilities – even if they do seem a little outrageous.

In this Insight, I want to share with you a sort of a checklist for how I’ve been able to bring many of the things that makes the client experience great at a larger facility to my own small shop.

Don’t worry, if you’re a one-man-band working out of your basement I think you can still adapt many of the things here on my checklist to fit your budget and needs.

Like any of the Insights here in the Library if you have any additional thoughts or want to share some strategies of your own please use the comments at the end of the article.  

Directions, Transportation & Parking

This is going to sound silly, but a client not knowing exactly where you’re located and not being able to find your shop can really be a problem and especially with new clients this can harm the client experience before they even get in the door.

When it comes to directions be sure to:

  • Be very clear on your website what your address is, and what the phone number is. Give clients multiple landmarks so they can orient themselves once they get nearby.
  • Consider embedded Google Maps on your website so clients can easily search from their location to yours.
  • Not everyone drives – if you’re near public transportation like a subway, be sure on your website to list what stop/line you’re closest to and how to get to your location from that stop.

As I said, not everyone drives, sometimes clients are coming in from out of town and don’t know how to get around.  In those situations consider picking up your client from the airport or hotel or sending a service like UBER (on your dime) to collect your client and bring them to your facility.

When a client does drive to your shop, make sure they 100% understand where to park – the last thing you want is them getting towed.

If you have a parking lot – what spaces are ok for them to park in?  If they need to use public parking is it on the street or in a garage?

At my facility, we’re lucky that we have a lot, but sometimes we get full.

In those cases, we send a client to a nearby garage where we validate their parking (we’ve worked this out with the garage management).

I think this validation is a nice thing to do for a client when paid parking is needed. Likewise, if meter parking has to be used to have someone from your team running out to fill the meter – the client shouldn’t have to get up every two hours to put quarters in.

And of course – put all this information about parking on your website!

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