You have a kickass onboarding process and deliver a home run to your client. You are about to send any final files off to them via email and include this generic message:
“Thank you so much for trusting me! I had a great time working with you – here are your final files. Please let me know if you have any questions. Again, I really had fun and am looking forward to seeing your business grow!”
While that sounds nice and all… Doesn’t it feel kinda flat to you? After working together for 4+ weeks … all they received was a thank you email?
Nuh uh, girl. You didn’t spend time doing all that work just to leave a “meh” lasting impression at the very end. Which is why, today, I am sharing five reasons why you, as a service-based business owner, should have a client offboarding process in your business!
Similar to the importance of having an onboarding process, having an offboarding process is beneficial to your business and can help standardize efficiencies from client to client. It also indicates to the client that it is the end of your time together and that they shouldn’t be expecting any other items from you. You would be surprised that there are clients out there thinking they could add “one more thing” onto their final bill! That’s how projects end up dragging on for months to come when lines are blurry.
All of us are running professional businesses at the end of the day. Having an offboarding process can help reduce frustration and miscommunication all while reinforcing boundaries. Our time is valuable and it’s critical we stick to our workload schedules to avoid burnout!
While it does define the end of your time together, an offboarding process also allows both of you to celebrate the goals you have achieved together during the project timeline. You can even call it a stroll down memory lane – a way to reminisce how your client felt at the start of the project and how excited they are now to be able to grow their business and take the next step. We spent so much time cultivating the relationship at the beginning that we ought to do the same at the end.
Don’t overlook this reason – being able to articulate the goals achieved also reminds them why you were the best person for the job and how you were able to play a small role in their journey.
Rather than just sending off a goodbye email, having a dedicated offboarding process can also empower your clients to take action and keep the momentum going after your time together. Jumping on a call with them to answer any last-minute question shows that you care about their success and that their project is more than just a transaction. This is also a great time to briefly chat about their plan of action — specifically if they are going to be doing a full launch or reveal on their social media or website.
For example – if they are looking to launch their business in a month’s time, you can also take the time to plan accordingly and include their launch in your own content calendar! It’s a win-win for everyone and gives your client that extra ounce of love.
Chances are, most business owners offer more than one service. And realistically speaking, working with returning or referral clients are an absolute gold mime because there is already a relationship there.
An offboarding process can also act as a sales tool! This would be the perfect opportunity to show your client what else you could do for them in the future now that they have a taste of how you work and the quality of work you provide. If you offer any “a-la-carte” services (e.g. business card designs, social media templates) or “subscription-based” services (e.g quarterly planning strategy sessions, bi-annual branding photoshoots), you can passively pitch it to them with a “goodbye packet” or virtual call so that it is top of mind.
Last but not least, feedback and testimonials are two elements that help your business grow bigger and better with every client you work with. Feedback serves as a fantastic way to do a pulse check if the processes, systems, and platforms you have in place are working for your clients and how you can keep internally improving them. Testimonials, on the other hand, help future leads and clients make an informed decision when they are looking to invest in a service provider.
When you elevate your client experience to include more than just a few emails back and forth, it speaks true to who you are as a business owner and what your brand embodies. Branding is client experience and at the end of the day, how you made your clients feel dictates how your brand will be perceived by others. When you incorporate this thoughtfully into your offboarding process, you are more likely to receive constructive feedback and one heck of a testimonial.
That’s right, no more following up on awkward “hey-can-you-give-me-a-testimonial” emails weeks later!
Now that you understand the value and importance of creating a client offboarding process for your business, stay tuned for part 4 where we discuss what you need to include in your offboarding process!