In my last post, I introduced the many benefits of the Client Journey Map and how it could double your income. Hopefully, I’ve piqued your curiosity, and you’re already thinking about how you could design and implement this in your business. This post is about giving you the framework around the Client Journey Workflows that support your business. One of the other reasons this process is so valuable is that it allows you to dig deep into your outbound communications. Great service is all about the little details and ensures that doing business is done with ease, concise with high personalization, and always moving one step ahead of the client. This is your chance to gather all the client preferences as you listen in to their responses, giving you the advantage to anticipate their needs and set the priorities to deliver a memorable client experience.
The real result here is that you can truly streamline your business by getting rid of the clutter, disjointed steps, tools that don’t meet your needs and make your business run smoothly. Remember, the more touchpoints Customer Journey has, the more complex it is to manage.
I’m going to show you now are 5 easy steps to follow and create the workflow of a Customer Journey, going back to the basics related to service delivery.
1. PRE-PLANNING YOUR CLIENT JOURNEY WORKFLOW
The Planning phase is first and can be as easy as pen and paper with boxes or graphically through Google Slides, graphic creation with Canva or flowchart creation with Whimsical. Or even a numbered list. Give yourself a day to review everything you do for complete service delivery in your business. Believe me; it’s not as easy as you think because a lot of your process is in your head and built on reflex. You’ve probably never even written it down. You’ll do this process for each one of your services if you offer multiple services/packages.
Overall Business Review: Start first with thinking about your business and the service you deliver. What’s working well and what feels clunky is a total frustration because it’s a sticking point. Are there deadlines that are constantly flexing or being missed altogether? Where are you spending too much time?
Sales Process: Is your pipeline full of inquiries with a steady flow of clients being onboarded into your business? Have you gathered feedback from every client to better understand their overall experience of working with you? Do you have a collection of testimonials to use in your business?
Service Delivery: Is the process of onboarding your client smooth and seamless? Do you have complete business records and documents? Do you get paid on time? Are you dealing with clients that are unhappy with certain aspects of the experience?
2. TOUCHPOINTS AND ESSENTIALS THAT MAKE A BRILLIANT WORKFLOW
A well thought out Client Journey inside client service covers all the touchpoints and is based on a system of:
As you’re thinking about the workflow of how your service is delivered, the helpful question is, “What happens next?”
Here’s an example of what a fully completed Client Journey Workflow looks like for one service:
3. MAPPING THE FULL CLIENT JOURNEY
Every business tends to have specific phases of the Client Journey that can be easily used to organize the steps, as shown in the example above:
With each phase, write down every step that happens along the way and colour code as you organize and categorize what needs to happen next.
You can use something like:
BLUE: marks the beginning of the phase
GREEN: action step (like an email, form, etc.)
YELLOW: pause workflow / wait for a response
RED: action task, before next step can occur
ORANGE: end of the workflow
4. BUILDING & IMPLEMENTATION
Now that you’ve made it through the full planning phase, it’s now time for development and implementation using online tools to help automate the process.
I’m a fan of tools that can multitask inside a business. A one-stop shop where you can create an entire process with just a few apps. It reduces the margin for error, and there are certainly fewer headaches and stress to managing all the details.
These are just a few of the all-in-one tools that can help you run your online business with smooth automation and includes online scheduling, invoicing and payment processing, forms and contracts, as well as basic bookkeeping functions, and some have a private client portal with Zoom integration. Also, you can use Zapier to integrate and sync with other tools (project management, customer service, email marketing, etc.) in your business. The use of smart fields makes personalization easy.
5. FOREVER MAINTAIN AND REFINE
After the complete set-up, testing and implementation, be sure to set a regular time to review your Client Journey Workflow. As your business grows and evolves, you’ll begin to refine the workflow, systems and processes. Don’t become complacent about this step; it’s just as important as an annual financial review to ensure that you’re not leaving any money on the table. Never underestimate the power and competitive advantage that brilliant service delivery brings. Leave your clients happy, satisfied, eager to work with you and always telling everyone they know to do the same.
There you have it! I hope this post has inspired you to create your own Client Journey Map and implement a workflow that will make business easier. I’m confident that with this system in place, your business will have no other place to go but up.
