Effective client care systems equip you to serve your clients well without letting things fall through the cracks, but they do much more. Having these systems in place shows your clients you care enough to anticipate and manage the details of their experience with you!
From the moment a prospect first has contact with your sales team to their last conversation with your staff, each step of your client management journey matters. Your client’s overall perspective of your company will affect their testimonials, referrals, and their decision to work with your company again.
It is important to view your client’s journey as a complete experience; in order to create effective systems, however, it is helpful to break their journey down into three separate phases: intake, client management, and offboarding.
Your client intake process starts with your prospect’s first contact. This may happen via phone or Zoom, email, a contact form on your website, or (for some businesses) an in-person experience. It is essential that your company has effective systems in place to welcome prospects, record their information, answer any questions, and set initial expectations.
Throughout the intake process, setting expectations is vital. When prospective clients understand your process and feel comfortable that you have everything under control.
As your prospect moves through your intake process, your sales team’s goals will include understanding the prospect’s needs, answering their questions, and helping them decide if your company is the right choice for them.
Notice that their goal is not to sell your services to anyone and everyone, but to help the right clients understand how your team can best help them so they make the right choice. No company is the right choice for everyone, and when you choose to bring in clients who are not a good fit, the experience does not tend to go well for you or for your client.
In addition, how your Sales Team approaches the sales process will make a huge difference in how your prospects view your company and their experience with you. How you sell is a reflection of your culture; when your approach shows that you are committed to helping your client find the solution that is best for them, you are more likely to gain raving fans from the start.
Your client intake systems are the foundation of your prospect’s experience. They are what equip your team to be able to handle everything from timely processing of that first contact to setting clear expectation and answering any questions to handling paperwork and invoicing.
When you set a great first impression, your client is far more likely to build trust and strong relationships with your team – and far more likely to tell others about their great experience!
Once you have set a strong first impression, it is vital to keep this momentum going with effective processes throughout your client’s time with you. This starts with sending a welcome gift – SendOutCards.com is a great resource for cards and gifts!
From things like having good communication and handling paperwork efficiently to making it easy to pay invoices and documenting each task or contact, your client management systems set expectations and extend the great impression your client already has. Checklists and examples are fantastic resources to help your team stay on top of these tasks.
Part of your client management system will include the right CRM, or client relationship management platform. This will be the platform that holds all of your prospecting pipelines, documents each contact or task, and maintains all information your team will need in order to serve your clients with excellence.
Your client management systems will go far beyond your CRM, though. Setting clear Policies and Procedures for your team is necessary to mitigate both wasted energy and having to put out fires. When your team knows exactly how to work with each step of each process, they will be equipped to do their job productively and profitably.
Just as importantly, when your team is empowered to offer amazing service at each step in the client journey (and understands the reason behind why they should do so), you and your team will spend far less time putting out fires – because those fires won’t exist to begin with!
While your intake and client management systems are key to ensuring that your client has a great experience, your offboarding systems are important for gaining testimonials, referrals, and repeat business.
Testimonials are a very important part of your marketing, as they offer prospective clients an objective view as to what it is like to work with your company. However, they are also a great way to gain an honest evaluation of what your client’s experience was actually like.
This will help you refine your client care systems even more!
To ensure that obtaining testimonials doesn’t fall through the cracks, schedule them into your offboarding process. This can be done through an exit interview or evaluation call, an email request, or even an SMS service leading to a survey page – whatever works best for your company and clients.
This process shouldn’t be awkward or uncomfortable; it is simply part of the process.
In addition to gaining testimonials, make sure your clients understand how to refer their friends, family, and colleagues to you. Do you have a VIP Referral program? An email template they can use or business cards they can hand out? Do you have a process in place to follow up with your clients to stay in touch, should they know someone who needs your services in the future?
All of these are parts of a successful offboarding system – and they will make a huge difference in the growth and profitability of your business.
With solid client care systems in place, you and your team will be ready to scale!