Unfortunately it may be a time when you find yourself losing clients. I hope not, I really do. I have lost some project work in lieu of the uncertainty and whilst I know it is temporary, it feels pretty rubbish.
So I talk alot about onboarding but what I also cover in my customer journey packages is consideration for how you offboard your clients.
To ensure a positive experience with your brand, offboarding must be as slick as onboarding so that the client life cycle can be maintained with positive reviews and with re-engagement activity. Because it takes a lot of time to win new business and re-retaining your clients who have already loved working with you is a no brainer.
So they need to be onboarded excellently, treated brilliantly and then offboarded smoothly.
A checklist for offboarding
These are the sort of things that you may need to consider when offboarding clients.
Archiving your personal files for that client.
Closing down online files that you share with a client.
Asking for and obtaining a review.
Obtaining thorough feedback through a questionnaire.
Obtaining thorough feedback from other stakeholders that you were engaged with, not just the individual who was your main contact.
Asking them to join your mailing list to keep in touch (possibly tag as a previous client so that you can target them specifically in the future.)
Follow them everywhere on social so that you can keep up with them.
Closing down / removing contacts from any project management software or communication channels.
Emailing the client with final dates and letting them know what is going to happen next (i.e. when files will be deleted as part of a data retention strategy.)
Asking permission to use photos / quotes etc. in marketing
Writing a case study
Scheduling follow up activity in your diary.
Scheduling follow up if there are relevant dates involved in your project with them.
And then, when you have worked all the things that you NEED to do and WANT to do, map this into interactions so that they are easy to manage for you, and professionally delivered to your clients.
What ad-hoc looks like
So instead of sending the final invoice, then following up two days later with a review request and then following up again in a week with a case study, educate your clients with a timeline of what is going to happen and when.
What process-driven looks like
Ask for a review with your final invoice, you have to send the invoice anyway and it makes asking for a review easier, as we are all notoriously bad at doing this. And on that same email, ask for their permission to write a case study (ideally you may ask for this permission at the beginning of working together so that you can collate the data as you go along).
Then you can let them know that it will take 2 weeks to write and you’ll check in with them to sign it off. In that same sign off email you can chase a review if you haven’t got it.
Do you see where I am going with all of this? Drive these interactions through a process so that:
You don’t forget anything;
You look like you know what you are doing;
You make light of your headspace;
You save time as you can just run through a checklist and tick these things off as you go;
It is the same every single time.
A process does not mean that it is automated and depersonalised. There are automations that you can fit into this sequence but this is about making sure that your admin is as slick as possible and that image is projected to your clients.
Anything that I have missed that you undertake as a part of offboarding in your business? Let me know - I hope that this helps out with a bit of ‘business as usual’ in times where business doesn’t seem to be as usual.
Also, I am currently running a competition to win one of two Process Power Hour sessions with me. A one hour recorded zoom call to bust through some customer journey process issues. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning - sign up here.