Last week we went on vacation and stayed in a cabin in Tennessee. I was happy when I saw they had smart TVs, which means I could sign into my apps and watch what we wanted during the little bit of time we were not exploring the mountains. Getting the 3 TVs set up took me a couple of days and I consider myself super tech-savvy. It was easy, just annoying.
So why did it take me a couple of days? Each provider had a different login process. Some are simplified, some are not. For those that are not, it goes something like this. “Enter your email.” Four clicks to the right, one down, enter. Me: “OK, one letter of my email down and 14 more to go!” Luckily for them, I’m already paying them. If I were signing up at that point, I probably would have dropped off; it was not a priority for me.
When a process to get more information or to signup feels like a long, overly complicated task, prospective clients can decide it’s easier to say never mind. This can happen when there are a lot of emails back and forth, when there are things to print and send back, or when you feel like you are being asked a lot of questions that may not be needed at that time.
When we are running a small business, these are things that we need to pay attention to and resolve for our clients and prospective clients. That may mean setting up a customer relations management system, data collection processes, and integrations.
It’s worth the time to create client-centric processes. When their initial experience, and each that follows after, is smooth, they don’t feel like they are doing extra work. They know that their time matters to you. They know you are a professional.
They should never have to enter their details for you over and over again. They should not have to keep track of emails to ensure that you have all the information you need. And in this digital age, most will not want to print and fill, then take a picture of it to send it back by email.
But the benefit is not just for them! When you set up your processes to be smooth sailing for your clients, it can turn into a hands-off, automated process for you!
Imagine this: You decide on a form company to collect their registration information for your services. They enter their details, use the electronic signature, and submit a payment electronically.
Most form companies have email notifications to follow the submission. When you set this up, it’s easy to send them an acknowledgment of what they entered. If they allow for more than one notification to the client, I suggest setting up a second with the next steps. Do you need them to fill out a discovery form or get a reference from someone else? You can include a link to the next step in that second email. If they do not offer multiple emails, and you can fit it all in one, but keeping the purpose of the emails clear in the subject line will help them take the next step.
I hope that gives you some motivation for getting your processes in order. Keep an eye out for my next blog.