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Shadiah Sigala of HoneyBook

4 modern trends your client expects you to follow

Shadiah SigalaSilicon Valley start-ups are disrupting huge markets by reinventing the traditional way of doing things. Remember when you had to wait and chase down taxis? Enter Uber: Just click a button on your smartphone and “voila!”--your ride awaits. Gone are the days when you “had” to go get cash, because Venmo and PayPal are in your pocket. And who stands in store lines anymore when you can buy anything from your smartphone in less than three clicks?

Because of technology, consumers can now do almost anything instantaneously or on-demand without leaving their seat. They expect efficiency, reliability and convenience everywhere they go. This is the modern client, and they’re here to stay.

When it comes to special event management, modern clients’ expectations are even higher. They aren’t just looking for cool photo booths or digital displays to show off their tech know-how to their guests. They also expect the event pros they hire to provide service in a way that’s both highly personal and ultra-modern. HoneyBook shares four ways to live up to modern clients’ new expectations and stay ahead of the curve.

1. Hyper-personalization: We’ve all experienced the near stalker-like personalization of the Internet, thanks to Google, Facebook and the like. Your every search, website visit and social media profile are leveraged to create hyper-targeted experiences to make you click, convert and buy. It’s like having a psychic best friend, personal shopper and concierge in one. For event pros, personalizing experiences is familiar territory, but there is an opportunity to hone this even further by using data and technology to make client experiences even more tailored. Think about how you can further personalize every touchpoint--from your first email, to your contract and every other communication sent--to convert prospects and make your client relationships even more meaningful?

2. Instant gratification: Gone are the days of waiting. Virtually anything can be hand-delivered, shipped and immediately fixed within 24 hours. With a few clicks, you can have your laundry picked up, get a ride to work and have your lunch delivered, all without even taking out your wallet. Today’s clients expect this same ease of purchasing in every facet of their lives, including special events. If you’re trying to convert an engaged prospect into a client, one simple, but often overlooked way to improve your success is to make the booking process as seamless and convenient as possible. Think digitally and throw out the fax machines and snail mail (you’ll be saving trees, too). Your modern client will thank you.

3. Mobile connectivity: Did you know that on average, people check their phones 150 times a day? When you do the math, that’s every 6.5 minutes. Your clients are engaging with you through their smartphones more than ever, and they expect a mobile-friendly experience. From browsing your website to every online communication during the event planning process, all digital interactions with your client should be responsive, uncomplicated and easy to digest. Because more than likely, they are engaging with you from their phone. Are you putting your best mobile foot forward?

4. Intuitive design: In layman’s terms, this means creating experiences—whether an event, design or product—that are simple and deliberate. It eliminates questions like, “what’s next?” or “what does this do?” because by design, it’s obvious. This has always been relevant to event pros when mapping out room flows, time lines and other logistics. But it’s imperative to keep this in mind from an online perspective, from your website to documents and even your payment process. Get this right, and you can really “wow” your clients with your brand and digital savvy.

We have heard event professionals complain of app and technology fatigue. However, we encourage our creative entrepreneurs to think beyond the tool itself, and to understand their customers’ shifting expectations. As masters of experience management, staying in the know of shifts in technology will help you stay ahead of the game, elevate your brand and delight your customers at every interaction.

Shadiah Sigala is the co-founder and vice president of customer experience at HoneyBook, a San Francisco-based planning platform designed to assist event professionals in collaborating with clients and colleagues via a customizable dashboard. 

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