Today we are going to be chatting all about how to systemize client communication. Let’s be real, client communication can be tricky to navigate in the online space. With so many different methods of communication, it can be hard to set boundaries and figure out what client communication should look like in your biz.
So I’m going to share with you my top tips for how we have systemized client communication to keep things streamlined and efficient while still maintaining healthy boundaries between work and personal life.
A communication system is a streamlined method that you’ve implemented in your biz that help prevents mistakes and encourages accountability.
This is important because too many communication tools lead to unnecessary challenges. Having a messy communication system also leads to things getting missed which leads to a poor client experience.
Having a systemized client communication system is super important because also allows your team to step in to support you with your clients.
Our top recommendations for communication tools are Slack, ClickUp Chat, and HoneyBook. For HoneyBook, we only recommend this for initial lead conversations. Then, after they sign their contract, they should move into Slack or ClickUp Chat.
We don’t recommend platforms like Voxer or WhatsApp because these platforms aren’t searchable and it’s hard to loop your team in.
In addition, we highly discourage using email to communicate with your clients. In the initial stages of lead generation, email will obviously be a primary tool for communication. However, once a client signs a contract, it’s important to move them out of email. This allows for streamlined communication and allows your team to be looped in on all things project-related.
To systemize client communication, here are a few of our recommended best practices.
Setting expectations and boundaries with your clients is crucial for things like response time, working hours, and your methods of communication. Even before your clients onboard with you, you want them to be aware of the communication expectations.
You want to be clear with your clients about your response time so they know exactly what to expect. You also want to set the expectation for the exact time frame you are available.
In addition, you also want to set strict guidelines for what communication method you will be available on.
As a rule of thumb, you should always be waiting for your client, not the other way around. In other words, be proactive in your communication even if it means having to task out daily client check-ins in ClickUp until it becomes a habit.
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You always have to tell your clients like it is. It doesn’t matter whether you have good news or bad news. You need to tell them what they need to know, and tell them when they need to know it.
You want to regularly be asking your client how they are feeling and any issues they are struggling with. If you request feedback about systems/processes/deliverables, they will be more likely to give it to you.
If you’re waiting on client feedback, give them consistent reminders. It is okay to remind them every so often that you are waiting on them to proceed.
You also want to over-communicate to a point so you are not being misunderstood.
When structuring your message it is always best to assume the client does not know or is unfamiliar with what we may be updating them on (without implying they don’t understand/belittling them).
You want to make sure you are thorough and are providing EVERY resource they could need to effectively review and respond to your message without the need for them to search for anything.
For example, this can include links to files, images to review, or links to websites or articles you found.
On the other hand, if your feedback gives them multiple options to choose from in which they could proceed, always provide them all options at once and YOUR personal recommendation. This will allow you to take all the guesswork out for them while also providing them with your expert opinion.
“Hi @ClientName — I’ve done a little research and the below articles looked like the most promising solutions:
I personally think option #2 is the best option to move forward because:
We actually use this exact method on our team and it is super helpful. It not only helps take out the guesswork, but it also empowers your team to make decisions and be a big picture thinker.
A few tips we use in our business when sending client messages:
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to systemize your client communication system in your biz!
1. In what ways will you communicate with different client groups in your business? (1:1 clients, group coaching clients, etc.)
For example, for your 1:1 Clients, maybe you want to use HoneyBook for initial lead conversations and contract/payment conversations and then ClickUp Chat for all project-related conversations.
And then for your Group Coaching Clients maybe you want to use HoneyBook for initial lead conversations and contract/payment conversations and then a Slack Channel for all coaching-related conversations.
2. In what ways WON’T you be communicating with these groups?
For example, you won’t communicate via email, text, or Instagram DM’s (unless it’s for personal connection!).
3. What are your response hours?
For example, your response times could be 9 am-5 pm CST, Monday through Friday.
4. What other communication boundaries do you need to have in place?
This could include policies like no Slack DMs or your response time to be expected is 24 hours. Also, this could include any client project requests received from the client after 3:30 pm CST that will not be completed/answered with a game plan until the next day.
5. What communication SOPs do you need to create?
Whether you have a team or not, SOPs (standard operating procedures) are crucial for your client communication system. Some SOP’s to create include how to structure a client response and how to ask a client for project feedback.
If you’re ready to systemize your client communication, check out our course, Elevate!
June 22, 2022