Learn what a clientflow platform is and why it’s crucial for selling and delivering your services. More than a CRM, it lets you provide a seamless clientflow that eliminates process friction.
As an independent business owner, clients are the heart of your business, and building great relationships is an important part of your success. You aren’t just taking payment and delivering a service–you’re continually communicating, and every touch point contributes to the client experience.
The complete process of selling and delivering your services is your clientflow, and understanding it will help you improve your business. The skills and expertise you offer can make a positive impact on someone, so it’s your mission to find the right clients and successfully deliver your services.
Providing a seamless clientflow is the standard for how independent businesses operate and to manage all the moving parts you need an all-in-one system. A clientflow management platform is the optimal way to eliminate process friction and provide an impeccable experience for every client, every time.
Learn what a clientflow management platform is, how it benefits your business, and what you can lose without one.
- What are the benefits of a clientflow management platform?
- What do you lose without a clientflow management platform?
- What can you manage inside a clientflow management platform?
- Why HoneyBook is the best clientflow management platform for independent businesses
What are the benefits of a clientflow management platform?
Beyond a typical business management system, a clientflow platform lets you determine how it functions for your business. In other words, you don’t need to fit your business into the system. Instead, you can customize your work and processes as you see fit. Here are the benefits you’ll reap:
It’s built specifically for independent businesses’ operations
Other types of business software tend to be too limited or too broad for independent businesses’ needs. You may have individual tools like contract software, payment processing, and meeting schedulers, but a clientflow platform is what brings everything together.
On the other hand, there are also CRM softwares that are built more for enterprise-level organizations. While your business is about providing services tailored to each client, these types of software are more for managing large pipelines of unqualified leads. Since it’s not fit exactly for your processes, you can end up spending more money on features you don’t need.
Since your work is focused on the client, your workflows and client journey are symbiotic, and you need a platform that can manage both. For instance, your process for capturing and vetting leads will impact your sales. And once you book clients, your onboarding process can impact the entire project.
A clientflow platform has everything to build organized workflows that provide clients with what they need–all in a professional, branded experience.
It’s an all-in-one solution for managing your clientflow
As an all-in-one solution for your needs, there are multiple benefits. You’ll save money without having to spend your budget on multiple systems–paying for individual subscriptions can really add up. With one system, you only have one bill to worry about.
Without having to switch between tools, you’ll also save time (and save yourself from massive headaches!) Let’s be honest–how much time have you wasted switching between software, recording lost passwords, and digging through old documents to find a past contract or client message? With everything in one place, you’re already more organized.
Without multiple systems to manage, the benefits also shine through for your clients. You have full control over every touchpoint, so you can make sure you’re offering a cohesive, professional experience at every step. In addition to being impressed by your branded process, your clients will love not having to log into different websites just to sign a contract or pay an invoice. That’s time saved that they’ll thank you for.
It helps reduce process friction
With everything in one place, there’s also less friction. You don’t have to go searching for what you need, which means it’s also easier for you to grow and scale. If you add new team members, they’ll be able to easily move through your SOPs without wondering where to find the tools they need.
You can also combine steps in your clientflow and let certain steps inform others. For instance, you can have clients select services, sign, and pay all in one step rather than asking them to log into DocuSign, view a proposal in Google Docs, then send you a payment through PayPal.
Pro Tip: With HoneyBook’s clientflow management platform, you can combine multiple actions into one file. Ask clients to select their services on one page, view their auto-filled contract and invoice on the next pages, then pay while they’re still in the interactive file.
What do you lose without a clientflow platform?
Now that you know the benefits of a clientflow platform, you might still be asking if it’s worth it. You might be used to the tools you already use, and change is hard–especially in business! We get it, but it only takes one mishap to see why a disjointed clientflow can affect your business in the long term.
