In Episode 13 of Designing Growth, Sam speaks with systems and automation expert Krystal Clark. Krystal talks about the 5 stages of client experience that apply to all service businesses, what parts of your business should be using automation, and explains why your inbox is not a client management system.
[Designing Growth introduction plays]
[00:00:00] Sam Chlebowski: Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome back to Designing Growth. On last week’s episode, it was Perry and I talking about some of the latest trends in web design. This week we’re switching back gears to what we normally talk about on the show, and I’m very excited to bring on this guest in particular, to have her share her expertise and what she does in her own business because in some ways it relates to a lot of what we do here at Motion.io. So we have Krystal Clark joining us on the podcast today. Krystal is the owner and founder of Krystal Clark Creative, a business that helps other business owners take back their time, automate tasks, and create wow factor client experiences that help them harvest more.
[00:00:51] And turning clients into raving fans that send referrals again and again. With that Crystal, how you doing today?
[00:00:58] Krystal Clark: I’m so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really great.
[00:01:03] Sam Chlebowski: We spoke a couple weeks ago and you and I quickly started nerding out on all things automations and workflows and
[00:01:14] optimizing what you’re doing in your business to save you time, and that conversation got me so excited to record this episode cuz I wanna dive into a lot of that here.
[00:01:24] Maybe to start off the episode, could you tell me just a little bit more about your business and how it started, how you got to sort of where you are now?
[00:01:33] Krystal Clark: Well, I will have to say that. on the client experience side of things. I’ve always been in customer service or client experience in some way or form. from college I studied psychology and it was very interesting to me how the mind works and how people experience things. And so I brought that on into my job. The first job I’ve ever had was, selling wedding dresses. Then after that, [00:02:00] helping people to plan and I got into hospitality and from hospitality, into the car business. And long story short, got to. Work, uh, for Lincoln Motor Company as a client experience, director for several dealerships and making sure that customers are happy.
[00:02:17] And along all of those experiences, I started to learn about, what a client experience needs and what makes things go south with customers very quickly. and I slowly became a virtual assistant. Started a virtual assisting business, which grew because I ended up having a passion and falling in love with systems and automations and getting organized.
[00:02:43] I was always the kid in school who loved the first day of school and or loved the preparations for the first day of school because I got to get new pencils and notebooks and you know, paper and all of. Um, so be being organized and the customer experience and the customer journey started to solely take shape. And before I knew it, I had transitioned my business to specialize in system setups for a tool called Dodo. And I’ve broadened my horizon since then. Now, offering all best in class solutions for my clients. All in all, I feel like along my whole career, this have been this little inkling that’s like, oh, you love, label machines and organizing, and now I get to like turn all that love of getting organized in the shiny new pencils on the first day of school into business and giving that feeling to others.
[00:03:32] Sam Chlebowski: That’s amazing. And with your business, who are you primarily working with right now? Like what types of businesses, uh, do you partner with to help them?
[00:03:41] Krystal Clark: I really love supporting service-based entrepreneurs who serve other business owners. So I’m really heavy in the B2B market, because I realize that as a ben business owner, there are so many hills and valleys that happen and. Sometimes your identity becomes your business, it becomes the work, and you don’t get a chance to [00:04:00] break away from that and reconnect with yourself or the things in people that you love. So I’ve kind of used my business and the services I provide to really be tailored to a group of people who knows what that feels like, and they know exactly what they want to get away from, or what they need to break from in terms of their work.
[00:04:18] Sam Chlebowski: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I love the thought process behind that as well, because yeah, when you are a business owner, it’s. So easy to get wrapped up in all of the day to day that, you know, you forget about some of the larger picture things and you know, why you even started in the first place and making time, you know, for yourself and your family.
[00:04:38] So important. So I, I love that. And so within service providers, is it, primarily, marketing agencies or design businesses are things that fall outside of that?
[00:04:48] Krystal Clark: Yeah. I’ve helped other virtual assistants, business strategists, business coaches, copywriters, uh, trademark attorneys, business attorneys, you name it.
