In a lot of ways, people who sell tangible products should take satisfaction in how straight-forward their business models are. If you’re a t-shirt company, a customer agrees to buy a certain number of t-shirts, and you, the business deliver. Barring any hiccups in delivery, or customers who aren’t satisfied with the thing they themselves ordered, what you see is what you get. When it comes to credit card processing for small businesses, minimizing issues with payments starts and ends with a satisfied customer.
When what you sell is a service, the number of ways that a client can become dissatisfied rises exponentially, especially in areas where your deliverable is creative, subjective, or intangible, as is the case with design work, consulting, or other such areas. As long as you’re offering your absolute best product, what else can be done to ensure that your client stays happy, that your agreement is honored? Furthermore, when is it time to let that client go?
Whether we’re talking eCommerce, or just accepting payments for your services using credit card processing for small businesses, there are certain things you can do that raise the chances that both you and your client wind up satisfied.
Just as with buying a complicated piece of machinery, clients want to know as precisely as possible what they are getting. For intangible deliverables, this means that you want your contract and scope of services to be crystal clear. Especially in the world of design, “scope creep,” where additional little tasks and projects find their way onto the plates of the team, at no added cost because the contract has already been signed. Making a contract/scope of work document that is specific and covers all the bases can go far in making it easier to navigate an ongoing client relationship.
Never put a barrier between your client and paying for your services. With a robust payment solution, you can reduce the likelihood that a client “forgets about” paying that invoice. If recurring payments are part of your business, a solution like Chargify (which integrates beautifully with Moolah) can really simplify your life.
It’s never an easy decision to let a “problem client” go. While it is true that your sanity is the most important thing, client satisfaction must be your most sought-for commodity. If your business relies in any form on word of mouth, (and what business doesn’t?) the best favor you can do for yourself is to ensure that a client doesn’t develop a negative opinion of you, which can easily reverberate and grow into a negative reputation if you aren’t careful. Say an interior design project goes wrong, and you’re on the verge of ending the project. Be sure you are fully aware how much it will cost you to cut that client free. How much is a referred client worth to you? Even if you have to take a loss on a project, compare that loss to the possibility of losing a referral from that client’s negative experience. If you can make good with them, a good reputation and possible referrals may be far more valuable to you in the long run.