5 Tips to Elevate Your Value and Provide Extraordinary Service to Your Clients

I have a favorite story that I love to tell. I call it the Lemon Seed story.

During my time working at Four Seasons, I was always impressed by a simple act, which was the removal of the lemon seed from the lemons. Everyone who went through the training in food and beverage was taught to always remove the lemon seeds from the cut lemons.

So what’s the big deal, really? You might be wondering, will customers even notice the seeds are removed? 

Not necessarily. Guests will squeeze a fresh lemon into their lemonade or Arnold Palmer, enjoy their drink, and go about their day. 

Leave the seeds there, though, and they will most certainly notice once they’ve been sucked up into a straw. 

It’s the little choices like these that add value to Four Seasons

It’s also why they can charge $5 for a lemonade versus the $1 at a chain restaurant that doesn’t care about the seeds.

This week, I was inspired by a couple of conversations with my clients, who are taking my transformation coaching program. With the Lemon Seed Story in mind, I helped them work through their businesses so they could understand how they can elevate their own services in various ways, and, ultimately charge their real value.

The conversations were so successful in my coaching sessions that I’ve decided to share them here, too.

To make it easy, I’ve broken it down into three main topics:

  1. Why exceptional customer service is important

  2. How to deliver exceptional customer service every time

  3. Specific techniques customer service managers and reps can use to do their jobs successfully

These three main topics will help you elevate your business AND provide extraordinary service. 

Let’s get into it.

Why Exceptional Customer Service is Important

  • It creates loyalty

    Think of trying a new restaurant. If you have an exceptional experience there—great food, tasty wine, excellent customer service—you’ll keep going back for more. You become loyal to a restaurant when you see their true value. It creates the same type of loyal connections with your clients when you provide exceptional service for your event planning business.

  • It creates trust and value

    Let’s say you’ve planned a wedding for a couple, and you provided exceptional customer service. You’ll be the first person they think of when it comes to other family events, like birthday celebrations or anniversary parties. It’s an easy decision for them because they already trust you. After all, you’ve proven your worth the first time around. This means they understand the value of your services and will more than likely spend more money because they trust that you’re putting money into the right things.

  • It will determine how often they use you or if they hire you for another event

    If clients love what you do, they will keep coming back, even if it’s not for the exact type of event. For example, if you do a fantastic job at a social event like a wedding, clients can also refer you to corporate or nonprofit events. You never know who might be sitting on a board elsewhere or volunteering at a nonprofit. Don’t forget this little nugget.

How to deliver exceptional customer service EVERY time

  • Shoot for ACTION over PERFECTION

    As creatives, we often get stuck on making things perfect. But sometimes done is better than perfect.

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN to turn over something sloppy to the client; it just means that sometimes you need to take some sort of action.

    Here’s an example: “I’m going to have a proposal to you today, but I want to look over it one more time before I send it.” This lets the client know what to expect (i.e., your time frame), but it also shows them that you care enough about them to keep them in the loop and that you also take your work seriously and want to deliver the best information.

  • Set expectations

    Everyone needs expectations. Set expectations with clients, with your team, vendors you might be working with, and even with yourself.

    Sometimes expectations are big, like working with tight deadlines and making sure everyone is on the same page. Sometimes setting expectations is as simple as making sure all the vendors know to use the venue’s side door and not the main entrance.

    Expectations help everyone understand what their part is in the bigger picture.

  • DO NOT be available 24/7

    Simply put: the more value you have for your own time, you more value you bring to the table.

    You need to offer certain hours and set boundaries. Perhaps sit down at the beginning of each year and take the time to figure out what you want to do for the holidays.

    Will you take them off? Will you charge a holiday fee?

    Also, be sure to consider prime weekends. It’s YOUR time, and you need to figure out precisely what you want to do with it; otherwise, it will get taken up by other people.

  • Underpromise and overdeliver

    Nobody likes being promised something uncertain and then being let down. Use this mentality in every aspect of your business.

    If you think it will take two weeks to make a proposal—tell them it will be 18 days and get it to them early. Does a client have a fantastic idea that you want to deliver? Tell them, “it’s a great idea, but I need some time to look into it, can I get back to you in a few days?”

    Then figure it out tomorrow and get back to them. And most importantly—don’t be a yes person.

  • Recap and ask for reviews

    After every event, sit down with our client and have a verbal review. Tell them that you care about making your business better and ask them for their thoughts.

    What worked really well?

    What challenges did you have?

    What could we have done better?

    If it’s a great verbal review, ask them if they would mind writing it down so you could share it with other potential clients.

    And on the topic of potential clients, talk to them about your referral program. (Don’t have one? I implore you to set one up now.)

  • Treat your business as a business, NOT AS A HOBBY

    To continue to grow, you need to treat your work as the business that it is.

    Invest in yourself.

    Invest in your knowledge.

    Take a marketing class.

    Take a photography class.

    Get a business coach.

    If you become stagnant, your business will become stagnant too.

Specific techniques customer service managers and reps can use to do their jobs successfully

  • Have clear expectations

    Similar to delivering exceptional customer service, you need to have clear expectations WITHIN your business. That means training everyone you work with and those who you’ve outsourced your business to.

    Think of Four Seasons again: everyone who works there knows to cut the seeds out of the lemons. Think of your lemon seeds, AKA your MUST DOs, and make sure they are clearly communicated within your business.

  • Remember that happy employees translate to happy customers

    If you’ve ever been to a restaurant where your server was unhappy and clearly didn’t want to be there, you know how it negatively affects your experience, even if your food and everything else was great.

    Make sure your employees are happy. Talk to them, understand their needs, and make sure they are adequately trained.


Do not do it all yourself. I repeat, DO NOT DO IT ALL YOURSELF

You’re not a one-person machine. Get help. 

Don’t know where to get help? Give me a call. We’ll set up a one-on-one breakthrough call. 

I’ll help you identify your ideal clients, determine areas where you can add value, and teach you how to apply all these details in this post to your own business and with consistency. 

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