It doesn't matter what type of business you have, there are four basic steps in the process for serving clients with value. Once you understand them, you will be able to not only please your existing clientele but also receive many referrals for new clients.
INTAKE - From the moment that you have contact with the client, your goal will be to develop rapport. This involves building a trust and comfortable relationship. An exchange of information is necessary and you will not only gather necessary data from the client but also answer questions, schedule appointments and provide specific details that will help them to move further into the process.
ASSESSMENT - This is one of the most important stages and one which is often neglected or rushed through. You need to clearly understand what problems the clients is experiencing and how they have tried to solve them in the past. Knowing the "pain" that they are experiencing because of them and the details of the situation are extremely important or you will not be able to provide an effective solution.
INTERVENTION - This is the stage where you provide your expertise. You will offer options to the client and clearly explain the benefits and risks of each. If you have done a thorough assessment, the client will know that you understand and therefore feel more trusting. The decision as to which if any of the options is implemented will be in the hands of the client but if the client is eager to resolve the issues and believes that you can help, s/he will likely be willing to follow your recommendations.
EVALUATION - It is important to check with the client to find out how effective you were in meeting their needs. The client may have disregarded everything you said and not followed through. On the other hand, they may report a range of outcomes that resulted from your work with them. Once again you will gather information through assessment and, following that, provide more intervention ideas.
Working with clients involves a repetitive cycle of assessment, intervention and evaluation. This requires a number of skills, the most important of which is to be an excellent listener.
As you work with your client, your relationship will build and you will together be able to experience an adventure of change that will resolve issues and improve the situation which had lead to Intake in the first place.