Disclosure Notice: This post contains affiliate links to products and services. If you click on the link and decide to purchase through this dedicated link, I will receive a small commission. It’s never about the money but always about recommending tools that I have either personally used in my business or have found to be of quality and make business more efficient.
Would you love to have your clients beautifully supported in concert with your business values and vision? Our partnership can create a plan to care for your clients, grow your business while balancing your business activities so you can shift your focus to creating a freedom-based lifestyle. Get in touch to schedule a complimentary consultation with me today.
It’s crystal clear that I’ve been an entrepreneur at heart for most of my life. Looking back, I can see all the moments in my education and employee life that have nudged me toward it. The constant narrowing of my eyes seeking every opportunity to find better ways to be more efficient, productive and maximize the bottom line. Always thinking differently. The “go-big-or-go-home” creative drive when planning events and launches.
I know, without a doubt, that I drove one or two of my co-workers to the brink. They were stuck in the land of “that’s the way we always do it”. I wanted to push out of that comfort zone with new and better methods.
It wasn’t until I hung my own shingle out that I finally accepted my thirst for innovation. I embraced my natural intuitiveness and progressive vision. I came to understand that in my chest beats the heart of an entrepreneur.
As I’ve travelled this path and accepted myself, I’ve also discovered a few mindsets, behaviours and habits that I needed to let go of and a few more that I needed to take hold:
I’ve come to understand that mindset work is a daily programme of maintenance in the arena of business.
Here’s how I successfully made the transition and changed my mindset from employee to Entrepreneur:
In the corporate world, I couldn’t leave my desk for too long or work remotely for fear of looking like I was slacking. I rarely took a day off or a sick day because it would affect my employee standing. I left behind the strict, time-punching schedule I spent so many years perfecting. I’ve finally embraced the critical importance of wellness and balance over wearing some sad badge of honour dragging myself to my desk to put in a few more hours to look good. I’m of no use to my clients if I don’t take care of myself.
As an employee, I had very little wriggle room to say no. I signed on to a job description that someone else created and was expected to complete it all, no matter where my talents lay and even those ‘other tasks as assigned’. It was unthinkable that I would decline in any situation unless it was unethical or illegal. I carried this thinking right into my first year of business with my second client before I realized I was performing a disservice to my client. Saying yes to everything and responding to emails at all hours set the stage for frustration, miscommunication and unreasonable expectations.
When I began my business, I used to have this overarching anxiety to persist to perfection. As an entrepreneur, there are few places to hide imperfection. What’s more important is accountability and integrity. Keeping my word and taking the opportunity to acknowledge and fix an error is the best value I can offer my clients.
Leaving the corporate world allowed me to shed the chameleon skin I wore in my work life to constantly fit in or be more acceptable. I no longer had to be the same, but better, and could finally escape the constant competition amongst the employee culture. As an entrepreneur, I have the opportunity to shape my business to authentically reflect the person I am with the experiences and values I’ve developed. It’s about finding like-minded people to work with and help them to realize their dreams.
In my old work life, I hesitated to network and create relationships with people that felt out of reach or lined up in a hierarchy of titles. Now if I want to get to know a leader in my field, I can and do reach out to connect. It’s truly refreshing. I can seek out prospective clients, leaders, influencers and mentors that I’d like to get to know. The opportunity to be personally coached is a reality and no longer a pecking order ritual. It takes time to build the relationship and a bit of confidence but it’s now a lateral conversation and an important factor in my professional and personal development.
I can finally pursue the experiences and skills that I want to in order to grow my business. To serve my clients at the highest level, I can continually refine, educate and better myself. I absolutely love that I can learn a new app or skill at my whim whether to benefit a client or just for my own personal knowledge. This alone has given me such empowerment and endless opportunity to help my clients.
It’s incredibly challenging, pushes and stretches me like no other experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything….well, maybe for a week at Necker Island, I would!
I help entrepreneurs just like you achieve balance and fulfillment in their business. Our virtual partnership can help shift your focus, intentions and ideas to creating a lifestyle that perfectly fits your dreams for your life and business. Learn more.
It’s lonely at first, being an entrepreneur because it’s just you wearing all the hats, making all the crucial decisions and being your own coach when things go sideways. The path is never straight or without its ups and downs as you develop your business.
