When you receive a new lead in your inbox, does it inspire you to jump for joy or want to run to your bed and hide under the covers?
If you don’t have streamlined systems and documented processes in your business, any new lead or client may strike fear into your heart.
Pieces of your workflows are in your Project Management Tool, Google drive, scraps of paper around your desk, and (mostly) in your head.
How ah-mazing would it be to have your Virtual Assistant take the Client Management pieces (i.e. onboarding, scheduling, offboarding) off of your plate so you can spend your time doing more of what you love in business?
Dream come true, right??
If you’re not super familiar with what an SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure) is, in a nutshell, it is a step-by-step guide or roadmap to completing a specific task or process.
Want a deeper dive to find out why I’m so obsessed with SOPs? Check out this post where I explain why every single business needs SOPs–even solopreneurs.
There are four SOPs that every service-based business needs to have in place in order to move clients through their project life cycle efficiently and consistently, resulting in one-of-a-kind client experiences and referrals coming out of the woodwork.
This is the process that takes place when a prospective client decides they want to book a call with you.
Scheduler / Lead Capture Form – This is where the prospective client visits your website (or access the link via DM, etc.) and is able to book an initial Discovery Call and provides you more information regarding their business, current pain points, and how they found you.
As an example, you can take a look at my scheduler + lead capture form HERE.
TIP: Dubsado is my favorite tool and I use it in my business and in my clients’ businesses to automate as much of the lead capture workflow as possible.
Discovery Call – Make sure your reminder email includes your Zoom link or details on how the call will take place if you will be meeting over the phone.
Proposal / Invoice / Contract – If you decide you would like to move forward with the client, you will now send out a proposal, invoice, and contract to make it official. In order to avoid sending multiple emails to your client, use a tool like Dubsado to send all of the pieces together.It’s important to note in your SOP which of the above tasks are automated via Dubsado (or a similar tool) or completed manually. If any tasks are manual, be sure to note who is responsible for completing them.
This part of the process takes place after the agreement is signed and initial invoice is paid.
Welcome Packet – Once it’s official, be sure to make your new client feel, well, welcome by sending them a Welcome Packet.
Where can your team members locate the Welcome Packet? Does it need to be customized for each client? Is there a canned email to send along with Welcome Packet?
Intake Questionnaire – The client intake questionnaire should include all of the questions that you need for your client to answer in order to complete the job in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Will you send the questionnaire along with the Welcome Packet, include it in a client portal, or send it in a separate email?
Kickoff Call – Set up your first official call with your new client by using a scheduler to avoid back-and-forth emails. Be sure to include details on what to expect during the call within your automated confirmation email.
Where is the link to the scheduler? When will it be sent and by whom? Is there a canned email to accompany the scheduler?
Welcome Gift – A thoughtful gift or hand-written card can be a great personal touch round out your client onboarding experience.
Make sure to include gift purchasing & sending guidelines in your onboarding SOP (i.e. who will purchase the gift, what credit card to use, how will they access the client shipping address, etc.).You can find a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough of how to Onboard New Clients like a Pro in one of my most value-packed blog posts to date!
This part of the client workflow will take place as soon as the project has concluded or if you’re working with more long-term clients, after they’ve seen some success as a result of working with you.
Your SOP needs to include all client testimonial gathering + organization details like:
Timing – When will the testimonial request be sent to the client and by whom?
Form – Where to locate the testimonial request and how to send (i.e. Dubsado vs. regular email)
Follow up – How long will you wait to follow-up on your requested testimonial if the client hasn’t submitted their testimonial and needs a gentle reminder?
Organization – Once the testimonial is received, who will be responsible for processing?
TIP: When working in my clients’ businesses, I always set up a testimonial database, categorized by program or service so that we have a centralized location for all testimonials for easy reference when creating promotional materials or social media posts.
All good things must come to an end! During this point of the process, you want to leave your client with a smile on their face and an open door to future communication and referrals.
Your SOP for this process should include all of the offboarding “housekeeping” items in order to wrap up your project in the most efficient way possible.
Final Deliverables – Detail out how you will share any final deliverables to wrap up the project and who will be responsible for ensuring that this vital step happens.
Software Access – Did the client provide access to software or their Google Drive files? This is the part where you remove their login info from your LastPass and transfer ownership to any files you might have created along the way.
“See ya later” (but not goodbye) – Send your client a final “See ya later” email, letting them know what has been done to offboard them (i.e. deleting passwords, etc.) and letting them know if there are any actions they need to take on their end. Let them know what to expect going forward.
TIP: It’s always a great idea to add past clients to a “checking in” email list. Follow up with previous clients to see how things are going every quarter. This will help keep you top of mind, as you never know when they might need additional support in their business or want to send a referral your way.
Archive Client Project – When all internal steps have been completed, archive your client’s project in Dubsado and your Project Management tool. This will ensure files and backend systems remain streamlined and organized.
There you have it! The four most important SOPs to have in place in order to outsource your client management workflows.
These SOPs will allow you to not only spend less time managing clients, but will also create consistency in your client experience that will ultimately lead to thrilled clients who sing your praises to their networks.
*Some of the above links are affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission if you sign up through my link. I only recommend products that I use and love in my own business.