Kristi DaSilva of DaSilva Life knows all about the importance of automating processes. Read about London Town Wedding’s process revamp to learn how you can level up your wedding business.
Independent business owners understand the value of time. Time can be the difference between onboarding a prospect or saying goodbye. In today’s fast-paced, “amazonified” environment, client expectations have shifted. With everything increasingly online, from shopping to meetings, clients expect a response immediately, and 86% of clients choose the vendor that responds to them first.
As a HoneyBook Pro, Kristi DaSilva of DaSilva Life knows this reality well. That’s why when Kristin, the Director of Private Events at London Town Weddings in Edgewater, Maryland, reached out to Kristi about onboarding to HoneyBook, they connected immediately. Kristin owns and operates a successful wedding venue, but was struggling with parts of her clientflow. Lucky for Kristin, Kristi is a clientflow expert.
Kristin’s popular wedding venue received so many inquiries a day that she had a hard time responding to them in a reasonable amount of time. Kristi saw Kristin’s struggle and jumped into London Town Weddings’ clientflow. She first helped Kristin map her clientflow and processes, then streamlined her processes with smart files, canned emails, and automations. As a result, Kristin saw increased productivity, fewer lost leads, and improved client satisfaction.
Hours saved per month
More clients booked
Clients booked in minutes
The problem: Kristin was missing leads and client information was falling through the cracks
One of the most significant benefits of streamlining communication is increased productivity and a better client experience. When Kristin reached out to Kristi, it was because simple communications were slipping through the cracks. Some leads would go unanswered for days, sending and receiving information was taking too much time, some communication was getting missed, and writing emails was taking up a huge portion of Kristin’s day. She knew something had to be done, and that HoneyBook could solve her problems, but she didn’t know where to start.
Kristi kicked off their working relationship with a clientflow mapping session to discuss what she was currently doing, and what her goals were to better her client experience. Kristi asked “what is your dream scenario for working with clients?” to prime the conversation with Kristin and keep the possibilities endless. While Kristin discussed her pain points and hopes for the future, Kristi made suggestions for improvement from her experience working with many successful wedding pros. These solutions boiled down to three main things:
- Smart files
- Canned emails
The solution: Optimize phase one of Kristin’s clientflow, leaving the details to HoneyBook instead of in her inbox
In Kristin’s clientflow, a few things stood out to Kristi. Kristin needed to make sure she and her new clients had everything they needed to get started working, which meant sending a questionnaire promptly. Drafting a personal email for each couple was costing Kristin hours in her day. She needed a way to get all of the information she needed from a client and send what they needed without drafting a fresh email each step of the way. Kristin also needed to make sure follow-up emails to book meetings were sent in a timely manner.
Kristi also saw room for improvement with post-wedding tasks like refunding the security deposit, sending the caterer bill, and requests for review. Here’s how with Kristi’s help, London Town Weddings fixed sticky points in their clientflow and improved communication and client experience.
Using HoneyBook automations for clearer communication
HoneyBook Pros like Kristi know automating processes can be incredibly beneficial for several reasons. Automating processes means using technology to handle repetitive, time-consuming tasks. This frees up your time and resources to focus on more critical aspects of your business. Automations can have a number of positive benefits for your business, like:
- Increased efficiency: Help you complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, like to respond to leads within minutes instead of hours or days.
- Improved accuracy: Help you reduce errors and mistakes made when completing tasks manually. This can be particularly beneficial for information like vendor contact information or a guest list.
- Cost savings: You can reduce costs in several ways with automations. For example, by automating your booking process, you can eliminate double bookings. This is one way you can keep your client journey great every time.
- Scalability: You can free up time to scale your business efficiently. With automated processes, you can easily manage increased work volumes without hiring additional staff.
- Repeatable client experience: Provide a great repeat client experience by sending clients timely and accurate information. Each client can have a great experience because of the consistency automations provide.
When communication channels are streamlined, independent business owners can easily and quickly share information, collaborate on projects, and complete tasks more efficiently. This can lead to improved workflows and processes, which can translate into cost savings and increased revenue.
Automations can take many forms, from questionnaires to emails and much more. Kristin uses them to gather client details like a pro so no more information gets lost in her inbox.
Canned emails for more brain space
As we mentioned above, one of the most important phases of your clientflow is research and discovery for your client. The best opportunity for you to lock a client in is right after they inquire about your service—if they’ve inquired with multiple wedding venues, for example, you want to be the first person back in their inbox.
Kristin was essentially reinventing the wheel each time she responded to a client inquiry. Even once she did respond and was able to book a client, it was taking too long to get the information she needed from each couple. She felt her nurture for booked clients was suffering, as was her booking rate due to her response time for leads.
To counter this, Kristi helped Kristin develop canned email templates for each type of inquiry. When a lead enters Kristin’s lead pipeline, she sends a canned response asking for more information if their date is available.
Kristin’s leads, people she’s followed up with, active clients with signed contracts, and completed weddings are all sorted into different buckets so they’re easy to track and manage or refer to down the road. Nothing slips through the cracks anymore!
Smart files to save time gathering new client information
One of the many perks of working with a HoneyBook Pro is that their job is to help you map your clientflow—which includes identifying underutilized tools within HoneyBook’s clientflow management platform like smart files.
A huge hurdle Kristin needed to overcome was communication during the contract phase. She was apprehensive about sending over the client’s contract without the client’s name already in the file, but by the time she got to the contract stage, she didn’t always have all the information she needed.
To fix this, Kristi recommended creating a vendor details questionnaire. This meant sending out a detailed questionnaire in advance with all the questions she would need answers to. When the client would fill out the questionnaire, their information would auto-populate into the online contract in their smart file. She was also able to collect important information like proof of insurance and vendor contact information.
This saved Kristin multiple touchpoints of communication; HoneyBook filled out the details for her, so she could focus on her clients currently at the venue instead of juggling multiple lines and types of communication to gather basic details.
In total, Kristi helped Kristin make many assets she uses throughout her client experience, including
With all of these assets and systems, Kristin’s workflow looked totally different in the best way possible.
The result: Kristin’s new clientflow
Here’s how Kristin’s new clientflow goes now after working with DaSilva Life:
- An inquiry comes into Kristin’s inbox and she checks to see if their date is available.
- If it’s available, Kristin sends a canned email with a brochure with details about the venue, pricing, and approved caterers. She includes contact information, FAQs—everything someone must know about the venue.
- In a follow-up email, Kristin sends a canned email with scheduling information so clients can book a call.
- Once the couple books, she sends an automated email with the booking form and questionnaire (for all those contract details and day-of information).
- Once the questionnaire is complete, the information auto-fills in a proposal with an attached contract.
- Once Kristin receives the signed contract, she sends a personalized Welcome Guide with more information—it includes reminder emails leading up to the couple’s wedding day.
- Post-event, Kristin sends a personalized thank you note. A few weeks after that, an automated thank you note sends with a request for assets from the event like photos and testimonials.
Kristin’s new and improved process has left her feeling confident in her services. No more missed leads, no more lost details falling through the cracks. With HoneyBook’s features and a supporting hand from DaSilva Life, London Town Weddings has what they need for a smooth client journey. Interested in learning more about Kristi DaSilva’s methods and services? Check out her YouTube channel.