Finances are lean in these times, and more than one entrepreneur has hung their shingle out on a wing and a prayer (and a few credit cards). It requires careful, strict discipline to keep the shiny object syndrome at bay and not buy every tool and course you can get your hands on.
Plus, entrepreneurs after a year or two can become highly protective of their business and fall into a mindset that they are the only ones that can run the operations correctly; becoming so tight-fisted and close-minded to the idea of working with anyone. In continuing to think they have to know it all and do it all.
It’s understandable, after pouring in 150% of yourself and 18-hour days along with the savings that you need to be responsible with what you have if you want to play the long game.
What is not apparent is that quietly growing beneath the surface is a micro-management style of business. It doesn’t usually pop it’s head out until you finally bring another person into your business to help grow it. The narrow-minded focus of having it your way because that’s the way you’ve always done it.
Deep down, I believe it’s a few things that are the cause, but almost always it’s based out of fear. No matter how talented the person is, the entrepreneur just cannot help obsessing over every detail to the point of exhaustion. It’s ineffective, unproductive and detrimental to success. If you don’t pay attention, you can start to feel like a 6-foot sunflower in a four-inch pot – rootbound and stunting your growth.
One other reason that entrepreneurs shy away from bringing people on board is thinking they have to become an employer and add all the investment and management of handling an employee. It’s a headache that no one wants to add to their list of operating tasks, and it’s not true.
I’ve worked with successful leaders and entrepreneurs throughout my career. There is nothing more satisfying than to observe purpose-driven people make life happen.
The ones that continue to climb and develop have one thing in common: the understanding that the road to success is not travelled alone… and a lot more fun when you have a team of individuals that share a common belief and are unified to achieve growth.
What’s the point of being in business if you aren’t enjoying it and achieving a level of success that can change your life? Isn’t that the whole reason you jumped into this in the first place? Remember, there is always strength in numbers.
These entrepreneurs also understand that having a work-life balance is essential to their performance. They know that the only way to strike this balance is by having a close-knit team around them and having the ability to trust them with the business as well as be open to new ideas and processes by drawing on the skills and talents from them. These wise leaders can take a few days away to go to a conference or yes, a vacation and spending the time on doing what they love, making a difference and concentrating on what matters most.
What about you? Are you done with the whole lean start-up phase of business and ready to invest in growing your business and taking a huge leap? Are you wanting to help more people and scale your business? To do so, you’re going to have to take off all those hats you’ve been wearing while thinking the best way to forge business is to learn to do it all.
Becoming a purpose-driven entrepreneur means it’s time to level up, work differently, live powerfully and feel like you can take a breath and start the next adventure — time to shift your thinking to a virtual partnership. We’re talking about entrepreneurs working together, bringing ideas to the table and collaborating to achieve growth.
The benefits are vast, and the opportunities are endless. Absolutely, you’ll need someone with tops skills, resources and a network of professionals to draw from but it’s also about chemistry. It’s all about finding the professional that will help you take care of business just like you would or even better so you can finally gain some clarity, a sharper focus, more productivity and real balance.
If you’re still sitting on the fence about the investment and benefits of working with a Virtual Professional, then consider this:
Top 10 Reasons to Outsource to Virtual Team:
Not sure where to start? Here are a few of the most common categories that are being taken care of by Virtual Professionals:
Business Tasks / Operations You Can Delegate:
To make sense of the investment is quite simple. It’s really about your most valuable commodity: your time. The ability to reclaim even just a few hours of your day to shift your focus and spend quality time on developing your business could move you closer to your dreams. When you lift your head up and out of the operations of your business, you’ll start to think differently and manage your time in a way that is meaningful to you, your business and your lifestyle. Ultimately what you’ll accomplish is making the transition from surviving to thriving.
Good business strategy starts with a plan and some framework. To begin working with a Virtual Professional and make it a long-term success, take the time to create a Business manual and clear Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). This will save you time and money during the training phase and is also an asset to your business.
I help high-level entrepreneurs and business owners just like you scale up and work differently to achieve a balanced lifestyle. Our virtual partnership can help you focus on your zone of genius while, giving you more time to pursue the things that matter the most. Learn more.
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