[00:04:57] Sam Chlebowski: And your background in particular, I think is really interesting. Specifically your transition from Doing client experience at Lincoln, I believe you said it was to now, your own business owner when thinking about client experience, what are commonalities between what client experience looks like at a massive corporation like Lincoln? That a small business, a service based business would have in common between those things, do you
[00:05:26] Krystal Clark: The process is very similar. The steps are different from one industry or one business model to another. But generally, I always look at a business having a five phase client experience. And it doesn’t matter if someone’s buying a car from you, buying a wedding dress from you, buying services from you. Everyone has to inquire number one. Everyone has to decide, Hey, I wanna book you. And there’s a process for going through the booking process that after a person has paid and signed the contract and given the hurah that they’re ready to work with you, [00:06:00] every client has to be onboarded, every service has to be fulfilled.
[00:06:03] And finally, there’s a off onboarding phase. So if I were to go in a dealer, I have to inquire either by walking in, or, asking about an internet price over the phone. And then even after I sign the contract and make my first payment when I book in that, dealership. I have to be walked through the vehicle, so I have to be onboarded.
[00:06:22] There’s always that same process. It’s always five phases, whether it’s one business model or another. It’s just in how that process happens. That’s different from one industry to another. So every business, every client experience has that five phases. It really and truly does in some form of. For some business models, one part of that process may be very long, or another side of that process may be easy.
[00:06:47] I know for some business coaches, they want to have people apply to work with them and have a conversation first and make sure it’s the right fit. Whereas, a car dealership is like, Come on down, walk in the doors and tell us what you’re interested in. There’s a different inquiry process that happens.
[00:07:03] They both happen though.
[00:07:04] Sam Chlebowski: That breakdown that you shared of the five things that apply to every business, I think is really, really impactful for me to hear because I immediately start running scenarios in my head where I’m like, Oh yeah, every single business, you could break it down into those kind of five components. when you’re working with service providers and other businesses, , are you looking at these processes ahead of time?
[00:07:30] Do people always have them, established, or do you have to sometimes go in and define them?
[00:07:36] Krystal Clark: Oh, there are times when people have posted notes as systems and that’s fun. Um, or notebooks or loose sheets of paper that they’ve been writing on for years and little file folders. People realize that things have gotten outta control and that their process isn’t really truly serving them or helping them be better at their jobs or have that freedom that they know they crave. [00:08:00] And so a lot of times when I start with a client, we don’t even start with the client experience first. I have a four part framework that I follow with my, clients and members. What I do for my clients in a done for you way is the same framework that I teach off of in my membership. So before we touch a single client experience step, we organize that person as the CEO first, because I oftentimes see that the reason why things have gotten so outta whack for people is because. they’re buried in emails, their calendar’s outta control. They’re taking calls seven days a week instead of being able to have set days to work, or they don’t know where any of the files are for the business to be able to serve the client adequately because they’re hunting for 45 minutes to find the file that they need. So we really get them structured and organized first to get them the freedom and you know, space to focus on. Needs to be in a client experience. People’s brains are so full with all the things that creating some space for them to just sit down and be able to talk about their systems is a big deal cuz people just don’t have time anymore. then we, you know, look at their service offerings, make sure that they’re simplified enough for, the automation goals that they. Told me or have expressed to me, and we go through and fine tune it. Like for example, I’ve had clients that literally may have five different payment plans for one service offering and wonder why isn’t it easy to book my clients?
[00:09:21] So we have to look at everything. then we create data hubs for them and look into all their different project spaces, a place to play their content, a place to log their sales and know exactly how much they’re making and from what offerings. And then we focus on the client experience, because then you would’ve laid all the foundations for the client experience.
[00:09:40] So I find that some people, go into their systems journey or their automation journey, like all guns blazing. Like I need to organize everything. And sometimes it really takes. Strategic, slowly but surely approach. It may not be a week that you can set it all up. It may not be a year that you can set it all up, but if you do it that hard work the first [00:10:00] time, you never have to work that deep or hard again. And so it really does start with kind of getting yourself ready as a ceo, laying the right groundwork, and then you can sit down and map out your workflows and understand what you envision for that journey before you set it.
[00:10:16] Sam Chlebowski: So you have these sort of five stages of a client experience
[00:10:21] and what I’m saying in the back of my head, Tell me if you agree with me or not. If you don’t have a intentional system for these stages in a certain way that you’re managing each stage, those systems and those practices get established regardless.
