If you know me, you know I am a big believer in the power of systems in our business and how that makes room for our lives. From increasing efficiency and productivity to protecting the time of my clients, systems have changed the way I manage my business.
WHERE TO BEGIN
Starting can be the hardest part! Identifying where we most need systems in our business is the beginning of breathing easier.
For those of you just starting, I am here to tell you to resist the urge to wait and see. Building the systems when you have the time, will save you more time in the long run than you will ever know. But, at the end of the day, it comes down to cohesion. I want all of your systems to work together. So, the best place to start is actually the very first place you might get a lead.
Now, I don’t know if your business is like mine but I don’t get leads all in one place. In fact, I have people reach out to me via direct message, via email and phone, or directly to my website and book online. All of those are great methods, but this could take a lot of time if you were to write a response to each communication that comes your way.
Quick Exercise: Let’s make it simple. Write down everything you do for one week. At the end of the week, review all of your recurring tasks to help you identify the areas that will create the most impact. This may sound like a time-consuming task, but this will allow you to make changes and pivot to where you can make the most impact.
I have templates in my DM’s, on my email platform, in my client management platform and I will generally give my clients the same response if I did happen to get a phone call. That response would lead them to my general intake form on my website. After they complete that intake form they are automatically sent an email via my client management system that sends them a link to schedule their initial consultation via my online calendar.
I struggled with the idea of sending a link to my calendar because it would have access for people to see that I kept fairly standard office hours for phone calls and initial consultations and I was afraid that they would consider me as inflexible or too rigid. I went ahead and leaned full in, and implemented the links into all my standard email templates, and requested that current clients even bookmarked the page.
I realized that the urgency that I would assign to every person who reached out for a phone call was the urgency of my own.
Now that everybody has the ability to book appointments when it is best for their convenience, they actually don’t always book right away, they book anywhere from days to weeks later than I expected.
CREATING STANDARD HOURS
Along with developing this system came with developing standard hours. You will start to feel that when you develop systems it feels like a domino effect. You are not alone because that is the truth.
I began learning when I worked most efficiently, on my own to get client tasks done, complete administrative tasks, when I wanted to reserve for phone calls, zoom connections, and back in the good old days those coffee dates.
Through this, I realized when I am most productive and again serve my clients better. I now keep office hours Monday through Thursday at varying times so that everybody has an option that works for them and really those times also work best for me.
All of the fears that I had been putting on why I shouldn’t implement a system here really don’t exist.
WORKING IN REAL-TIME WITH CLIENTS
When I am working in real-time with clients, I do not have email templates because each client is so different, but I do have standard forms. I use standard forms on my client management platform to help be more efficient with my time.
Again, this is another opportunity to cut down the back and forth and get to the meat of why we are working together and I truly enjoy that because we get to the work quickly and they get to thinking about all of the things that they may have forgotten to tell me. It’s a win-win!
Now, when I deliver a document to them upon completion, I send it to them via email. I will attach the document itself, let them know what I have completed, give them some details that are specific to them, then include an email signature. This lets them know that after they have had a chance to review the document, they are able to schedule a call through my calendar or send me an email so that we can wrap it up for them.
I find that this is a good way to remind them how to get in touch with me and let them know that it doesn’t just have to be through email. There is still that personal connection, where we can walk through it over the phone if that will make them more confident in the agreement that they will likely be integrating into their business.
MY NO TEXTING POLICY
Before we put a bow on my entire client experience overview, I want to mention that I also observe a no texting policy that I have with my clients. I do this for many reasons.
First off, it is to make sure that I have clear records of everything that I am working on with my clients. I want to make sure that I do not have any missed communications or forget to respond.
My clients are my priority during my business hours day and I am in my inbox so that I can respond on a timely basis and then store all of our communications. To ensure that I maintain that policy, I actually have a templated response in my text messages that reminds them that the best way to reach out to me is actually via email and they will know that when I am back in the office or am available during work hours, they will have a response from me.
CLIENT FOLLOW UP
One of my favorite things that I do with my clients is my client’s follow-up. In each of my client workflows, I follow-up with them on anywhere between one week and one month after our final wrap up. This allows me to check-in and makes sure that they are confidently implementing their agreement into their business or that they do see resolve on the issue that we were handling.
I love this piece because it is that final outreach and an assurance that they know I am still thinking about them because I truly am. I also enjoy hearing that final response from them and I think that they like the peace of mind that I still have their back.
That is a full look of my client system from start to finish, of course, this was a focus more on my hourly clients, but I do have my legal membership, which I would love to dive into with you guys on a later date.
Building systems are such a gift and I believe it is not just a gift to myself but also to my clients because when I feared they wouldn’t see the urgency, they now see the systems, and they see that they have control to book on their time, which I love!
Until next time, join us in our private Facebook group as we will be talking more about this very topic right now!