When you aren’t able to connect your workflows with your client journey, you might risk:
- Forgetting to counter-sign a contract
- Missing a key deliverable
- Not responding to inquiries on time
- Project misalignment due to lack of information about your client
- Double booking yourself
- No support with handling fraud issues
Overall, managing your clientflow with disparate systems means things will slip through the cracks and you’ll jeopardize your client experience. If your work isn’t organized, your clients won’t have as much of a good experience on the frontend. And the last thing you want is for process friction to leave your clients with a bad impression.
What can you manage inside a clientflow platform?
Each business’s clientflow is specific to the services they offer, but they follow four main stages. Though the steps within each stage vary depending on your process, you can use each stage to better structure your business and client experience.
Selling your services
Selling your services includes evaluating your inquiries and determining how to move forward. In order to create a pool of interested clients, you should also consider how your clients research and discover services like yours. This includes optimizing your marketing efforts for lead generation and ensuring you have an updated website.
From there, your clientflow platform can manage:
- Capturing leads – Embed unique contact forms on your website or link to them from your social profiles to capture potential clients.
- Responding to initial contact – Set up automations to respond to your inquiries with a thank you and next steps.
- Gathering client information – Send questionnaires that ask for more client information so you can properly determine how/if to sell your services to them.
- Sending sales collateral – Build sales brochures, pricing guides, mood boards, and other files that help showcase your skills and solutions.
- Scheduling initial consultations and discovery calls – Use a meeting scheduler that lets you block time and create specific session types for consultations, client meetings, project work, and more.
Your booking should always include a contract and may also include an invoice, and payment, all of which you can create and send from your clientflow platform. You might guide your clients through service selection yourself, or send them a complete booking template with the following:
- Service selection – Create brochures or pricing guides that integrate directly with your contract, invoices, and payments.
- Contract – Leverage contract templates that let clients esign from desktop or mobile.
- Invoice – Create branded online invoices that include custom payment schedules for each project or client.
- First payment – Use online payment processing to offer multiple payment methods for your clients.
Project management starts with client onboarding and moves throughout your projects to include client communication, execution, and sending your final deliverable. This stage is one of the most unique to each business owner, as it depends on how long it takes to deliver your services, and how closely you work with your clients. You can manage the following inside your clientflow platform:
- Client onboarding – Send a branded welcome packet to further set expectations with your clients.
- Tracking time – Use a time tracker to accurately bill your clients or determine how to structure your projects.
- Client communication – Manage all your client communication in one place so you never have to go searching for an email thread again.
- Tracking milestones – Set internal reminders at key milestones and view your project status at a glance so you’re always up to date.
- Sending your deliverable – Send your deliverable in a branded template (if applicable).
- Expense tracking – Take note of the resources required to complete projects so you can accurately bill projects and properly maintain your financial accounting.
Lastly, your clientflow should end with project closure and collecting feedback. It’s always helpful to learn from clients who’ve used your services so you can understand your strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the project, it might also be a good opportunity to ask for an online review, see if they know anyone who would also benefit from your services, or see if you they’re interested in working with you again.
- Project closure – Send a summary of your project outcomes, thank your client for their time, and include a questionnaire where they can provide feedback.
- Requesting reviews – Direct your clients to your social profiles or Google profile for reviews about their experience.
- Asking for referrals – Introduce clients to your referral program, or simply ask if they no anyone who would benefit from your services.
- Exploring renewal – Reuse your booking templates to explore additional projects. Just tweak with the details when they’re ready to move forward.
HoneyBook is the clientflow management platform that enables independent businesses to create efficient processes and remarkable client experiences
Ready to run your business on autopilot? HoneyBook is the leading clientflow platform for independent businesses. It delivers on all of the steps we mentioned above, and much more.
Throughout your entire clientflow, you can also access workflow automation that takes different tasks off your plate. And, you can view reports on your payments, expenses, leads, and more.
Once your clientflow is taken care of inside HoneyBook, you’ll have more time on your hands to focus on what you love doing most–the skills that turned your dream into a business in the first place.