[00:10:37] it’s gonna happen even if you’re not intentional with it. So you might as well put in the hard work ahead of time to save yourself time down the.
[00:10:45] Krystal Clark: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. If you think about this whole, fake it to you, make it culture. If you don’t have systems, you’re literally whipping things up as you go through a process with a client because you realize, Oh man, I don’t have this and that and this and that. Let me hurry up and whip that up so I have something that’s in this client.
[00:11:03] Or, Ooh, I don’t have a nice pretty proposal to send. Let me whip something up real quick and send it to the client. So you are establishing all of this as time goes on. So why not sit down, do the hard work, and it’s really not hard. It’s almost like eating a pizza. You have to eat it one slice at a time.
[00:11:20] No one just picks up a whole piece and stuffs the whole thing in their mouths. Maybe there’s some people that are, if they’re doing a, a pizza eating contest, but I’m just saying for most of us, we eat a pizza one slice at a time. You may not be able to sit down and map out the workflow and set up all the tech or even the know. But if you take it one phase at a time, maybe this quarter, we focus on really solidifying our inquiry process and how clients reach out and how we handle sales calls with the client. And maybe next quarter you do the booking process and you fine tune that. It’s not a race. It’s not like you have to hurry up and get it all together sometimes.
[00:11:56] So and steady really does run the race
[00:11:58] , and when I say [00:12:00] mapping out your workflow, don’t think it has to be fancy. Literally take out some post and notes, take out a sheet of paper. Create some boxes and arrows and say, This is what I wanna happen first and an arrow, and this is what I wanna happen second, if you can at least draw it out, you can be able to fully communicate it to a person who does have the expertise to set up the tech.
[00:12:20] If you come to that experience and that partnership knowing, hey, this is what I envision. Almost like being able to tell your order to someone to say, Hey, this is what I envision and they can help you translate that for sure.
[00:12:32] Sam Chlebowski: Being intentional about process is something that personally has helped. A lot at so many different places throughout my career
[00:12:40] something I wanted to ask you about, and I’m really excited to get into this in particular, is automation.
[00:12:48] as you’ve been working with clients, what are some of the things that people might be doing manually right now that are things that they can very easily automate?
[00:12:58] Krystal Clark: Oh my favorite things. All right. I’m gonna tell you, I broke a record last week for the longest zappier automation I’ve ever set up. was 48 steps long. I kid you not. 48 steps. It was a onboarding zap. So for example, if you think about how you onboard your clients, you are like, Okay, well I’m gonna need a place to put their files once I’m designing this thing for their branding, and where do I put things? So my particular client is a marketing agency. She, helps classes, social media, copywriting, web design, brand design. Facebook ads, you name it, she can do a pr. And so she’s like, Hey, I spent about an hour onboarding new clients every time a new client sign, and clients sign often. So some of the things that we automate for her were like creating the client folder. To house all the client information, client provided info, deliverables that she’s delivering to the client. Well, [00:14:00] sometimes as a service provider, you realize that within your client’s folder named Jane Doe, you may have things inside of that folder that need to be added in there. So, This is a did you know segment?
[00:14:10] We’re about to start here. Did you know that you can basically create that client folder, create sub folders that go inside that folder, automatically create sub folders that go inside of those sub folders, and even existing Google Docs. Google Sheets. Google Slides. So if you, you’re like, Hey, I do social media for this client and I need to do a social media report every month. I have a Google sheet that has the reporting on it. I can use it as a template and make a copy of that for every client. I get onboarded where there are automations that can automatically create that document and file that document automatically inside of that client’s folder, the second they make their first payment or sign their contract. So literally right now my client doesn’t onboard anymore. She literally sits there and waits for the cash to roll in, the client signs and books and as soon as the systems recognize that the folders get created, the documents get created and filed in their folders, the client gets added to her email marketing software. The team is notified automatically, Hey, we have a new project and this is the client and here’s their folder, and here’s. To all their questionnaires and here’s the link to the client portal. Instead of her sitting there and having to manually create 30 something folders manually from scratch. Nobody wants to sit there and do that manual labor. And thankfully there’s a system out there that you can pay. You know, 60 or $70 a month to do that versus having to pay $500 a month or a thousand dollars a month to have a whole nother person come in and help you do those things, you start to really realize that that shift and that balance.
