“Customer experience is the last source of sustainable differentiation and the new competitive battleground.” – Tiffani Bova, Gartner Vice President
Having an organized client workflow for your customers is a key element to your business’s success. Investing your resources into building a consistent, automated experience can have an impressive return back into your business through referrals, return customers, feedback and loyalty.
What is “Client Workflow”?
A common misunderstanding is that your client workflow (or “client experience”) is mostly customer service. While it is a core component, there are three other components as well that can lead you to success. All four contribute to a successful customer experience in all three stages of your client/customer’s buying process.
Ultimately, your Client Experience is all of the contributing, linked events to your future, current or previous customer experiences with you and your business. It isn’t just when they’re buying. It begins from the moment they notice you to the moment they decide not to buy from you again.
The Three Stages of Your Client Workflow
This is your marketing phase. Your client experience begins well before your client actually becomes your client. This is where you’re positioning yourself as a pro, building authority and selling the epic client experience you’re going to offer when they finally commit. Here, you want to make sure the information you’re sharing is accessible and easy to learn more about.
purchase & delivery
This stage is most often attributed to the Client Workflow. Here is where you’re showing up to make sure you deliver on your promise. But it starts with the purchase process. When someone buys, you want it to be:
- Easy for your clients to give you their money
- Easy for you to receive their money
- Quick to deliver something once they pay to mitigate buyer’s remorse. This could be through homework, instant access, or a simple confirmation email with the next steps
And then, you want delivery to be seamless. Streamlining as much of this stage as possible frees up your capacity to show up in any extra support capacity or focused on getting new clients. That means having recurring tasks planned and scheduled or automated where possible, having templates ready to use, etc.
Your client workflow isn’t done when you wrap up a project or deliver a product. Making sure that you offboard your clients strategically and prepare them to become your biggest brand ambassadors is critical for long-term success. Build systems to maintain relationships, ask for referrals and share opening and often about upcoming products or services that can further benefit them.
The Four Influencing Components of Client Workflow To Be Strategic About
Your Brand Identity is one of the four key components to your client experience. Having a consistent brand throughout the entire buying AND relationship-building processes does a few things:
- builds trust and credibility
- creates the perception of professionalism and legitimacy
- reduces confusion at all stages of the experience
- increases brand recognition and ultimately brand loyalty
If your branding isn’t top-notch, that’s okay! The first step is to be consistent and for your brand identity to be present throughout your entire pre-purchase, purchase, delivery and post-purchase experiences. That said, if you need help positioning yourself like a pro and building those assets into your client experience, we’ve got you.
We talked a bit about marketing in the 3 stages section (specifically the pre-purchase stage), but the reality is that your marketing is important throughout the entire experience. As your clients (or future clients) see you sharing social proof, giving behind the scenes, communicating the value of your products and services, that support them in their buying behaviour and beyond.
Make sure that whatever you’re putting out there has a goal in mind. It’s okay if you’re not always adding a Call to Action or selling something, but make sure that all of your content is ultimately leading to the end goal — selling (whether it’s selling for the first time or selling to a repeat client).
Communication is the number one factor for a good client workflow. Whether you have everything else pulled together, being responsive and having open communication channels with your clients is key.
It’s easy to think of a client as a “bad client”, especially if things are going wrong or not staying on track. The truth is, however, if you flipped your perspective around and looked at what YOU could do to make sure this “bad client” doesn’t happen again, chances are it will come down to communication.
Some ways to boost your communication are:
- Set reminders for regular updates
- Include regular calls into your packages
- Hire support in customer service for quick response to emails
- Setup an acknowledgement email when emails are received even if you can’t respond right away
- Use a team collaboration tool for your clients like Slack or a messaging app like Voxer to simplify communication and increase accessibility
When you’re intentional about the steps that your clients take to start working with you, to receive your services and to buy from you again, your goals are met more often. Mapping out your workflows, having clear Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and being prepared with assets not only creates a positive experience for your clients but also:
- frees up your time from creating invoices and rewriting contracts to actually focus your energy on your clients
- gives you back control of your business, being organized and having clear SOPs defined in case you ever want to scale or hire on for support
- brings confidence that every client you work with is getting the SAME experience (one that is well thought out and designed for long-term relationships)
This all means that there’s a lot to think about when building your Client Workflow plan. No kidding – considering it involves your marketing plan, branding strategy, sales strategy, and business operations! While it may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you with that, so use us. Apply today for a Rebel Office Work Party and check off “Elevated Client Experience” for us to spend a full day mapping out an intentional Client Experience Plan, building the assets and integrating all the systems so you’re ready to blow your clients’ minds after 5 hours together.
It’ll be worth it. Literally. Money-back in your pocket. To make our point…
The Perks of an Elevated Client Workflow
- 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience. (Source)
- 95% of consumers share bad experiences with other people. (Source)
- Highly engaged customers buy 90 percent more often and spend 60 percent more per transaction. (Source)
- Increasing customer retention by just 5% can boost profits by 25-95% (OMG, WHAT?!) (Source)
- 91% of people who are non-complainers simply leave. (Source)
Customers who are members of loyalty programs, such as frequent flier clubs, generate between 12 and 18 percent more revenue than non-members. (Source)
65% of companies are able to successfully upsell or cross-sell to existing customers. (Source)
- 30% of people share positive experiences on social media. (Source)
Has it sunk in yet? Investing in your own client’s workflows with your business can not only help you keep control over their perceptions of you throughout the process, but it can help you optimize your current and future customer base! Start making more money without putting in more work.
Our big pitch as a business is that by simplifying your approach, streamlining your business processes and taking the time to build a solid client experience plan, you are able to actually reduce stress and repetitive business tasks in your life while improving your customer’s lives as well – AND increasing referrals while you’re at it (i.e. getting more business – woohoo!).
If you’re interested in starting that process and taking your business to the next level, apply today for a Rebel Office Work Party and let’s build the workflows, assets and strategies to get your clients not only spreading the word but coming back for more themselves!