Being an entrepreneur, you’ve probably come across the term “onboarding,” and you most likely have a flushed-out initiation process in your wedding business. But have you heard of “offboarding”? This is arguably a lesser-known practice, but it’s just as important as onboarding for service-based businesses.
You already know how important it is to have clearly defined processes in place to enhance your client experience. But what do you do when your couples complete their journey with you? There’s no doubt you’re leaving them with a wedding, photos, and/or videos they’ll cherish for a lifetime. But this is also why many wedding pros are under the false assumption that they don’t need a customer offboarding process — because we consider our one-on-one time with our couples a job well done, and that’s the end of the story.
Integrating an offboarding step, though, can add a tremendous amount of value to your experience because you’re showing your clients that you care about their wellbeing and that they’re not just another transaction to you. They’ll remember that, and it can earn you more referrals in the future.
With all that being said, we’re going to go over some tips today on how to create a customer offboarding process that will earn yourself legacy clients and set services apart from the crowd.
Tip 1: Follow up with your clients.
Sending follow-ups to your clients may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s still such an underrated tip for growing the reputation of your business! As wedding planners, designers, photographers, and all other professionals in the field, we are usually always busy — it’s not uncommon to have our schedules filled to the brim. So while sending follow-ups seems like a simple task that you won’t forget to do, it can get easily overlooked with the million other things on your to-do list. That’s why I suggest penciling in follow-ups into your calendar so you’re diligent about it and you don’t have to put pressure on yourself to remember while you’re doing other tasks!
For example, if you have a wedding coming up, pencil into your calendar to send that couple a follow-up afterward to thank them for the opportunity to work together. To make your email more personalized and thoughtful, include a personal detail that you enjoyed from their big day! And bonus points if you have photos you snapped that you can send to them.
Tip 2: Ask for a review.
I completely understand if you cringed a little at this tip. Asking for a review may feel awkward or intimidating because most of us don’t want to come across as too pushy. But since our world is mainly online now, it’s more important than ever to have reviews wherever possible. Yes, even though most of us are location-based services, it’s most likely that your customers are finding you online, and reviews can help your potential clients make buying decisions they perceive are worth it. Here are some tips to ask for reviews, naturally:
- Send a separate email from your follow-up email. At Blush, we typically send our testimonial requests 10 days after their wedding or event. This way, they’ve had time to settle back into their regular routine after their honeymoon.
- Provide direct links to the places you want them to leave a review. These links can include The Knot, Wedding Wire, your company’s Facebook page, and/or Google reviews. To lessen the overwhelm, don’t include over three links, in order of importance. In your email, let them know they’re welcome to use all three or just one of the links.
- Tell them what you want them to say. OK, OK… You don’t want to put words in their mouth because you want their testimonial to be genuine, but you can give them a guide. People are more willing to do a favor if it’s simple and doesn’t seem like it will take too much time. In your email, you can say that you’d love for them to tell other couples why they chose you, and anything specific about their big day that was amazing because of you and your team.
Tip 3: Create a monthly email blast geared towards newly weds.
A monthly email blast for your newlyweds (past clients) that is relevant for their new lives as a married couple is going to add value to your business and also their lives!
For example, at Blush, we send a one-year series delivered monthly with date night ideas, tips for creating their first home together, and any other topic that’s relevant for this new chapter they’re writing together. We’ll also let them know what’s going on with our company, and sprinkle in opportunities where they can work with us in the future, such as birthday parties, anniversary parties, and corporate events.
Pro-tip: If you have a referral program, include that link or invite in the email blasts as well! While our clients may only get married once, they will eventually have a friend or family member who is getting married! Providing them with an incentive is a great opportunity for them and also for the growth of your business.
Ready to create a world-class client offboarding process?
Now, I hope you feel ready to create your own offboarding experience so you earn yourself legacy clients, receive more referrals, and set services apart from the crowd!