How Much Time Should You Give To Your Customers?
I have been blessed with two kids.
My daughter is 4 years old and my baby son, is just 4 months old.
This morning, I was up in bed feeding the baby when I heard the most terror-inducing, high-pitched squeal coming from the lounge.
“HELLLPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!” screamed my daughter at 5 million decibels.
I jumped with such a startle that I nearly threw the baby out of the window.
Just as I was clambering unclothed to commence my rescue mission with baby thrown over the shoulder like an emergency backpack (the poor thing utterly outraged that his meal had been cut short); my 4-year-old came hurtling into the bedroom like she’d just escaped from battle in Mordor.
“MUUUMMMYYYYY HELLLLPPPP MEEEEEEE!!!” she wailed, as if she was being chased by a Middle-Earth Warlord.
I couldn’t see any blood, or Warlords, but it sounded pretty bad; “oh my, what’s up bubba?”.
“I CAN’T DO IT MUMMY! I CAN’T DO IT! HELLLPPPPP MEEEEE!”
Then shoved a half-naked doll into my face.
Apparently, the world was ending because she couldn’t get the dolls dress on.
A quick bit of dressage, and the crisis was over.
Here she is all happy now that the doll is dressed, right after it happened…..
Anyway, it got me thinking…..
I’m pretty sure that all parents reading this will have experienced something similar.
I am also pretty certain that all business owners experience similar ‘dramas’ with their customers too.
You know the dramas I mean…..
The ones where you wake up at 3am to a buzzing phone, 300 emails, 25 Facebook messages and 200 Facebook notifications that you’ve been tagged in every group on Facebook from this student/client who is DESPERATELY looking for you, because they have an ‘ACTUAL EMERGENCY’.
The panic is REAL.
They are in tears, it’s like somebody has died.
They know its 3am for you, but they keep calling anyway because it IS an emergency.
(This happens to me a LOT).
When I first wake up to this, I always have a partial panic attack wondering what kind of dreadful disaster has happened.
Is somebody sick or hurt?
Are you sick or hurt?
Is there a fire?
Are you being chased by a Warlord?
After causing the drama of the century, just like my daughter did over her dolls dress; it usually transpires that this person couldn’t figure out how to upload their logo to their online school, or wanted to change the price of their course but forgot how to do it, or couldn’t answer one of their own students’ enquiries and wanted some advice from me so that they could reply to their own student nicely.
To these people, it’s a matter of life and death and it MUST be answered NOW.
Whenever this happens to me, my first reaction is to feel utterly annoyed.
“WHY would they cause that much drama over a freaking logo that could have waited until tomorrow??”.
But then, I remember that to our customers, that ‘thing’ that we are helping them with is currently EVERYTHING to them.
It really DOES feel like life or death to them when they are putting in everything they have to create it, build it and succeed in it.
Some of them are literally using the last few dollars they own paying for our product or service and EVERYTHING they have is riding on their success in their endeavour with us.
When we are providing ANY product or service; whether it’s $1 or $1 million, we must remember that to the person buying it from us, it is very very important; and as such, they are going to have their own level of expectation as to what level of personal involvement from YOU they will get.
As business owners, it is us who are responsible for setting expectations, boundaries and communicating those service lines to our customers.
If we don’t set them clearly, our customers will set them for us – and that isn’t helpful for anybody.
Especially when there’s a 3am drama over a Middle-Earth sized logo situation.
Here are some things to think about:
- Is direct access to you limited, unlimited or even available at all?
- Will you be there to answer any and every query, question and request for advice?
- Will you be there to help them fix stuff forever after their purchase, or just for a temporary period of time?
- Does them being a student entitle them to send you endless emails asking for guidance?
- Is access to you as part of your product, service or course part of the purchase, or an additional cost to your customer?
- How do you communicate to your customer exactly what they get and what they don’t get?
- Will contact with you be limited to group calls, one on one calls, or available anytime?
There is absolutely NO right or wrong as to how much of yourself you should give in your products and services.
It all comes down to how you prefer to work and how much time you have.
Some people much prefer to work one on one with their clients.
Other business owners absolutely hate people and prefer to sell purely digital products.
Both of those are totally and utterly acceptable.
YOU set the rules in your own business – just make they are clear from the beginning.
How Much Time Should You Give, By Course Type?
To give you a tiny bit of guidance when it comes to online courses, here are the 5 main types of online courses, and what I suggest as your personal involvement.
(If you want to know which type of course is best for you to create, take my free quiz here: www.sarahcordiner.com/quiz )
Free lead magnet course:
This is a freebie that you give away to attract new prospects and is usually 3-5 helpful tip videos. Generally, you should NOT give your personal time in a free lead magnet (unless it is a webinar – but then record the first one and automate the rest)
This is usually a quick course that gets your learners a fast result, and is usually very low priced.
I suggest to not include your personal time in this either, and keep it to a strictly self-study digital product.
Authority Flagship Course:
This is your ‘big mumma’ program that goes deep into your topic area and leaves no stone unturned for your learners.
I would suggest having a discussion area, Facebook group or a group Q&A call as part of this, but not individual support unless they pay for individual appointments with you.
This is where people are paying a LOT more than a standard online course, as they will be expecting to be guided by a coach and to have direct contact to you in some way.
A community group or Facebook group that you show up in is recommended, along with regular group Q&A calls – potentially even a one-on-one call as part of the package too.
This is when you have lots of courses in one place where your students can log in at any time and take all of your training for s monthly fee.
I suggest that this is self-study but with an optional monthly group call for questions.
Again – make up your own mind – these are just some ideas for you to consider – there are NO rules to this.
Just make sure that whatever you decide is undeniably explicit to avoid confusion of unmanaged expectations.
- Make sure your sales page states explicitly what they get and don’t get
- Be clear about the contact available to you, how much, how often and for what kind of support
- Be clear about where and how they can contact you. EG I try to make it clear to my clients that messaging me through Facebook messenger is like throwing a grain of sand in outer space – it’s a vortex in there and the best way to ensure a reply is to email me, or book a call.
- Consider getting a calendar management system, such as Calendly, where people can book paid appointments with you
- Add your automated calendar booking system to the last lesson of your online course – or if it’s a big course, to the last lesson of every module. This will help people see that they need to pay for your time and can easily do that from within the course, without having to throw emails back and forth.
- Write up a list of your most frequently asked questions and provide the answers to all of them on your sales page, or even your email signature.
I hope that this has given you some food for thought.
In the meantime, if your doll needs a new dress – I’m your girl! 😀
PS – You might like to join my next ‘Concept To Course’ 30 Day Course Creation Group Coaching Program where I help you map out your business, packages, services and of course, create and publish your online course!
Join here: www.sarahcordiner.com/doit