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  • Writer's pictureKayla Droog Consulting

Creating a kickass client journey - Part 4: Offboarding

Would you like more amazing testimonials?


How about referrals to more ideal clients?


Or repeat business from clients you love?


All of these things are possible when you nail your client offboarding process. Find out how in this video:





Listen to the audio:



Do you have an offboarding process?


How do you wrap up your client journey at the end of a project or the end of your relationship?


This is the final stage of the client journey. To get the complete journey, check out parts one, two, and three.

When you've gotten to the end of your relationship with a client - you might be at the end of a project, the end of a program, or you might be done with them for good - what do you do next? How do you offboard this client?

This is an important part of your client journey. You may feel like you're done so you can just move on, but there are some steps that you want to make sure that you include here so that you can make the most of this relationship.


This is often a phase of the client journey that I see people overlooking. I know that as business owners we're all busy. We all have other clients and other projects that we are racing to get to. But it's really important to focus on these last key steps of the client journey so that you can really make the most of it for both you and the client.



Step One: Wrap up the final details


The first thing that you should do when you reach the end of your relationship with a client is just make sure that you have wrapped up all of the final details of your relationship together.


Ask yourself:

  • Is there anything that still needs to be delivered?

  • Are there any final documents or reports or anything that I need to give them?

  • Is there anything that I need from them?

  • Anything that they need to sign?

  • Anything they need to sign off on or or approve?

  • Anything else they need to get to me?

  • Do I need any feedback to improve this product, service, or experience?

When the main work is done, it can be easy to overlook these final details, but don’t forget any of these final tasks to wrap up your work together.


Step Two: Do an admin cleanup


The next thing you need to do is finalize all of the administrative, behind-the-scenes parts of your relationship.


Examples of this include:

  • Cancelling a recurring payment or invoice in your system

  • Archiving a project or a contact

  • Archiving files from your relationship with this person

  • Closing accounts or reminding them to remove you from their accounts

  • Removing them as a contact in an email group

  • Removing them from a private Facebook group or membership software

  • Turning off any automations, email sequences, etc. this person no longer needs to receive

Anything to wrap them up in your system so that it's all nice and clean and tidy, you know their status, and there's nothing that they're going to be reaching out to you to complain about, like getting an invoice for next month when they're done working with you.



Step Three: Testimonials


Now, here is a key part of the offboarding process that often gets forgotten. I also find that a lot of people feel nervous about it and they just kind of put off doing it, even though they know they should.


You might have already guessed it: you should be asking for testimonials, reviews, and referrals from your clients when you're finished working with them.


You can decide what this looks like for you. It could be something as simple as sending them an email asking them to send you a review or testimonial.


You could also do this by sending them a link to leave a Google review or to leave a review somewhere else. Maybe you use Yelp or an industry-specific platform like Wedding Wire. Whatever it is, if you have reviews somewhere else and you can just send them a link to leave a review there, by all means do so.


Now, you may want something more in depth. You may want to send them a questionnaire to get more detailed feedback and information. Make sure if you do this you are leaving a disclaimer in there that you are allowed to use the information that they put in that questionnaire and make sure to ask them things like if they're comfortable with you using their name, their image, their business name, and if they want you to link to their website.


You could also ask your clients for a video testimonial if that's something that you want to use on your website or your social media. You have lots of different options.


One thing that I would recommend, regardless of the format of your testimonials, is giving people some prompts that can help them figure out what to say. It can be really hard if you just say, "Write me a review," for people to figure out what to say. I know sometimes I've gotten reviews that I feel like don't necessarily capture my business and the work that I've done with someone. But when you don't prompt them, you get what you get, right?


I would recommend giving them at least a couple of questions to answer or a couple of points that you would like them to hit. So, for example, for my business I might say:


"What was the experience like working with me?"

"How did it set you up to move forward in your business?"

"What were the results or the benefits of working with me?"


Even just two or three questions like that can really open up their line of thinking so that they give you a sentence or two that really helps highlight the work that you do and the benefits that you gave them.



Stage Four: Follow up


Another phase of the offboarding process that I often see neglected is following up with past clients. A great time to follow up is with a new offer to encourage repeat business.


Now, I don't mean being salesy all the time to your past clients. Ideally if you have an email list, your current and past clients should be on that email list so they receive your regular email campaigns.


This means that you can be offering them things of value regularly and then when you have some sort of new offer, promotion, or deal then it's less salesy and spammy that you're sending it to them, because you send them other things of value regularly.


But let's say you don't have an email list and you're not currently looking to build one. There are still some things you can do. This could be something as simple as following up with a past client 3 months, 6 months, a year after you finish working with them to see how it's going.


This could just be a simple check-in. Maybe you're asking about something specific that you worked on with them, such as the status of something or if they managed to complete something. That could leave an opening if they need help moving on to the next stage of the process or if something is not working properly for them to come back to you and ask for help.


If you have a business that is more event-based, like if you are a wedding vendor, depending on your type of business you could set up emails to send later offering follow up services. For example, a wedding photographer could send a one year anniversary email offering a discount for an anniversary shoot.


No matter your business type, you could also send emails to current or past clients on their birthday to send them best wishes and maybe even offer them a deal or discount.


There are lots of different options for following up with your clients and providing opportunities for repeat business without being too spammy about it.


We definitely don't want to be throwing them on an email list where all you're doing is sending out sales and deals. I'm sure we are all on email lists from major corporations that do that, and I know I don't open those emails. Do you open those emails?


But if you are sending a genuine check-in message every once in a while making sure that things are good with this client, then they know that you are still thinking about them, that you're still there as an option if there's anything that they need, and they could come back and work with you if they want.


Now if you do this for a little while and you're not really getting a response from them or if, heaven forbid, it was someone that you didn't have a great relationship with, feel free to skip this stage for individual clients.


But in general, following up with past clients should be something you are doing regularly, especially if you are in a spot where you need to generate a bit of revenue. You could get a past client coming back, or you could get a referral to someone new from that person, so don't discount reaching out to past clients on occasion.


These are some of my top recommendations for offboarding your clients. We have now gone all the way through your kickass client journey from leads to offboarding. If you have any questions about offboarding or any part of your client journey, please let me know down in the comments or feel free to reach out.


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ABOUT

Kayla Droog Consulting supports heart-centered small business owners with the back-end systems setup and updates they don't have time to do, so they can focus on serving their clients and growing their businesses!

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