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  • Writer's pictureGlenda Acevedo

Understanding the Critical Client Flow (CCF) from SYSTEMology™

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Can you explain what your practice does on one page?

The first step in SYSTEMization is deciding which systems to create first. And to do that, you need to see an overview of your business's core functions without any extra detail. The trick is capturing the high level of the business's flow in delivering your core product or service. You want to see your business in terms of how it does the following steps.

➡️ Attracts customers

➡️ Handles inquiries

➡️ Processes Sales

➡️ Onboards clients

➡️ Delivery

➡️ Invoicing

While it's tempting to go into a lot of detail, you'll get confused if you go too hard too soon. So please keep it simple and save the finer details until later. We have a tool called Critical Client Flow (CCF).

When populating the CCF, the first stage in SYSTEMology™, how should you break up the systems? How do you describe and display them on the CCF, especially when there is a detailed process with many subsystems? What considerations might you think about when doing the critical client flow first?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you first need to grab a copy of the SYSTEMology Book or contact Glenda, a Certified SYSTEMologist™ at Bridging Business Solutions. It's the system to systemize your business. Click here to access a free 120 Pages of the SYSTEMology Book.

Step one is identifying which systems we will be documenting in phase one. And to do that, we have a tool we call the CCF. And the question is, how much detail should we put in the CCF, particularly the boxes? Because some of the boxes might have detailed subsystems and processes, capturing it in the box at a very high level doesn't give all that extra detail.

So, fortunately, later in the SYSTEMology process, all the detail comes out when we start to think about the systems assigned sheet (SAS) and define the systems we will be capturing. But before that and the CCF, the purpose here is to capture at a high level the flow that the business goes through to deliver the core product or service, everything from grabbing someone's attention to selling them through to Delivery and then getting them to come back.

So let's have a look at this example. It's a dental practice that focuses on cosmetic dentistry, and its target audience is busy professionals who want a restored smile. And the services you provide include Dental Implants, Dental Crowns, Dental Veneers, and Invisalign.

Now, when we think about the different stages in the critical client flow, some boxes will be easier and more obvious to you than others. So, if we say a lot of the business, for example, business comes from referrals, that fits nicely into the box.

But when we move down to something like an incoming inquiry, the inquiry might come in via a phone call, or maybe it's a referral, or perhaps it's an email sent via your website. So, you might have multiple ways it might be coming in. Does that mean we should list them as three separate systems on the CCF? So, we'll list it as the incoming inquiry.

Similarly, we often see this in Delivery if we move further down. So down here, Delivery is usually one of the most complex parts where you will have many subsystems. So the treatment might be an overview system, but then we've got the setup, preparing the patient, etc., and all of these things, which might be subsystems.

Again, all of that isn't captured on the CCF because that happens a little bit later, and we'll start introducing some ideas, like the overview systems.

So when you're completing the CCF at a very high level, you want someone to read this who may not be in the business, even just at arm's reach from the business, and still be able to follow along and understand what's going on. By design, the boxes are small, so you can only fit a few words in each. That's part of the magic of being able to distill down into one page what it is that your business does.

And then, by capturing this CCF, it becomes a fantastic place to get started. Now, just a couple of other considerations to consider when you're wondering, should I be breaking this into a new box or separate? One thing that I'll think about is who is completing the task. If one person completes these tasks and there are multiple steps, typically, it'll only end up being one box.

For example, there's a good chance the person handling the incoming inquiry might be the front receptionist, and they're addressing all incoming inquiries. So they're qualifying them, then connecting them with the appropriate team member who can explore things a little bit further. So because one person handles it, I'll pop it in one box.

Also, other ways that you might break it up is thinking about whether this is a distinct, separate step or process like the incoming inquiry is one thing. The qualification might be a very particular thing because it's different.

So let's take that apart and make that a separate step. And you can see if we go from the incoming inquiry call to scheduling the appointment, getting the patient entered into the system, checking the patient at the office, verifying insurance, etc., these are distinct steps.

I always like to tease out the onboarding process. That's the step where someone is getting started. The client decided to work with your practice, and we want to ensure that we collect everything we need from the client to deliver a great product or service.

We also might need to enter them into your practice management software. All of that setup, which I'm separating, is different from the actual Delivery of the product or service. I have that as a separate step because you often want to ensure you complete the detailed setup. After all, if you get that right, you can far exceed what the client expects and overdeliver for them. It's a classic case. We love to under-promise and over-deliver, and by setting the right expectations, you're helping them understand what will happen.

So that's a little bit about some of the thinking; there might be some more nuance to it. You can find out more by checking out the FREE 120 pages of the SYSTEMology book. If you also have any more questions, please feel free to contact me. Hopefully, that helped you understand the CCF and how you might think about saving or laying it out and separating those steps for your business.

Contact Bridging Business Solutions to learn more about our exclusive services for Bridging People, Processes, and Performance! Visit our website at Bridging Business Solutions or contact

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