Know Your Service Process
Part Two in the Four-Part Series on How To Receive and Manage a Sudden Influx of New Clients
What you expect will happen influences what DOES happen, so expect a sudden influx of new business and plan NOW for what you need to do manage them. With this thought in mind, I’ve written a four-part series on how to receive and manage a sudden influx of new clients. This is Part Two: Know Your Service Process.
“Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: ‘Are you ready?’” –Johnny Carson
In last month’s newsletter I kicked off this series by challenging you to think about whether your business was prepared to manage an influx of clients. It’s been a whole month, so I hope you’ve started making preparations so you’ll be ready when the phone starts ringing off the hook.
This month, we’re going to delve a little deeper into your business and take a look at your service process. For those of you who just went “huh?”, you probably already have a service process in place but just never thought of it as a specific process before.
At its core, your “service process” is the way in which you perform your services, from your very first contact with the customer to your final follow up after the job has been completed. Everything in between is made of up the unique steps that make your service unique.
One way you can prepare your business for an influx of new clients is to hone your service process into a clear and efficient blueprint that will allow you to provide consistent, well-planned service to your clients.
Here are a few ways to improve your service process:
Most of us perform repetitive actions throughout out service process. For example, you may send a very similar follow-up email to each of your clients at the end of the month. Are you writing each email from scratch? If the answer is “yes”, then you’re expending a lot of unnecessary time.
Instead, consider creating a variety of email templates that apply to common situations you face. For example, I have created a template email welcoming new clients and listing the next steps we will take together. Of course, I personalize each email to fit the client, but the majority of the content stays the same, saving me a lot of time and effort.
What other ways can you automate your service process?
Write It Down
Many of you may believe that you’ve got your service process down pat. That is, until you forget to send out an invoice or can’t find which client bought which product.
Writing down the steps in your service process can take a huge burden off your shoulders and help you maintain a consistent level of service for every client. I found that creating checklists for different parts of my service process worked for me. Just like making a checklist before you pack for a big trip, my service process checklists help me ensure that I don’t forget to attach a freebie I promised a client or miss my follow up calls after a networking event.
Check For Missing Pieces
When you start thinking about your service process as a process, you may notice missing pieces. For instance, you may realize that your follow up process is inconsistent and many leads fall through the cracks. You may also realize that you’re spending an hour developing client A’s report each month but only half an hour on client B’s monthly report.
During your service process review, challenge yourself to think of improvements for each area. Could you add a tip sheet to your welcome email for new clients? Can you add all your clients’ phone numbers into your phone so you don’t have to keep looking them up?
Add any new insight to your process (by writing it down, of course), and you may be surprised at how much more smoothly your business runs.
Just by thoroughly reviewing and improving your service process, you’ll take a huge leap forward in preparing your business for an influx of clients. When they all start coming, you can depend on your automated systems, your checklists and your bulletproof process to keep you functioning at a high level without becoming overwhelmed.
Feeling a little lost, overwhelmed, or ready to take your business to the next level? Consider setting up a FREE Discovery Coaching Session to see how coaching can help you start getting better results now.