Equal investment in all customers.
I’ve been running Marketing For Therapists since 2015. Over that time, I’ve noticed that most of my clients require little to no time other than the time I spend setting up and managing their account (let’s call them “quiet clients.”) However, a portion of my clients will send me a large number of special requests – asking for frequent analysis of account performance, ongoing changes to their accounts, and a variety of other tasks (let’s call them “chatty clients.”)
When I first started out, I was able to provide the highest quality of care to all clients – the quiet clients still received careful attention to their account, and I spent whatever time was needed to respond to chatty clients. However, as Marketing For Therapists has grown, I found myself struggling to provide all clients with an equal quality of service. After I took the time to respond to all of the special requests and questions, there simply wasn’t much time left to thoughtfully and diligently monitor and optimize other client accounts.
So I found myself cutting corners in three directions – quiet clients received less time and attention on their accounts than they deserved, whereas chatty clients often had to wait longer to receive answers, and I began to cut back on investment in areas that were important in my personal life – choosing to spend time catching up on email rather than invest in self-care, relationships, or meaningful self-chosen projects. While things never reached a breaking point (client accounts still had great performance, the emails always got answered eventually and I still made some time for myself), I could see that I was headed in an unsustainable direction, and needed to make a change.
As a result, I instituted a “Customer results, not customer service” policy. Simply put, customer service is included only in certain cases, wheras all other requests require an additional fee. Please bear with me – once I finish explaining I think you’ll find this works just fine for most people 🙂 I will explain the policy separately as it pertains to customer service via email and phone, and also as it pertains to revisions and refunds.
There are certain cases in which customer service is 100% free. Those scenarios are:
- If something is wrong (you haven’t received any referrals from AdWords after it’s been running for a few weeks, you notice a typo in an ad, your website changed and so an ad is landing on an outdated page, etc.)
- If something has changed in your business that requires your AdWords account to be updated (for instance, you move office locations and need to change your location targeting.)
- If you want to pause or unpause your account, or if you want to change your account budget.
- If you have questions about your monthly account performance update.
- If your account is stil under construction and you are providing information to help me build it.
- If you are a prospective client inquiring about a service, or a current client asking about a new service.
- If you have a tiny request that will take three minutes or less
These above categories cover 95% of all requests that I receive from my quiet clients, so unless you anticipate you will have a lot of special requests, you should never or very rarely need to pay additional cost for customer service. In addition, most requests that are outside these boundaries are actually not that helpful to your account performance – very few of the custom changes that clients have requested for their accounts have yielded significant benefit (because if there was a change that would significantly improve your performance, I would already have done it!)
All other requests are billed at my standard hourly rate of $180, with a minimum time per request of 20 minutes (ie, you will pay at least $60.) I will bill for each topic/task all together, even if it’s spread over multiple emails, which means that if it takes me three emails to conclude a request and I spend ten minutes on each email, your total cost would be $90 (for 30 minutes) and not $180 (for three $60 minute minimum payments.)
Please note that these rules apply whether or not you have signed up for a monthly management package. This allows me to focus my management time on managing the accounts rather than being pulled away from account management to answer emails.
Many prospective and current clients appreciate being able to speak with me over the phone. Often a fifteen minute phone call can be much more productive than an hour of back-and-forth emails, and it can also be reassuring to know that I am a real person before you decide to trust your marketing efforts to me 🙂
However, congruent with my “equal investment” principle, I want to give the same amount of TLC to all clients, not give more attention to clients that request calls.
Therefore, I’ve instituted a simple phone policy. If you would like to speak to me via phone, I charge my standard hourly rate of $180/hr, with a minimum payment of $60 which is due prior to the call (and the remainder billed after, if we go over 20 minutes.) If you are a prospective client, 100% of the amount you pay for the phone call is applied as a credit to any future projects you hire me for.
Of course, I understand that you might be uncomfortable with paying $60 if your main goal is to verify that I’m a real person. So I do offer a free phone call option for prospective clients, but that is limited to a single question – I feel that’s enough to show that I’m real and verify my expertise.
With both Adwords and content writing, your setup package includes one revision (such as changing ad text or rewriting a paragraph of your content). For all revisions past the first, we bill at the standard rate of $180/hr, with a minimum payment of $90.
Of course, if we made a mistake, then we will fix it no charge. This revision policy only covers situations in which you want a change to good quality work that fit the specifications you provided.
While most of my clients receive very positive results from my marketing efforts, I cannot guarantee success. As a result, I cannot offer refunds in situations where I provided good quality work that fit the specifications you provided. Therefore, you should carefully consider if you can afford to risk your AdWords investment, and only hire me if you are prepared for the possibility of losing the money you invest.
However, there are three situations in which I do offer refunds.
- If a significant mistake was made, I will fix it at no charge, or provide a refund.
- If the work I have done for you is not yet complete and you decide to cancel your order, I will refund a pro-rated amount based on how much I have completed.
- If I have not completed a project more than a week after the timeframe I quoted you, you may cancel the order and receive a full refund (even if I have completed a portion of it.)
While I understand that this policy might feel restrictive, it is designed to make sure that all clients get the best possible service and the best possible results. There are other marketing providers who will be more generous in their customer service, and if constant communication or frequent requests are important to you, then I may not be the best fit for you. However, my hope is that – just as setting boundaries around the therapeutic relationship leads to better outcomes for clients – you will find that these policies yield results that you are very excited about.