My tough love approach (heavy on the love) focuses on bringing order to chaos, and creating solid (and straightforward) strategic plans. I take surveys for fun, never met a process I didn’t like, and am a big believer in personal growth as a keystone to business growth.
Here’s a rule that has no exceptions: Every business has to do email.
I know definitive statements like that can raise a skeptical eyebrow. They certainly get mine up. I’m always looking for the exception and the only one I can think of at the moment is this one:
And honestly, even he could benefit from having a subscriber list.
Even if you’re not writing regularly to a newsletter list to warm up leads and convert them into customers, email is still a big part of your business. Maybe you’re:
Because it’s so prevalent in your everyday operations, email is uniquely positioned to help you scale your business…or get in the way of its scaling.
To help your business scale sustainably, create a process around any aspect of your business that could get out of control if you unintentionally went viral. One of the first places this can happen is your customer service inbox. Thankfully, this is also one of the simplest places to create a process. Those processes will help you get through those emails faster and get better results from them.
If your business is a software-as-a-service, you can bet on getting a high number of emails for feature requests, bugs in the system, technical access questions, questions about how things work, etc. You’ll need a system in place to get through them efficiently and to a high standard.
Your process might include a ticketing system so as questions come in, they get categorized and funneled to the appropriate customer service expert. That way, requests don’t fall through the cracks answers are consistent no martter who’s providing the info.
Without a process like that, a software-as-a-service business would have everything going into one inbox, creating a customer service bottleneck that could ultimately influence your customers’ experience.
If you’re an online service provider primarily offering 1:1 work, you likely won’t need the same process as a software-as-a-service business because you won’t have hundreds of clients or customer inquiries (at least, not right away).
Your VA will likely be able to handle those emails to an excellent standard… but you should still document your customer service email process.
Email could become a bottleneck for you around onboarding new clients and offboarding completed projects. Both of these points in the client journey are crucial to elevating their experience and positioning you as an easy-to-work-with expert.
Creating processes to sustainably scale your business requires an understanding of what your business is, what your business does, and where email could become a bottleneck.
Pro tip: add the question to your next quarterly business review. Systematically analyze the role of email in each area of your business according to the Six Lenses Business Assessment. Then, create a process to prevent it from breaking and review and optimize it regularly.
Brainstorm ways you could “break” email within each lens.
For example, email could “break” in the Lead Generation lens if a customer opts into a lead magnet and your email service provider doesn’t send it to them. To make sure this doesn’t happen, be sure to turn on the automation that triggers freebie delivery and your welcome sequence. In the Conversion lens, take generic confirmation emails to the next level to increase your chances of turning discovery calls into clients.
They say the best writers write.
I say, the most scalable businesses write.
Being able to communicate your ideas clearly, concisely, and persuasively is the hallmark of a successful business. And if you’re not consistently practicing writing for your business, it's time to build a habit (and processes!) around it.
A good email can help you retain clients, create advocates, get referrals, sell your products and services, and create an unforgettable customer experience.
A great email can do all that and get your reader to forward it to a friend or reply to tell you how much they needed to hear that today. A really great email builds connection with the reader. And that’s possible at any point in the customer journey.
To learn more about optimizing email and other practices in your online service based business, check out Scale Society, my six-month group program that will help you create the unique foundation your business needs to scale from 5 to 6 to 7 figures.
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