[00:15:47] And so I really love the folder creation and the, uh, I even have some automations now. When I get off of a call with a client, I don’t have to download call recordings outta [00:16:00] Zoom to upload them to a client folder in Google Drive. There’s literally an automation that will take that cloud recording, pluck it outta Zoom, pop it in my Google drive, and file it in the client’s folder where it should be, which is so cool, and it takes time.
[00:16:14] It takes a. Trial and error to set these types of automations up, but they’re game changers. I don’t necessarily have to have an admin. It’s really cool. The last year I’ve almost started to weirdly sad for my virtual assistant, fade her out a little bit because the automation slowly replaced the need to pay large sums of money.
[00:16:37] To have a big team to do those app tasks for you, you’re really able to do it on your own. Just even from an admin standpoint, that’s a side for the client experience piece.
[00:16:47] Sam Chlebowski: So much of what you shared is like this exact philosophy that I subscribe myself to. and a couple things I wanted to circle back on. The tool that you use for the meeting recordings to automatically spit out like the recording, I believe it’s the transcript as well. What is that tool?
[00:17:04] Krystal Clark: It’s called otter.ai, and it follows me around to all of my meetings, and it literally takes notes. It transcribes what I say, what the other person says, and then after the call it breaks down that transcriptions and delivers a email outline of. What we talked about, the different topics and the timestamp so that the other person can click that timestamp, go to that transcript, and when they click on some topic that I said, it will sound off and you will literally hear me speak in the transcription.
[00:17:39] It records the call and everything, which is really cool. And you don’t have to take notes anymore. And that’s an automation too, $10 a month and it saves me so much. I literally had it saved my life. last week and my membership when my Google meet didn’t record my recorded workshop. And I’m like, Oh, there’s no way I’m gonna say [00:18:00] in a new recording exactly how I said it the last time.
[00:18:03] And something was like, Well, you know, you have that nice auto transcription where you can jump and go listen to yourself and say exactly what you said. So it would be easy for me to rerecord that presentation and give it to my members, but it saved my life in a sense. so yeah, systems help.
[00:18:20] Sam Chlebowski: And I have to use that Otter.ai. Um, we talked about it a little bit when we first spoke and I was like, Oh, this is genius. Yeah, this would be really helpful for me. So another thing I wanted to talk about too was Zapier, and I. Have been using Zap here now? Oh gosh, it’s been probably, what, five or six years since I set up my first Zap.
[00:18:39] I did not know that you could use it for folder creation.
[00:18:43] Krystal Clark: Oh yeah, there’s a thing in Zapier automation’s call paths. So like that call filing, automation that I was talking about. When your clients or colleagues book, uh, time with you on your scheduler or on your calendar and you send them a calendar invite, you may say, Oh, coffee chat with, you know, Crystal Clark or Coffee Chat with this person. When that recording comes in, Zappier can recognize the name of that call and be able to say, Okay, well if a. Or a recording contains coffee chat. All right. Go file it in my coffee chat folder automatically so you can have it start to recognize keywords and titles of things in order to direct traffic to where it wants to go.
[00:19:27] But that folder creation for my client was a game changer. Imagine if you onboarded five clients a week and you save five hours. That’s literally a whole workday.
[00:19:38] Sam Chlebowski: Mm-hmm.
[00:19:39] Krystal Clark: I, if you really think about it, every day we say, Oh, eight hours in a workday, there’s really not eight hours in the workday for a freelancer voice service provider.
[00:19:50] We have six hours in a workday. If you remove the hour that we need to kickstart our day, check our emails, and get back to people in [00:20:00] an hour to eat lunch, there’s literally only six hours of actual work time that can take place. So if you think about saving that, hours. That’s almost a whole work day for her.
[00:20:10] She can go take her kids to Sea World or you know, go to Disney for the day. With her season passes, she doesn’t have to sit around and focus on admin work or be overwhelmed because instead of working on my client’s deliverables and giving them a good experience, I have to sit here and create folders for five hours a week, It gives someone a little bit more ooph in their day excitement to go jump into the parts of their jobs they actually love to do.
