How often do you think about the service you are providing when a client exits your services?
I’m sure you’ve heard the advice on why its important to create a comprehensive on-boarding process, setting boundaries and highlighting what can be expected. Much of this will be automated providing an expression of a well-oiled machine that cares for their clients. And this is absolutely important; creating a first impression is essential.
But what about when a client leaves you? Whether from a natural end to a service (like a wedding day) or from a client deciding they no longer require what you offer. Creating a lasting impression is as important as a first impression.
I remember when I was a wedding planner it felt like I was on a conveyor belt with little time to breath with back-to-back weddings, so the commitment to off board a client was sometimes neglected. Months later I would suddenly think, I never did get images or a review. Is it any wonder when I essentially ghosted them after the wedding?
However with many CRM systems enabling you to automate part of this it needn’t become a chore nor time consuming. The off boarding process I recommend to clients isn’t a one and done process, therefore some of it is automated but some is from personal touches.
You want to leave your client with one final positive impression of you and your business. Off-boarding also enables you to put the final touches on a project, bring your contract to an official close, all while planting the seeds for a future relationship with the client.
Or if you prefer you can click below to watch my YouTube video.
A great off-boarding process delivers so much benefit back into your business, and makes it more likely that customer will buy again. Many of my wedding clients became party clients. Students of the UKAWP became members and purchased further training. Consultancy clients will come back to me on a yearly basis for a top up. It costs less to retain a customer then it does attract new ones. So it stands to reason we should continue nurturing clients when they exit.
In short I want clients to leave on a high and it’s important they feel special even when I’m essentially saying goodbye to them.
What are the essentials to include in the client off-boarding?
Highlight any monies owed, documents that need returning and details on closing client portals. If the client is leaving before a service has been delivered fully make sure you highlight what they need to do independently.
Document their journey
It can be easy to forget how far a client has come. So look back through any early communication or forms. Point out their wins or achievements; map the progress they have made. Highlight all that has been covered with them.
Remind them of the resources they already have if applicable plus links to new resources that might be helpful. Suggest further work they should do to continue making progress on their own
Keep in touch with your clients on social media by commenting on some of their posts and stories. Leave whattsapp voice notes or forward images when something reminds you of them. In short show that you have not forgotten them.
Tip: This is something you do around once every 1-3 months depending on what feels right. But only do if you want to and it feels authentic.
No-one shouts or praises us harder then a past client. So encourage them to do exactly this. Create a referral scheme for past clients, when I was a wedding planner I would send a bottle of champagne or a hamper to any clients that referred me, the value would depend on the value of my booking! So what can you offer to a past client if they refer someone to you?
⬇️ PIN IT FOR LATER ⬇️
Some clients come to the end of a service, but still need some support. Thus I have a maintenance package I only offer past clients so they can continue working with me on a more irregular basis.
Do you have another service you can offer the client to consider instead of leaving you completely?
Feedback, good, bad and indifferent
In order to grow as a business owner it is essential you know exactly where any gaps of efficiency are. So ask for feedback with just a few questions (I use google forms) plus send them a link for where you would like a review. Explain as a small business each and every review is important for your growth.
How do you off-board your clients?
I hope you have enjoyed this article, feel free to share your views with me on social media , have you joined my facebook group? Every Wednesday I go live at midday.
How to show up confidently on social media
Network with confidence