I’m always incredibly keen to improve practices and processes with my business. I am very willing to be self-critical and look for ways to improve what I and my business does and how we interact with clients.
Eight months ago I launched our client learning portal. The building of the portal was designed to improve the aftercare we provide to all of our clients. It meant that after their website was built the clients could get easy access on one page to custom-recorded help videos.
I had looked at the process of client training and support back in May 2020 and realised that it could be better. The recent reviews for the learning portal show it was time well spent!
Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking about the onboarding process and how that could also be improved. There are two key areas I have picked out as being areas that could be improved:
1. How clients share files and content with us.
2. How we as a business communicate with clients through the build process and make sure they know what tasks they need to undertake as well as our tasks.
I am happy to announce I have worked a hard over the past few days to create a solution that will mean all new clients have an improved onboarding process and an increased level of transparency in the design and build of their website.
Sharing files with Box
Since I first started building websites for other people I have mostly relied on people sending me content via emails. This worked as a solution because everyone knows how to attach files to an email. No training or support is required!
The issue with email attachments is that they aren’t particularly secure, can be easily lost or deleted and end up clogging up email inboxes. I recently had a long email thread with a client almost cripple my main email address as the thread was full of large attachments.
After testing out many different cloud storage and file sharing solutions, I have decided using Box is the answer.
Box provide free cloud storage that’s incredibly easy to set up and very simple to share with other people. Once someone expresses an interest in us building their website they will be sent a link to their own shared folder on Box. They can then simply sign up to Box and get access to that shared folder.
Clients can easily drag and drop all manner of file types into the shared folder and provide us with easy access to the files we need to build their website.
As Box are a third-party provider, clients can choose to keep their Box account for themselves and even pay to upgrade to get more storage.
With Box providing iOS and Android apps, it makes it really easy for clients to upload content from any device.
With Box Notes, clients can easily write notes and information for us and store them in our shared folder. However, we have a better solution planned for communication.
Following the progress with Asana
I learnt early on when designing websites for other people to not show them a new website until it was fully ready to be shared. It can be hard for people to see the bigger picture when they’re looking at a half-finished, semi-rough design.
However, I have also had clients recently asked questions about when their new website will be finished, what is left to be completed. I have also had clients miss from an email crucial steps they need to take so their website can be finished.
Relying on long email threads is, once again, not the best solution for communication. Instead, we are now using Asana.
Asana is primarily a place for people within a company to communicate with each other. An online staffroom noticeboard, calendar and intranet all rolled into one.
The way my business and I are already using it is to create one project board per website. Each new project has its own board with the tasks to be completed, currently being completed and already completed listed on the screen.
Although somewhat daunting at the start, it’s great to see a detailed breakdown of every step involved in designing a new website. There are three main reasons why I will start using it with clients being team members on their own board.
Firstly, it’s great for clients to see all of the tasks that need to be completed. That way they can visualise how far along the building on their website is and what is left to be achieved. That higher level of transparency should lead to lower levels of anxiety for our clients.
Secondly, I can assign tasks to clients. If I need photos for their About page, I can create it as a task on the board and assign it to the client’s account. When they ask where I am with the About page, I can now ask them to check Asana and see what I am waiting for from them. No more missing crucial tasks at the bottom of a long email!
Finally, Box integrates really well with Asana. So, if a client wants a different image on their contact page, they can upload it to Box and then attach the image to the Asana task for the contact page. No more crossed wires or confusion about what goes where!
What happens after the website is built?
The improvement of the onboarding and communication during the website build process creates a perfect bridge to our existing aftercare service.
Our much-loved client portal empowers our clients to manage and maintain their own website. Clients can request additional help and support and we are always happy to record more videos and provide more help.
All-in-all the improvements with file-sharing and communication means we are able to provide an even better service to our clients. We already have a perfect five-star reputation from all of our clients, but there’s always more I think we can do to improve our practice.
I’m really pleased to launch these improvements to our client communications. Making it easier for people to share content and easier for them to take an active part in their website building will only be of massive benefit to both us and our clients.
If you are looking at improving your website or getting a first website, get in touch with us at Tiny Blue Rocket and enjoy an even better service during and after your website build process.