The thought of having to sit down and fine-tooth-comb through your current client process, or even map out a new one, can be extremely overwhelming.
I mean, thinking of every possible way to work with a client takes a ton of brainpower.
But without a clearly defined process, running your business can become “busyness” real quick. Trying to remember what system you used to send contracts, which scheduling platform you switched to, and what form to send to which client gets tiring, friend.
I’m writing this post to hopefully take the “blah” feeling out of client process mapping – It’s just one of those things we have to do as service providers. By the end of this post, you should have the information you need to get the job done. And if you don’t, well I’ll need to work on my explaining skills.
We’ll start with a few perks of having your client process mapped out before you begin working with your clients.
- You’ll be able to deliver consistent experiences.
- Clients know what to expect before they begin working with you.
- Your process can be set on autopilot with a CRM system like Dubsado or Honeybook, so you don’t have to do as much busywork.
Sounds good? Great! Now let’s move on to the how-to part.
It’s a good idea to have the details of your service near you. Knowing what you’ll be offering to each client can help you determine how you should go about your client process.
Step 1: Lead Capture
How can your clients reach out to you about booking a service? Can they DM you, email you, fill out a form on your site, call you? Whatever the preferred method of contact is, use that and make it easily accessible on your website and social media platforms.
Pro tip: keep your personal boundaries in mind when choosing how to go about the lead capture portion. I have a few ways clients can reach me: DM, email, and the contact/lead capture forms on my site. Each of those initial contact points usually ends with me answering a quick question or directing them to complete a form to help me understand their needs.
Think about the information you’ll need from your leads before they book a service with you. Of course, you’ll need basic information like their name and email address, but what additional questions can you ask them upfront to help you understand what they’re looking to accomplish by working with you?
Check out my lead capture form below as an example. Before I send out a link for clients to book a discovery call with me, I make sure to ask what they’re looking for, what their business offers, how they heard about me, and if they’re ready to get started with the service, or if they just want more information.
After you “capture” a lead and they’re ready to work or need more information, what’s next? Will they book a discovery call, receive their contract, or pay an invoice?
Step 2: Onboarding or Not a Good Fit
I’m sure you know that every client who sends you a DM or fills out a lead capture form won’t be a good fit – it happens.
Having a process for “not a good fit” clients is important. Making sure to send them an email explaining why your service may not fit their needs and a few recommendations for other resources or service providers can go a long way. They may not be a good fit now, but they could be a great fit later or know someone else who may benefit from your services, so how you treat them really matters!
For the clients that are ready to work with you: after they secure their spot by signing a contract and/or paying an invoice, what comes after that?
Do they get a welcome email or guide explaining what their next steps are? Will they book an onboarding call with you or do they need to complete homework?
Clearly defining the onboarding process is crucial! Giving your clients what they need to know before they ask keeps you from going back and forth with them about what to do. After my clients have approved their proposal, signed their contract, and paid their deposit, I consider them “ready to work” and I like to send them a welcome email with a login to their client portal, their homework, and a link to book their onboarding workshop.
Pro tip: Give your clients instructions in small doses. If you have a lot of steps in your overall client process, telling them the details of every little thing can be overwhelming, so making sure they complete one thing before telling them to do another thing can be beneficial.
Be thorough in your onboarding process. This step usually requires the most “work” from your clients, so give them plenty of time to complete forms, schedule appointments and ask any additional questions before starting your part.
Pro-tip number 2 – as you can see, I’m full of pro tips: Nurture your clients throughout this process. Send them reminder emails (you can write these beforehand), small gift cards, and check in with them frequently.
My workshops last for about 90 minutes, so as a token of appreciation – and an excuse to snack during meetings, I send my clients DoorDash or Starbucks gift cards to order dinner or grab a coffee before we meet.
Step 3: Service Fulfillment
Whew, if you’ve made it this far, I’m honestly thrilled, lol, because this post is prettyyyy long– but it’s packed with the goods.
Moving along, service fulfillment is your time to shine. So mapping out the things you need to complete for your clients in a task management platform like ClickUp, Asana, Monday, or Dubsado can help you track your progress – which comes in handy, especially when you’re working on multiple client projects at once.
While I’m working on setting up my clients’ systems, I give them access to my task board (located inside of their personal Dubsado portal) so they can see what I’ve accomplished. I also sprinkle some affiliate links in there – because why not?
Pro tip: Try not to leave your clients high and dry during this time. Service fulfillment can be a lengthy process if you do projects like web design, copywriting, system setups, marketing strategy, etc. so sending weekly updates on your progress and additional nurturing content can be a great way to reassure your clients.
Try sending your clients tips, education, or resources you’ve invested in and recommendations on what they can do while you work on their project. Make sure it’s relevant and necessary and not-so-salesy sounding, though. Remember, the goal is to nurture them with tips and recommendations that will help them.
Step 4: Off-boarding
We’re slowly but surely making our way to the end of this post.
After you’ve completed the service, how will you deliver the final product to your clients? Sending them a simple email, a folder or vault with access to tutorial videos, a link to access their final product, a calendar to schedule their final meeting, etc. is usually all there is to it.
Pro tip: this is a great time to send a testimonial form and/or referral program sign-up information. Let your clients know that you’re grateful for the opportunity to work with them by sending them a thank you card or a short email. Also, tell them if there’s any way they can work with you in the future for services like website updates, system updates, retainer services, etc.
Now, if you’re thinking, “how the heck do you do all of that for every single client?”
My CRM (Client Relationship Management) platform, Dubsado, does most of the work for me. I put in the grunt work to build it out, so most of my client process is automated, pre-written/recorded, and consistent for each person I work with. If you’re looking for help streamlining more than just your client process, check out my Online Business Management services here.
That’s all my friend. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or leave a comment below.
Thanks again for tuning in to my “TED type” – get it? “Type” instead of “talk.” Okay, you’ve read enough, lol.
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