[00:20:35] Sam Chlebowski: With Zapier, and one thing that I was thinking about why it can be tough for people to even understand. What parts of their business that they can automate. I think that Zapier has unlocked a ton of new possibilities, and sometimes it’s just being aware of those possibilities.
[00:20:55] And it seems like some of what you’re doing too with your membership community is educating people on the option. for the things that they might be doing manually that they can do automatically. Like, one thing I’ve used Zapier for is connecting forms to spreadsheets and having it auto populate a new row or auto update, an existing row that’s in there, Zapier, and for anybody in the audience who’s listening to this and is scratching their head what it in essence allows you to do is connect any two pieces of software together that are Zapier ready, Google Sheets. And like the Google Suite is what I’ve often used it for, because it doesn’t seem to like naturally integrate with anything else, but you can integrate it through Zapier.
[00:21:38] Krystal Clark: Mm-hmm. , I love zapper so much like recently I was, uh, planning some events for my membership and I was having to go and go into Zoom or Google Meet and create the meeting link for the event and then put it inside of my event planning software. air table is what I’m using for that. Well, I’m like, is there a way that I can like not do that and [00:22:00] have Zapier automatically create the Zoom link when I add a new date and time for workshop? And yes, you can. Which was really cool sometimes you get into your daily work and you’re like, Hey, I’m spending a couple extra minutes on that, and that does eat up a lot of time when I sit down and plan events for my community. Can I automate creating my Zoom link? And Zapier did help me do that. Now I’m gonna say this, Zapier cornered the market on automation really early on. So tools that are popping up, like Make or Integromat, Pabli, other tools that are tailored towards automat. A lot of software and apps in the world have migrated more towards Zapier because they came to market early.
[00:22:46] They were one of a kind at the time. So with doubt, and you’re comparing different automation tools, more things sync with Zapier than I’ve ever seen. Again, automation is not about being lazy or not wanting to do work, it’s freeing you up the brain space to do more things in a better way or be more intentional or more strategic with what you’re doing versus like in the moment, having to scramble everything in order to make magic happen. Magic actually does happen and you don’t have to do it, which is a good.
[00:23:19] Sam Chlebowski: One of the things that I think about, and you’d kind of hit on it a little bit earlier, If you are not scrambling to do all of these sort of administrative tasks and running around manually copying and pasting, or sending manual emails, or manually updating your CRM or project management software, the thing that I keep reflecting on is that when you leverage the power of automation, To do these types of things.
[00:23:43] It gives you more space and more mental bandwidth to be present with your clients and in turn, I look at that as one of the most important things you can do to grow your business. Because if you’re able to have the head space to give that client [00:24:00] a premium experience, the experience that lives.
[00:24:03] Not only lives up to their expectations, but exceeds them.
[00:24:06] It’s the best thing you can do to generate referrals for
[00:24:11] Krystal Clark: Oh., I think it was when I worked for Lincoln, there was something that we used to talk about. Called surprise and delight, and I kind of like let that follow me in my whole career. now these days, surprise and delight means to me, how can I build surprise and delight inside of an experience?
[00:24:30] And what you said about freeing up of brain space is when you don’t have to do those little. Minute admin task and oh, I have to stop and send a follow up to my client, or, Oh, I have to stop and do this report to show our STA stakeholders, like how much we’ve made this month on this service offering versus another service offering.
[00:24:52] Having all that stuff just done for you. Having a system just do that for you, frees up your space to not only spend more time with your clients, but to surprise and delight them. Surprise and delight, meaning. We expected the project to take four weeks, but now that I don’t have to do all those other things manually, I’m able to meet the deadline early, be more attentive to their needs, check in on them more often.
[00:25:15] Heck, you might even have automations that are checking on them automatically for you when you check off certain tasks on your task list. Yes, there are systems that can do that that says, Hey, when I check off this, this, and this, that we’ve gotten to this part of the project, can it automatically. Follow up to my client that says, Hey, we’ve got this part for your project.
[00:25:34] This is what’s happening next. Because think about it, your clients just wanna be communicated with, It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the project. They want that sense of connection. They wanna know that you’re working on their stuff. They wanna know that you’re doing what they paid you for.
