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Ever wonder about the systems and processes behind a design business that keeps clients happy and coming back? This post is for other designers who are interested in crafting client happiness, as well as a behind the scenes, look at what it’s like to work 1:1 with me.
Welcome to the family
Every client is different, so my workflows are set up to allow for both automation and some hands-on responses.
The first thing that happens after you contact me is you’ll receive an automated reply letting you know I’ve received your message and will be in touch, along with my business hours. You’ll also land on my onboarding page after you send the form in, which includes my step by step process, pricing, and faqs along with a link to my scheduler.
Then if we’re a good match I’ll flip a switch in Dubsado and start a workflow, which is a set of actions that sends emails contracts, invoices, and client homework out automatically and helps projects stay focused on the path to launch day.
Keeping track of the important stuff
I use a mix of Dubsado and Asana to manage my client projects. Dubsado takes care of the business end, and Asana keeps track of the actual project tasks.
Dubsado actually has a task manager built in that functions very similarly to Asana, but there are functions in Asana that I can’t live without so I haven’t made the switch yet.
Project planning and progress tracking
Once the business end is taken care of (contracts signed, initial invoices paid) I duplicate a project template in Asana and add the client as a follower so they’ll receive automatic notifications when project tasks have new comments or are completed. I also send general progress updates through Asana as needed. The project template varies based on the package the client has purchased, but generally includes a task for each major phase (logo concepts, brand style, web design, development), as well as tasks for each revision included in each phase.
I also have tasks for the client to complete, such as homework which includes a link to the questionnaire on Dubsado, as well as payment reminders inserted at the points in the project they are due. Dubsado also sends out an email when an invoice is ready, or past due but I like to include it in Asana too just to keep the client aware of when a payment is coming up in the process.
Wrapping up projects with a bow
After all the tasks are complete and the project is ready to go live we move into the final phase of the project – client handover. At the end of the project I send a note with the last invoice, and once that’s paid I share the final files via Dropbox, send the website live, and grant the client administrator privileges in WordPress.
After that’s complete, I archive the project in Asana and Dubsado. After this point, I send a few semi-automated emails (Dubsado reminds me and uses a pre-written script that I customize) over the course of a year to keep in touch with past clients.
I also provide monthly support subscriptions for maintenance like updating and plugin licensing as well as a discounted hourly rate program available exclusively to my clients. If a client chooses to maintain their own site and licensing then I provide instructions on how to do so, as well as 2 weeks of site tech support after the project launch.
Heart, soul, and so much more
There’s a lot more that goes into crafting brands & websites than just the processes and systems that keep a project moving forward.
Do you have any questions about my client happiness system?