One thing is for certain: It is much easier to keep your current clients happy than to go out trying to gather new customers. But once you have worked for your client a few times, how do you continue to impress them each time you take on a project. It's simple! And it's something that we all know about, every business can do, and you see it in practice all the time.
What is this simple trick? Take a look at this example:
You order something from you favorite website (Amazon, Ebay, Woot, whatever), You get you estimated delivery date of 5 days from now. Then 2 days later you walk to your mailbox and there it is, you shiny new gadget, delivered 3 days early! It feels like Christmas, you are overjoyed, you tell everyone how great your experience was, and you feel like a VIP customer.
So, what exactly happened here, and how can you use this to inspire your clients to become fanatic cheerleaders for your services? Simply put:
Under promise and over deliver!
The easiest way to accomplish this is to just deliver early. If you can normally complete a project in 10 days, tell your client to expect it in 14 days. Not only does this make sense because it allows extra time for you to be flexible and efficient with your workflow, but it also allows you to deliver on time or early every time. Another tried and true method to over deliver is the "Bakers' Dozen"; A little extra goes a long way in making your clients sing your praises. How would you react if the next time you hired a freelancer for a project at completion they came in under budget? Being very conservative with your estimates will allow you the option of charging less or including free extras in your final delivery.
There are many ways you can under promise and over deliver to your customers, and every time you will turn that customer into a repeat client, that will happily tell others about your service, that always exceeds their expectations.
Early delivery, bonus services, extra products, being under budget...
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Which of these have you been able to use, and what over ways can you think of to WOW your customers, every time?!