[00:25:48] Freeing up your brain space to say, Hey, either I’m gonna spend more time with my clients, I’m gonna do some more surprise and delight moments for them, to beat the deadline or send them an extra gift or check [00:26:00] on them. Be more attentive. Think about if you were in a meeting with someone.
[00:26:04] If you’re stressed and overwhelmed and doing all the manual labor and running around and someone’s like, Yeah, we just got back from, you know, a trip and we had a loss in the family and we had a this and we had a that, and my son’s birthday was last week, and we’re throwing in a birthday party. Some of that stuff when you’re overwhelmed, literally goes out one year in one ear and out the other.
[00:26:24] Versus when you have free brain space, you’re really attentive to your client the next time you see them and say, Hey, how was your son’s
[00:26:31] birthday? you have that space to even think and remember.
[00:26:36] Sam Chlebowski: we had talked a little bit about offboarding, a little bit about onboarding, a little bit about about the client experience along the way. Something I would be interested in hearing from you is, Sales and marketing. What are things that folks should be doing with their sales and marketing approach?
[00:26:55] Should they be using automation? Should they be using some sort of crm? What’s your general thoughts on that?
[00:27:01] Krystal Clark: I definitely like using a CRM for the sales process. Of course you have a pre-sales process before you even know who the person is. You’re doing your social media, your content. You have to think of like what’s the easiest way if someone does find me, like, do I have the things in place and the systems to support the responses So you can automate that.
[00:27:23] When someone reaches out and contacts you that can, I automatically have an email? And even a text message response that says, Yes, I’ve received your inquiry. Here’s the link to book a call with me. Here’s the next steps. there are even systems in place in certain CRMs. I know there’s a CRM tool called Dubsado out there where you can build forms.
[00:27:42] You can even do this in a Google Doc. Take notes on what I’m about to say. This is a gem you can prewrite out a, Sales script slash form. I call it a consultation notes form where . It’s like a hybrid between a script and a form [00:28:00] that you fill out during the call. Almost like your notes, from your sales call, and you follow it like a. Script on your consultation or sales call so that it’s really easy for you to say, Hey, such and such, the client’s name is in front of you, Their phone number is in front of you, their email address is in front of you. Uh, their responses from their questionnaire could be in front of you, Uh, and even down to good morning.
[00:28:21] Welcome to our call. Today, we’re gonna talk about this. Can you tell me a little bit about your challenges and goals? For our project and as they speak, you can type right into the document. As you scroll down, your next line of your script is they’re waiting for you. There’s certain things that you can have in place, even down to the scheduling of the call.
[00:28:38] Is there a automation within your appointment scheduling system like Calendly or Acuity where you can automate reminders and confirmations going out. Automation doesn’t not necessarily take place in one tool for sales or marketing or anything like that. It can take place in multiple tools.
[00:28:55] It’s not saying, Hey, I wanna be lazy.
[00:28:57] I don’t wanna do any of it. Which in the back of our minds, if we could get rid of that marketing hat, some of us will be a little bit happier about running our businesses. Uh, but at the same time, if you could just make it a little easier, create a couple shortcuts for yourself and the client, it makes it more convenient to do business and not a chore.
[00:29:17] Something you enjoy. Automating my marketing and my sales for me can mean differently than what it means for you. It can mean get your sales script and form notes together for your sales call for someone else. It could mean automating an ad to getting someone automatically in an email funnel to send sequences of emails so that they don’t have to sit there and manually follow up with people.
[00:29:39] Also keep in mind that there’s other areas that you can think about automation. So like think about when you send your proposal to your client. Do you wanna stop and manually follow up every couple of days to send an email, Hey, just checking in to see if you’re ready to move forward. Can there be a automation that says, Hey, if we don’t see a paid. Status on a client that they’ve got a [00:30:00] signed contract and a first initial payment. Our system needs to follow up automatically after X number of days. Yes, there are automations that can do that. I tell you what, I don’t do any work until a client sales call starts. My systems take care of everything. It takes care of the client application. It takes care of approving and denying leads for me, which is also cool.
[00:30:21] So if you’re a service provider out there who’s like, Hey, if a client answers this type of answer, On a question versus this type of answer, then they’re not the right fit
[00:30:30] and we wanna send them a declined project email where if a client answers this series of questions this exact way, then they’re thumbs up and they’re approved to work with us.
