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Ready to use systems with your team? Running a business on your own versus with a team are two completely different things.
Deciding how to involve your team in your systems can be challenging, especially if you’ve just gone from being solo to having support in your business. The good thing is, once you figure out how to delegate and divide the tasks, your life as a business owner will be so much easier – especially with the right system in place.
Here are a few steps on using systems with your team:
Decide on the role of your team members
Typically, the team members who will be in your client systems most often are those who are in charge of lead management (think the member in charge of vetting your leads and potentially taking sales calls) and onboarding (members in charge of ensuring the client is clear on next steps and making sure the team has everything needed to get started). Another team member could be someone like your accountant if your client management tool has accounting features and if you don’t use a specialized accounting software like Xero and Quickbooks. Once you know the roles of each of your team members you can figure out whether or not they need access to your client management system and decide the next steps from there.
Decide on the tasks you would love a human touch to have
Most tasks in your client experience should be automated to save your sanity, but there are places that may need a personal touch – this is totally up to you and how you like to interact with your clients. Some ideas of where a personal touch can be included or needed are:
Often you don’t want to send a generic gift and note. Have your team member be involved in choosing a special gift and write a heartfelt note to the client (handwritten notes add a beautiful touch).
You can use this to make tyour clients feel like you’re really listening to their lives and what’s going on right now and let them know that you appreciate them specifically as a client too.
For example, if your client had a big life event happen, it may be nice to either mention it and celebrate (or mourn) with them as appropriate – because we’re all humans and in small business leveraging this is important.
I’m not speaking about the first or second follow-up that can be automated like payment reminders or questionnaire reminders. I’m speaking about if your client has not responded for a while, or they have content missing that you need.
Often it’s great to have a team member personally follow up with “Hey. I know X is going on right now, do you need a different payment plan” etc. Of course, you need to stick to your payment policies, but having a personal email coupled with a gesture that proves you care about their situation goes a long way.
Related: Why your client projects drag on
Replying to feedback
It’s always a great idea to send out a feedback questionnaire either during or after working together. If the feedback you received isn’t what you were hoping for, having a team member personally reach out to address the feedback is super helpful.
Sometimes, as the business owner, we’re too close to the situation, so having someone else respond for us can give a fresh take on something you otherwise would be a little one-dimensional about.
With all of the examples above, it’s very important to set out clear instructions for your team members. You can do this by writing out standard operating procedures for them to follow, going step by step through each step.
You can also ask for their feedback and involve them in this process which shows that you value their input, it will help fuel their emotions and show them that what they think matters, allowing them to feel a sense of responsibility for their decisions.
Include canned emails they can use as a starting point for each email as this will ensure consistency of tone and make any communications more efficient!
My biggest tip though is to have your client management system send out reminders for them when they need to do certain tasks – we all know how quickly tasks can become a mountain of things to do, so having reminders in place is always valued! This means that you as the business owner can have peace of mind that someone is on top of the tasks because they’re been reminded about them.
Truly hand off the tasks off to your team
This step seems obvious right? But if you’re anything like me, you feel that YOU need to do every task if you want it done properly. This isn’t the case if you hire team members who value things you value (like attention to detail and meeting deadlines on time) and if you train them on how to use the systems you use.
Like with my examples above, train them on how you love to word the client gift note if you’re using X tone, go into more detail if that is necessary. Rather give more detail so your team members aren’t left wondering. Trust me, your team members will love you for it and you’ll get fewer questions from them. Leave their tasks to them, while you focus on creating great work for your clients or even better, getting away from your laptop and living your life!
Those are the basics of using systems with your team – and trust me, they’re going to go a long way in ensuring a great team environment and efficient business processes – even if you’re all working remotely.
- How to onboard your clients
- Three things you must do when onboarding clients
- Why your client projects drag on forever
- Canned email templates you need in your creative business
Kendra Courtney is a Certified Dubsado Specialist and workflow pro. Her love for systems began when she started working as a photographer back in 2017.
She discovered the need for time-and-energy-saving systems when she found herself spending more time doing admin than taking photos and working on projects.
Since then she’s been streamlining admin and automating anything a human doesn’t *really* need to be doing manually (we start our businesses for people, not paperwork!)
When Kendra isn’t setting up workflows, she enjoys running and doing ministry with her husband at their local church in Cape Town, South Africa.