Do you have a standard way of informing new clients about your business and the service they can expect? Setting client expectations from the beginning can help to avoid misunderstandings later on.
Having a Welcome Pack helps to set the tone for your business relationship.
To create your welcome pack, make up a folder that includes:
- Information about your business and who your clients will predominantly be dealing with.
- Standard work arrangements, for example, how long it takes to return a missed call or respond to emails.
- Your terms and conditions, even though you probably included them with your proposal or quote.
- A tasteful amount of ‘non-salesy’ information, overviewing the full range of your services.
Take the opportunity when your client first comes on board to find out about their business, their plans and goals, their communication preferences and their background level of knowledge.
To gather this information, design a form to capture it in a standardised manner. If you normally have an initial conversation, I’m not suggesting that your conversation becomes a survey; rather, the form is simply to remind you of the points you need to discuss.
This early information will help you tailor your work style to your client’s experience. For example, if the client isn’t tech savvy, you’ll either need to invest time teaching them how to use DropBox or meet their requirements in a different way.
Want more articles like this? Check out the processes section.
Checklists and information sheets
Design a checklist to remind clients of what they need to send to you, and when. A checklist would be ideal for, say, a bookkeeper who has taken on a beginner business owner who doesn’t know exactly what they need to do/send.
In this situation the bookkeeper could go one step further and provide suggestions about how their client can manage their records or file receipts so that they don’t get lost.
Even if your clients aren’t absolute beginners, information sheets can still be useful. Remember, just because you’ve included information on your website, don’t assume your clients have actually read it.
Do you have important dates throughout the year that your clients need reminding about? Things such as BAS deadlines, application closing dates and renewals can be easily forgotten. Send reminders via the most appropriate channel so you don’t have a mad rush closer to the deadline. Your clients may not thank you for it, but they will be grateful. They don’t appreciate the last minute rush either!
Whether it is a card for your client’s birthday or a gift for the anniversary of their association with your business, these surprises can make a big impact. Put these dates onto a spreadsheet or in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. You’ll be on top of those important dates and your clients will feel the love.
By making the lives of your clients easier you’ll also be making your job easier. Isn’t that what we all want?
What sort of small business systems have you implemented that benefit your clients?