[00:30:39] And yes, let’s send them a link to book a sales call because we are in alignment. Yes, there are systems that can read that conditional logic like that and follow up for you automatically and do some decision making for you so you don’t have to sit there a slave to your keyboard and monitor and mouse, which is so helpful for that sales process.
[00:30:59] Sam Chlebowski: so much of what you had shared in this episode is like a masterclass in the basics of automation and all of the things you can automate, because if I was somebody listening to this episode for the first time and hadn’t used automation in my business, Like, Wow, I would not know that you could do all of these things from saying, Hey, this is a good lead, or this is somebody I don’t wanna work with to automating the sales process to automating everything basically until that call. And I think What you had shared is a great example of what we talked about earlier. You had said that you don’t do any work until that sales call. And that’s the exact type of thing that I’m here thinking about like when that sales call arrived, because all of the little steps along the way, all of the manual stuff has been taken care of. You can be a hundred percent there and present for that call. So you’re able to help that client. You’re able to, bring them on board and get a signed contract.
[00:31:56] Krystal Clark: Yeah, it’s like active listening versus just listening. You know [00:32:00] what I mean? It’s like someone’s talking at you and it’s going out one area or the other. When you get on that sales call, you can actually actively listen and be prepared to problem solve and discuss solutions with your client versus feeling like, Oh, well I have to. Think five steps ahead to the task that I’m gonna have to do. Once this call is over, I literally get on my sales call and that will be the first work that I’ve done to work with that client that I have done no manual layer up until that point. And then when that sales call is over, I literally click a button to say, All right, send a proposal, and literally, Zapier says, Okay, let’s whip it up friends.
[00:32:36] Hey, here’s a link to your proposal. It’ll expire in the next two business days. The client can book. Sign the contract and pay for their service. And immediately there’s zap your automations that are creating their folders, creating their client document. There’s a massive document that I create in Google Docs that I use as a client portal so that my client and I can like collaboratively work during the project It’s like. A big, long document that serves as their questionnaire, their client guide, their deliverable space, and our communication space. So it’s almost like a little client portal at some point in my life, I won’t have to do that with your new tool,
[00:33:15] Sam Chlebowski: And we are working on it.
[00:33:17] Krystal Clark: Um, for now that’s what I have.
[00:33:18] But literally I don’t do anything except show up for the sales call and click that little button
[00:33:23] Sam Chlebowski: So cool. the things that you need to ultimately grow your business, take your business to scale. there’s two options. You know, you either hire, a full-time assistant, you hire more staff, or you get some of these things in place that are going to allow you to get to that scale without doing these, individual manual tasks that might seem like a couple minutes of time, but quickly add up to hours and hours a week.
[00:33:45] Krystal Clark: and a lot of times you gotta think the average person is going to get, or the average service planner is gonna get very buried in their workload. And then they didn’t have the systems together, so now they’re doing everything manually and they’re like, Oh man, now I need to hire a person and assistant [00:34:00] to help me. And then think about it. You’ve got an assistant walking into chaos. Because they don’t know what to do. You don’t have a system in place. You’re running your business off a post that knows notebooks and loose sheets of paper or manually whipping up things as you go. But that means your new assistant doesn’t have a systems and automations to follow to do the work That you’re expecting them to do in a good way, and then now you’re looking at them with the evil eye. Like, I don’t think this is working out with this new assistant because they can’t fulfill these tasks the way I want them to, but maybe it’s that we aren’t equipping them to do a good job. I hear it all the time, hiring is hard sometimes because we go into hiring like, Oh, we have to, Train these nice people, but how cool would it be if they walked into your business supporting you and you had at least a CRM tool to use at least a task management
[00:34:55] software where you’re delegating their tasks to them? Email is not a task management tool. Sorry to break it to you. It’s not where you wanna spend your time all. That’s not a task management space. So we can’t expect the people that we hire and work with to be stuck in their emails all day, or they won’t be productive doing the tasks that we’ve set out for them. So having those systems in place really matters whether you’re on your own or working with the team, and it may uncover things that you realize, Oh, well, if a system can do that, then I don’t need to hire another person or worry about team onboarding and worrying about managing a whole nother crew of people.
