Client offboarding processes and procedures are often overlooked, but they should not be underestimated. Businesses tend to focus a lot of energy to make a great first impression on their customers and clients, but typically put much less effort into their client’s offboarding experience. The impression you leave on your clients during their departure will be the freshest in their minds which is why it is so important to leave a lasting impression when the relationship comes to an end.
An effective client offboarding process requires an understanding of how it will affect your client’s experience as they depart from your company. A well-thought-out offboarding process can actually benefit both the client and the business while creating a positive lasting impression. It is not just about completing the task on your offboarding checklist but a focus on creating a smooth transition for the client to move on to their next journey. An effective client offboarding process is key in ensuring that the customer’s experience with your company ends on a positive note. When done right, offboarding can enhance customer loyalty, help solidify and enhance your business’s reputation, provide opportunities to further work with the client, and even lead to future business opportunities.
Say Goodbye to Clients: How Offboarding Matters
Saying goodbye doesn’t have to be hard! Offboarding clients in a way that feels good for you and your clients can mean the difference between a loyal customer that shouts your name from the rooftops and one who has no intention of coming back or referring you to anyone else.
The client offboarding process is an opportunity for businesses to go above and beyond for their customers, showing them how much they are and were appreciated and valued throughout their relationship. Taking the time to say goodbye in a way that can help build referrals, strengthen loyalty and create a good reputation for your business are the goals of an effective client offboarding process.
By taking the time to respond to feedback or send thank-you cards, you can show that your company cares about its relationships with clients even after the initial business transaction ends. It’s important not only for your customers but also for creating an atmosphere of trust, respect, and positive energy in your workplace – something that will benefit everyone associated with your business!
Smoothing the Transition: The Value of an Effective Client Offboarding Process
Offboarding a client may not be the most exciting part of your business operations, but it is an important process in your customer journey that can have a positive impact on your business’s growth if done well.
We talked about how important client offboarding is for the client as well as the business. Where businesses have the most trouble in creating an effective client offboarding process is understanding everything their business needs and everything their clients need to make the transition smooth and complete. When done correctly the client offboarding process will provide both parties, business and client, with all the necessary information and support they need to say goodbye with a single hand wave. When we say single hand wave we mean that no one has to go back because they forgot their keys (a signature on a document), or their hat (a final payment is needed), or briefcase ( a final deliverable that wasn’t sent out.).
The Value of an effective client offboarding process includes:
- Closure—You help your clients form a positive “last impression”
- Testimonials/Referrals—Asking for testimonials and referrals at the right time and mindset.
- Continued Support—Increase client lifetime value (LTV) by continuing to work with them as opposed to always seeking out new clients.
What to include: Creating a Smoother Client Offboarding Process
Client offboarding asks the question: What does everyone need to bring this partnership to an end?
When you are creating your client offboarding process the goal is to gather all of the needs and requirements for both you and your client by the end. As you think about and build out your process include how your current business operations and systems are impacted by the process.
Here are some questions to think about as you strategize and create your client offboarding process
- When it comes to project management what tasks need to be completed and who will be responsible?
- When it comes to your knowledge management systems what templates, SOP’s, or reference material should be created to support the process?
- When it comes to your client communication what will be included during the client off-boarding process?
- When it comes to your tech stack what will allow for the process to feel like a high-touch and personal experience for your client but also support your business by creating ease and productivity?
When you are creating your client offboarding process ensure you include the following at a minimum:
- Notifying all parties involved
- Provide clear communication on the exact date your contract will be ending
- Hold an offboarding meeting with your client to discuss the final steps together
- Ensure you closeout any ongoing projects and that all deliverables have been sent
- Collect any remaining or outstanding payments
- Provide an opportunity for the client to submit feedback or possibly provide a testimonial/case study
- *Provide an opportunity to further work together if possible
- Provide the client with an easy way to refer you to other businesses
- Archive or store client information/work in a way that ensures their protection
- Saying goodbye- provide them with a personalized thank you when you officially say goodbye. This is your final opportunity to have a lasting impression and investing in a small gift or token of appreciation can have a big impact.
For a bit more inspiration here is an example of process map for a client offboarding process
Remember, you are not just building an offboarding process to meet the requirements of your clients. You are also improving the way your team manages the end of a partnership. This means that when you have an offboarded client you can continue working with them in a mutually beneficial way. Creating the process also provides transparency between your businesses departments from customer management to project management.
Your customer offboarding process should be just as good as your onboarding process. Check out How This SaaS Platform Increased Efficiency & Client Capacity By 4x (Without Burning Out).
“It used to take us 30 days to onboard a new client. Now we can onboard AND complete client deliverables in 30 days.”
– Farah Allen, Founder and CEO of The Labz
If you want to be the one saying the above and you ready For Orgasmic Operations® in your business book a complimentary consult call to learn about how we can make your operations well-lubricated with our People-First + Pleasure-Filled approach.