You put the finishing touches on your deliverables, you proofed everything for the thousandth time, and you got the final payment processed. Your project is complete and your client received their work. Now what?
How you end the project with the client, or client offboarding, is often overlooked by entrepreneurs. But not putting the appropriate time and effort toward a warm goodbye could be hurting your bottom line in the long run.
There are so many benefits to building a memorable client offboarding process into your overall client experience. And if your default has been a simple “Thanks for working with me” email, you’re not doing your business or your client justice.
With a little bit of thoughtful planning (and the help of Dubsado if you’re working with it as a CRM), you can create a memorable offboarding process that will keep your clients coming back for more.
What Is An ‘Offboarding Process’?
Offboarding is the process of finalizing your work with a client and ending your relationship with the project. While onboarding is how you make a great first impression, offboarding is your chance to make a lasting impression. So many people don’t put the effort into a strong offboarding process and it can hurt their business in the long run.
The client offboarding process is the last communication you’ll have with your client about their project. A lot of how they’ll think of the entire experience of working with you will come down to this, as it will be the final memory they have of the project. When you take the time to ensure a smooth and thoughtful offboarding experience, you make sure the final step of working with you is just as personal and high-end as the first.
When a CRM like Dubsado manages your onboarding process, you can trust every email, form, and questionnaire will be professionally branded to fit your business and show the high quality of your work.
Why Is The client Offboarding Process Important?
During your time working with your client, you provided a high-end experience. You knocked their deliverables out of the park, you met and managed their expectations, you provided reminders and follow-up every step of the way so they were always in the loop, and you went above and beyond, giving them added value. But if the final handoff feels lackluster or leaves room for confusion, your client won’t remember any of that. All they remember is feeling lost and unsure where to turn.
A strong client offboarding process makes sure that doesn’t happen to you. With a thoughtful, clear ending to your working relationship on your project, you ensure the last memory your client has of you is as positive as the rest of the process was.
Benefits Of A Memorable Offboarding Process
Apart from maintaining a cohesive client experience and maintaining expectations, there are a number of more tangible benefits that come from building a memorable offboarding process into your workflow. Clients appreciate feeling seen and acknowledged and often, that extra care can go a long way in benefiting the future of your business.
It Can Support Future Referrals
Referrals, I believe, are the best source of quality clients. The client giving the referral knows first-hand what your process is, the quality of your deliverable, and your price point. So when they send someone your way, that new client has already been vetted and has an understanding of how you work. Referrals are one of the best gifts a client can give you.
But, referrals only happen once the project is wrapped up and signed off on. If your current onboarding process doesn’t wow a client or leaves them with a bad taste in their mouth, they’re far less likely to recommend you to their peers as the last memory of working with you was less than stellar.
By creating an offboarding process that reminds them of the value you provide, they’ll be raving about working with you to their business associates while they show off their amazing deliverables.
It Encourages Past Clients To Come Back
When clients really feel cared for and appreciated in the offboarding process, if they end up needing that service again, they’ll think of you first. Especially if as part of your offboarding you follow up with them every so often to see if that product or service is still working for them and if they may need something new.
Memorable client offboarding can also invite clients to follow you on social media or join your email list if they haven’t already. Through that, they’ll continue to be reminded of the amazing value you provided them with and see all the work you’re doing for your other clients. Who knows, maybe they’ll be inspired to get an update after a couple of years when they keep seeing all the fantastic work you’re doing for others.
A strong, positive send-off combined with them having eyes on work regularly means clients are far more likely to reach out in the future and work with you again.
It Reminds Your Clients Of Your Other Services
During your client offboarding process, it’s a great idea to include a follow-up email reminding them of the other services you offer. If they had a great experience working with you on this project and they have a need for something similar in the future, they’ll most likely call you first so long as they know you offer what they need.
People like things that are reliable and predictable. So if they know you provide a great service or product and already know your process, they’ll be much happier to simply go back to work with you than learning someone else’s process and trusting they can provide what they want.
It May Help You Get An Awesome Testimonial
If your client is head over heels about the work you did for them (and honestly, why would they not be…) then they’ll be happy to share their experience and give social proof about your work. However, you need to ask them first for them to know you want that!
Too many entrepreneurs simply don’t ask for testimonials. When you create your structured offboarding process, be sure to include a request for a testimonial in one of your emails. Make this as easy for clients as possible. Give them some examples of what they could say and tell them exactly what you need and how to send it to you. The best case scenario is if they can send you something right there from that email.
When you have a process that makes it easy for clients to offer you a testimonial, you’re far more likely to have them follow through. Have your offboarding process help you with this.
It Can Facilitate Helpful Feedback To Improve
Along with testimonials, you can request feedback from your clients during offboarding. All of us are looking to provide the absolute best experience possible for our clients so if there was something that they felt wasn’t as clear as it could have been or an area they wish had moved forward differently, you want to know!
Having an option for sharing feedback in your offboarding process can help you to continue to improve your client experience and grow your confidence in what you do. It’s important for these requests to be properly timed and worded to get the best results, so structuring your offboarding to include these thoughtfully will help you see the results you’re looking for.
Looking for a Clear client Offboarding Checklist & Steps To Success?
Are you sold on creating a memorable client offboarding process but aren’t sure where to start? I’m here to help!
If the idea of automating your emails and follow-ups is music to your ears, you may be interested in learning about other ways to streamline and automate your administrative tasks.
As a system strategist and certified Dubsado specialist, I can help you use Dubsado to not just automate your offboarding process, but also your onboarding process, your follow-up emails, your invoices, your scheduling, and more!
You can learn more about my Dubsado setup services here. I offer services including VIP Weeks where you walk away with an entire ready-to-go Dubsado automation setup, and VIP Days where we focus on creating workflows for one specific area of your business. Whatever level of Dubsado support you’re seeking, I can help you build a system that gives you back your time to focus on your clients.
If you’re ready to learn more about streamlining your day-to-day and clearing admin tasks off your plate, book a complimentary discovery call today!
I can’t wait to hear from you!