[00:35:32] I literally just have to keep an eye on my systems and everything’s kosher.
[00:35:36] Sam Chlebowski: you also gave me an idea for the title of this episode, what you had shared, where you had said that email is not a task management tool.
[00:35:44] Krystal Clark: It is not,
[00:35:45] Sam Chlebowski: I think that hits the nail on the head, so amazing. One final question before we sign off here, Krystal and thank you so much for sharing your expertise, your process behind automation, workflows and business systems [00:36:00] insanely valuable.
[00:36:01] For, I think anybody who’s newer to this concept, uh, or even people more experienced who didn’t know the level of depth that they could go with these things.
[00:36:09] But my final question for you is, with your business, Krystal Clark Creative, what’s new? What are you all up to these days?
[00:36:15] Krystal Clark: oh well, I’m working on some really cool, sneaky little projects, in my membership. I’m really excited about it because, We really specialize in doing workshops and coworking sessions within the community that allow people to absorb what I’m telling them in teaching them and how to set all this cool stuff up in a bite size way that isn’t overwhelming.
[00:36:41] um, I really pride myself on. Implement while you learn approach. So we don’t do a lot of trainings and then say, Okay, go do 10 hours of homework now. I’m really focused on saying, Hey, if you show up to this two hour workshop and this two hour workshop, you’re gonna learn and do at the same time. So by the time this workshop is over, that thing that we started wanting to do will be set up by the time you get off of this session with us in a group setting.
[00:37:07] And then we’re all there for accountability. So, I really am focusing on building that and, capitalizing on all the great free apps that Google Workspace has to offer and what automations I can bridge that with in terms of my favorite system. So that’s the new thing that I’m working on right now.
[00:37:26] More new workshops and shortcuts. Zappier recipes. Zappier recipes are actually my favorite, because I get to build the zap for everyone. So like that folder creation, zap. We have that inside of our community, and all you have to do is click it and install it in your Zapier account and switch it to your softwares and it’s set up, which is really cool.
[00:37:46] So we’re working on that type of stuff right now.
[00:37:48] Sam Chlebowski: The recipes. Wow. That is so awesome because Zapier is something that can take a ton of time to like figure out, hey, what should be even the ingredients in this workflow to [00:38:00] make it run? The fact that you are doing that for people and saying, Hey, you just have to connect your tools. Wow, that’s so cool.
[00:38:07] Krystal Clark: We literally give templates for everything. So if you come to a workshop about how to build a client support ticketing system. So all you designers and agencies out there that deal with a lot of client revisions and requests, this one’s for you. If we were to create a client ticketing system, so clients, regardless of if they wanted to request a revision or if they wanted to request, ask a question, having a designated support ticketing system to go to, instead of teaching you how to build one from scratch, I build it for you, give you the template, you install it, and just. Customize it to your business versus having to start from scratch.
[00:38:41] Basically, being able to have those templates and resources ready to go so that that person doesn’t have to build from scratch.
[00:38:47] So that’s what I’m priding myself off of in terms of my community and what I’m working on.
[00:38:53] Sam Chlebowski: Amazing. And if you are interested in joining Crystal’s membership community or just checking out her work in general, we will put links to all of that stuff in the show notes for this episode. Crystal, thank you so much again for coming on the show. It was amazing to talk to you and. Kind of just discuss all things, automation systems, workflows.
[00:39:15] and finally, Crystal had mentioned it during the show. We are working on motion.io right now, which is going to be this space where you can manage projects, but also collaborate and communicate with clients. And it gives you all of these things in a streamlined client portal so you can. Parts of your client experience, you can provide clients, a central hub to share files, to give feedback, to do all of these things within your business.
[00:39:41] If you’re interested in checking that out, head to our website and go to our launch list. Sign up there to get free early access. But until then, Krystal thanks for coming on and looking forward to talking to you again soon. Every.
[00:39:54] Krystal Clark: All right. Thank you so much for having me, and I’ll tell, I’ll give my mom all the best wishes.[00:40:00]
[00:40:00] since she called twice
[00:40:01] Sam Chlebowski: I love it. Tell her we had an amazing podcast recording today, . Fantastic. Take care everybody.
[00:40:09] Krystal Clark: You too.