Streamlining Your Workflow to Improve Client Experience
A common question in any business—but especially the event industry—is how to keep clients coming back for more. In a soon-to-be post-pandemic world, earning client referrals and winning over loyal customers is a key step towards a more profitable and sustainable future.
Now, there’s no doubting the relationship between a company’s success and how it treats its clients. Happy clients lead to positive reviews and referrals, which bring in more business and, ultimately, increases your revenue. Happy clients also tend to come back for events in the future. The math adds up, but that leads to the greater question: If so much falls on the client experience, what can an event professional do to improve it?
Let’s talk workflows. Your workflow (or lack of one) is what determines how organized your business is and how you approach your clients. People can tell whether you’re flying by the seat of your pants or if you’re cool, calm, and collected throughout the planning process. They will notice the difference between hurried, last-minute emails filled with typos and automated emails that provide everything they need in one place. There is no hiding disorganization.
A streamlined workflow makes life easier for you and your clients. Everything runs like clockwork, communication is easy, and there are never any unanswered questions. With that said, here are a few strategies to help you streamline your workflow and provide your clients with the very best brand experience possible.
Start where you are
Before you can fix, revamp, or refresh anything, you need to first identify where you currently stand in the way of your workflow. When was the last time you updated your processes and procedures? Have you implemented any new software? If not, should you consider doing so?
Keep an eye out for gaps in your workflow. Where are you spending the most time? What has caused you to drop the ball in the past? Take some time to map out all of your processes, from client intake to week-of preparation, and make note of the steps that are inefficient and could use a rework.
Discover creative solutions
We’re all in the event industry which means we’re all naturally creative in some fashion. Use that innate resourcefulness to your advantage! Consider how you can automate certain tasks or even skip them altogether (with a proper solution, of course).
Don’t be afraid to harness the power of technology to simplify your workload. There are numerous apps and programs available to automate client communications, invoicing, appointment scheduling, email funnels, social media, and more. Perhaps implementing virtual reality site tours can ensure your clients can see their venue without having to take time off of work or travel to the venue. Maybe they just need an extra email reminder to remember to pay their invoice on time. Sign up for a few free trials and experiment with your options until you find the right fit.
Evaluate your changes
Perhaps the most important part of implementing any new solution is the evaluation and assessment of how well it works for you and your business. After a few solid months of working within your new workflows, set aside some time to sit down and really decide if the investment is worthwhile. How has your daily workload changed? Are there still gaps that remain?
Understanding what works and what does not work is the key to finding the winning solution without wasting too much of your time and resources. If something doesn’t seem like the right fit, drop it — there is surely another solution available that can meet your needs. It could very well be a combination of a few apps, but the only way to know is to experiment and explore new ways of thinking.
We can’t always predict where the industry (or the world) is heading, but we can still take care of our businesses by ensuring that we’re organized and providing our clients with only the best service our companies have to offer.
Jennifer Taylor is the owner and founder of Taylor’d Event Group, a leading event planning company that serves local and destination clients in Washington State and Maui, HI. She is also the principal of Jen Taylor Consulting, a consulting firm that works with creative businesses of all sizes to implement streamlined workflows and organized systems to find more time and space for business growth and personal development.