Let’s talk service workflows. Do you have one laid out for your serviced based business or are you flying by the seat of your pants as you go? Today I want to chat about why a clearly defined client workflow is paramount to your service and how to write one by breaking down the working parts of your job into small action steps.
Whether your service is very copy paste for each client or much more custom in nature, having a framework for your plan of action is critical in creating a valuable experience for your clients. An unorganized service can be felt big time on the client end. Whether or not they can define where the weak spots are doesn’t matter. If they feel like they are kept in the dark or left in the dusk at any point of your service, trust will be lost. You can prevent that from happening by establishing workflows in your business!
So now you know why a client workflow is so important, let’s talk about how to actually write a workflow for your client experience.
To do this, I want you to actually break down your business into two parts: 1) The Inquiry to Onboarding Process and 2) Your Service.
Even though your client won’t ever see your Inquiry to Onboarding workflow, it is extremely important for this process to be a well-oiled machine. If not, you might not ever get to the actual Service Workflow part that we are talking about, right?!
The easiest way to get started with writing any kind of workflow is to do a little brain dump session. Give yourself some quiet and space and just start brain dumping every task in chronological order that you do for a given service in your business. I find it easiest to type it in a Word or Google Drive Document and put each new task on a separate line. That way if you realize you missed a step, you can easily plug it in where it fits chronologically.
Once you have a general outline of how your service flows, I want you to drill down. The more specific you can get for each line item, the better for your backend organization and for future hires to easily be able to figure out what you are talking about.
For example, let’s say you have the following 4 line items to start your Inquiry to Onborading workflow:
I would tell you that is a good start, but let’s drill down on the details to really streamline this process. For each of your line items, I want you to work on defining specific action items. Who is in charge of the task? Where do they pull the information from? Let’s look at how to revise the general outline to make it a clearly defined workflow: (pretend Megan is the biz owner and Emily is Megan’s assistant!)
Better! It isn’t mind-blowing stuff, but here’s the point: Even if you are a one-woman show right now, my guess is that you want to grow your business and inevitably that is going to require help. Look at the two workflows above. Both give you an overview of the steps you will take at each touch point, but the second answers any and all questions of what to say or who will take care of it.
You can drill down even further by attaching due dates to each task. How quickly should that first response to happen? By what time or date does the proposal need to go out?
Drilling down again, what will happen if those deadlines aren’t met? Would you send a follow-up email? Add these rules into your workflow.
Once you have built out into every touch point, you will have a clearly defined workflow!
To complete your Inquiry to Onboarding Workflow, follow the directions above to take a potential client that first hello through the booking process and to the first critical back-end steps you need to do once a client officially swipes their card (i.e. Send them a Welcome Packet, Order any Client Gifts you will send out throughout the experience, create any custom binders, folders, reports, or documents, and etc.).
Captured by Sarahdipity Photos
Good news: to write a service workflow, follow the same outlining and detail drill down steps from the Inquiry to Onboarding client workflow!
But this time you will want to note a couple important facts. The first is which tasks should be hidden from your client. (Invoice reminders, when to send client gifts, and etc.) You can highlight these tasks in a color of your choice so you can clearly see what your back-end business tasks are vs what will be happening on the front-end with your client.
The second is to assign tasks directly to the client! Many times you will need something from your clients in order to complete a task, so make it very clear where you need them to actively participate.
Once you have a detailed client workflow for your actual service, you can do a couple things. First, if you are using a CRM, you can easily build out a workflow template with all of your specific details and rules that can be applied to each new project. Second, you can create an on-brand and ready to print document for your clients to send to them right after their booking becomes official. You’ll look like the pro you are and they will have confidence in the work to come! Score!
Photography by Sarahdipity Photos
On to business. With 7 years experience in biz running a digital download shop, speaking at conferences, collaborating with dream brands, & booking 5 figure custom design clients, I share all that I've learned (and what I continue to learn!) about building a magnetic brand, effective marketing, and the science of conversion.
I promise to keep it real and relevant around here to help you make it happen... over a 4 count chicken mini meal. ;)
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